gotham-central

many don’t like jared letos joker as much as they like heath ledgers joker and I can understand that but jareds facial expressions are A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.

Dear comic artists:

This is how you draw a scantily-clad supe walking into a room. Take note. You see how Kory’s shoulders are back and she’s standing up straight and she comes off as calm and competent and completely relaxed? Notice how she’s not posed in a way that absolutely exploits all the different side-boob and side-ass options? That is how to draw a scantily-clad supe walking into a room.

Also, bonus points to the Gotham Central artist for having Maggie and Renee in the same haze of hotness as the men. A lesser artist (and writer, I assume, given that Brubaker is a details guy) would have had Maggie and Renee (both out lesbians) look away or scoff. But no. Starfire is hot and Maggie and Renee are into women they find hot. It’s great.

4

There is no comic I recommend more often or more emphatically than Brubaker, Rucka and Lark's Gotham Central. It is easily one of the best superhero comics of the last twenty years–probably one of the best superhero comics ever. It is thrillingly written, gorgeously drawn, and emotionally resonant–and on top of this? Its treatment of gender, race, and sexuality isn’t just nuanced, but central to the storyline.

The first thing you need to know is that it isn’t really a superhero story. Gotham Central is about the Gotham City Police Department in general, the Major Crimes Unit in particular–caped characters pop up here and there, but the series is mostly about mopping up after them. It’s an ensemble story, and every single character is memorable, but the true protagonist and beating heart of the story is Renee Montoya. Half a Life, the comic’s second arc, deals with her outing as a lesbian to the GCPD–and if her story had stopped there, it would have been fantastic. Half a Life deals with professional discrimination, family tension, and the reality of being a lesbian woman of color–in a memorable scene, Renee confronts Maggie Sawyer, her white lesbian boss, for assuming their experiences are identical. But her story doesn't stop there. Renee’s arc goes on to deal with killing in the line of duty, confronting police corruption, the loss of friends on the force, and her own predilection for violence. It’s an incredible lesson in how to lead a female character down a dark path the right way–it’s never exploitative, it’s never gross, it’s never because of her gender or sexuality. It’s never cheap. Renee’s is the kind of hard-bitten, morally thorny sojourn reserved almost entirely for male characters.

But even apart from Renee, Gotham Central is tremendous. Soft Targets, the focus of the second volume, is one of my favorite Joker arcs ever, and I have serious Joker fatigue. Nature, a single issue story, gives Poison Ivy a personality beyond Sexy Plant Lady. Gotham Central even made me briefly care about the shitshow that was Infinite Crisis. I don’t even really like police procedurals! It’s just that goddamn good.

(So you want to get into comics?)

Headcanon

Since Cory is always the touchy one in interviews (and not just with Robin, with EVERYONE), I just love the thought that Ed is the touchy one in the relationship. Like, sorry-you’re-out-in-public-Mister-Mayor-but-I-have-to-be-PDA-af touchy. Standing together somewhere? Ed just has to caress Oswald’s fingers. Sitting together somewhere? Just has to wrap his legs around Oswald’s. Imagine Oswald trying to have a legit meeting with his staff/his underlings and Ed just feels the need to cuddle him unnecessarily and Os is just like “OH MY GOD ED STOP” but everyone already knew this was happening anyway, so now Os has to conduct meetings while Ed hangs on his shoulders like a backpack. The windows in the limo can never ever be rolled down because the minute they get in there, Ed is just cheek-to-cheek with Oswald, who blushes and goes “Ed, stop, what will the press think?!?!” but every tabloid loves it and calls Ed the First Man of Gotham and runs articles speculating about what hair gel he uses and Ed and Os’s relationship accidentally consumes everyone’s life and can you tell I put a ton of thought into this?

2

“Harvey, you killed a man.
You and I both know that, even if no one else does.”

“You were about to do the exact same thing, as I recall.”

“Yes, I wanted that son of a bitch to pay for what he did to Gordon.
You’re right.. but I wasn’t planning to get away with it.
What you did, that was calculated, Harvey.
And to know that you think you did it even a little bit to save me..
How am I supposed to live with that?
How is Jim Gordon supposed to live with that?
We were your friends.”

“I don’t deserve this $#*&.
I gave up everything that mattered for you and the commish.”

“That’s the saddest part. Isn’t it? You gave it up.
And for what?”

- Gotham Central Vol 1 #21(2004)

Imagine Ed and Oswald "arguing" over who has been in love with the other longer.

Like one day over breakfast Ed very casually says “I’m pretty sure I loved you first” and Oswald is just like “???? Are you kidding me?! I sent you a sweater and biscuits while you were in Arkham! I obviously loved you first!”. Ed just responds “Au contraire, I played you the song your mother sang you when you were a child and let you stay in my apartment. Loved you longer, ha!”. This continues to escalate until eventually, to hear Ed tell it, he loved Oswald from them moment they first clapped eyes on each other at the GCPD. Oswald pretends to be exasperated by this argument - because, come on, he obviously loved Ed longer - but secretly loves it. Both Ed and Oswald love the idea that anyone has loved them for that long.

Dee: Renee? How’d it go?

Renee: Pretty much exactly the way I thought it would.

My mother told me I was going to burn in Hell, and that her daughter was dead to her now…so I guess we were wrong about that part, huh?

My father wouldn’t say anything.

Dee: Renee…

Renee: They told me not to come back, Dee. They told me not to ever come back. …Oh, God…

Dee: It’s okay, Renee…it’s okay, I’ve got you…

Renee: Oh God…

Dee: …I’ve got you…