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Gotham City: Year One (2022-) #1

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Two generations before Batman, private investigator Slam Bradley gets tangled in the "kidnapping of the century" as the infant Wayne heir disappears in the night. There are some minor changes to the Wayne family tree, and Slam is roughly 30 in 1961 (at least I hope this is a retcon, and not meant to reveal that Selina has been sleeping with an octogenarian in the present day.

There’s a lot of explaining to do, but Phil Hester and Tom King lay it all out under a very tense scene.With the timeline of Richard Wayne’s death and Thomas’ birth, it seemed like Slam being Thomas’ father is if not implied then at least left intentionally vague. The Batcave was his hideout where he would collect trophies of his sexual conquests in a disgusting twist on Batman’s collection of mementos. Despite her calm demeanor, there is a righteous fury that exudes from her has she talks about the ways Richard treated her. Overall, Gotham City: Year One is a mostly great story that is held back by its messy connections to the titular city.

The bold lines and dark shadows are perfect for emulating that “city lights streaming in through a pair of blinds” aesthetic that one expects. King is just not Brubaker, but I it was interesting to read about Bruce Wayne's grandparents and how they amassed their fortune. Private Eye Slam Bradley is thrown into the middle of the case and will do everything in his power to rescue this baby girl. Slam makes a point of explaining how idyllic Gotham is to many people, but even then there are hints of something amiss that don’t become clear until later. But, for me they all worked, and some of the topics broached (really avoiding spoilers here) make the story very topical for 2023.The 103 third parties who use cookies on this service do so for their purposes of displaying and measuring personalized ads, generating audience insights, and developing and improving products. I'm not at all disappointed with what I got instead, but don't go in expecting anything other than a Slam Bradley tale with Batman ties. For everyone else, it's a wait-and-see to find out if King injects more originality into the premise. This takes place well after Gotham has been established, even going as far to say that Gotham is a better city than Metropolis.

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