“I preferred Free Comic Book Day before it went commercial”, I told Maribou. She rolled her eyes.
In any case, we did our own little part for Free Comic Book Day (I did, like, 4-5% of the labor) and when the time came for us to do a quick run through the comic book store and pick out stuff that we hadn’t gotten around to yet, it was the best part of the afternoon.
The books that I picked up that excited me the most were Batman-adjacent rather than Batman books proper.
“Gotham Central“, they’re called. They explore the whole idea of what it’s like to be on the police force in Gotham and how Batman shapes and impacts something as protecting and serving people who aren’t particularly likely to be rubbing elbows with supervillains.
There’s a small anecdote given in the early part of the first book that talks about one of the policemen’s experience of the board with all of the various cases on it. There was a cop who put “Batman” up on the board as well. Someone gets killed by Two-Face or Mr. Freeze or the Joker and the cops can’t close the case, he usually moved the name of the victim from under the officer who was officially signed the case to under Batman’s name.
This was not seen as a particularly good thing by anybody involved, of course. Everybody resented the heck out of it.
So this is almost like a Hill Street Blues collection of stories that take place in Gotham. It’s not about Batman, it’s about being a cop in a city that has Batman in it. Batman doesn’t take care of all of the murders, robberies, kidnappings… the cops rarely have a slow day of their own. These are collected stories about those days.
If you enjoy police procedurals, you should give this title a look.
So… what are you reading and/or watching?