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 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.
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.