Comic Vine Review


Detective Comics #25 - Zero Year: Whistleblower's Blues; Troubled Waters Review


Before Commissioner Gordon was a commissioner, he was a beat cop, trying to clean up the streets of Gotham.

The Good

Lt. Gordon finds himself in the shadow of the Black Mask gang, and he thinks Roman Sionis is behind it. Gordon lives in a corrupt town where even the cops are on the gang's payroll, so how can he stop crime when there's no hope?

DETECTIVE COMICS #25 reminded me what I loved about the GOTHAM CENTRAL series, but not as gritty. This is a really interesting detective story, flat-out. In fact, what this issue does really well is makes the reader want a monthly Lt. Gordon series. Writer John Layman really hits this one out of the park.

So how does this tie into Zero Year? Some of the events here take place during the Riddler blackout as the hurricane makes its way into Gotham. While it all takes place during the same time, it's not a direct tie-in to the BATMAN story, which is great. Gordon is doing his own thing and we get to see a character who is not in charge, disobeying his boss in order to do what's right. What really moves this issue along with the caption dialogue from Gordon. We really get into his head and how he works as a cop. While there isn't some giant mystery to be solved here, it's still a good detective story.

On the artistic side of things, artist Jason Fabok and colorist Tomeu Morey do a great job visually telling this story. The rain effect throughout the issue is very appealing and adds a bit of grit to the story. The overall issue has a very cinematic feel to it, much like a noir film from generations past. Artistically it's straight forward with no distracting frills, which is the perfect compliment to the writing.

The second to last page of this main story was awesome. Without giving anything away, it's a really cool moment that will have you applauding for the good guy. It's a very nice splash and Jason Fabok's art looks fantastic.

The Bad

The back up story isn't bad, but it doesn't add too much and it doesn't really stand on its own. It reminds the reader that the main story was an important moment in Gordon's life and that Wallace no longer hates Batman, but that's about it. Again, it's not bad, but it's nothing really new.

The Verdict

If there was an on-going "Young" Jim Gordon book, written by Layman and drawn by Fabok, I would be the first person to sign up for it, as long as it's as enjoyable as this issue was. We are treated to a really solid story of Gordon stepping into his own as a cop. Layman does a great job with this character and the world around him. Fabok's art really makes this book feel like a crime story. While I've been enjoying past issues of DETECTIVE, this was my favorite one yet. Overall, I highly recommend this issue.

14 Comments Refresh
Posted by longbowhunter

I thought about picking this and Action up this week. Figured I'd wait and see how the reviews were. This sounds good. I'll make sure to grab a copy on my next trip to the shop.

Posted by noj

GREAT issue. I would pick up Detective every month if it was a Gordon centered book. Who knows with the Gordon TV show in development maybe we will get a GCPD book at some point.

Posted by LordoftheNorth

I will say the GCPD is now the least corrupt yet some how the suppose to be most corrupt police force to ever exist. just look at loeb why did they change him to just some guy tired of his job and whats up with bullack why does he look like he just come out of Earth One

Posted by Mrgreenlantern

and to think I was debating on dropping this book today in the store,boy am I glad I picked this up

Posted by CaptainHoopla

I haven't been reading this series, but didn't want to pass on a Gordon Zero Year story. I'm really, really glad I picked this up. Excellent issue from start to finish. Mat's review is spot on. I too would love a Gordon monthly book like this. Too bad Detective Comics isn't just that. Fabok's art is outstanding. That splash page, wow!

Anybody know what Layman and Fabok are doing when Buccellato and Manapul take this series over?

Edited by KnightofSteel

Wow, just finished reading this and did Layman and Fabok ever knock it outta park with this one! I'm sure gonna miss Fabok's art in this book once he moves over to Eternal.

Edited by rodent

Batman DC #25's cover looks kinda familiar...

It has the dude reaching, 3 dudes on the left, 2 on the right, gloved hand, leg holster, short!

Edited by TheMantisShrimp

I'm fairly confident in guessing this will be my favorite book this month, which is saying a lot since this is only the second comic i've read this month. Such a great read, Layman and Fabok wrote and drew the hell out of this one. This book can be read as a stand alone for any Bat fan but also enriches the Zero Year main story without being required reading, this is how tie ins are done. Gordon's early years definitely deserve a mini series at the minimum.

Posted by comicbookfan93

I really wanted this but my LCS ran out of copies :(

Edited by Mrgreenlantern

@rodent: hot damn nice eye ! last of a great game series before it became guns blazing ammo fest. Now if only we can get james gordon to shoot some manbat zombies =p

Posted by detective38

I wasn't all that impressed with this issue. I like early stories of Gordon but the whole Gordon vs. corrupt cops thing is kind of played out for me

Posted by War Killer

@noj said:

GREAT issue. I would pick up Detective every month if it was a Gordon centered book. Who knows with the Gordon TV show in development maybe we will get a GCPD book at some point.

I always thought that should be the focus of Detective Comics. Batman already has plenty of titles that focus on him, so why not give the Gordon and the GCPD their own on-going. I would personally start start reading the series if that's what it was.

Posted by Skyhawk1

There was discussion of CW producing a Jim Gordon series. If true, they've got DC #25 as a template.

Edited by kilomac29

I just finished Gotham Central (Which may be my favorite series of all time) and this issue brought me right back into that world. I actually dropped this book after 23 because it was so inconsistent, makes me wonder what could have been if it was a more consistent book. The art was flat out amazing. I'll probably pick it up again at 27, I just really want this series to be good.