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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 and so begins a brutal, hard-boiled, epic tale of a man living on the edge and a city about to burn. I had been looking forward to reading Gotham City: Year One from the moment I realized how much merit the plot had. Regardless of who he is, Bradley finds himself dropped into the midst of a kidnapping plot that kicks off with echoes of the Lindbergh baby snatch. It's great that the author includes a warning textbox to prepare everyone for the horrendous things going on in this comic.

Questions/Spoilers - This is just speculation and it doesn't matter much either way but was Slam Bradley previously described as half black? You might argue “well none of that matters because it’s an elseworlds” (and I’m not really even certain whether that’s supposed to be true for this story) but the broader context of the existing world is still relevant. Overall, Gotham City: Year One is a mostly great story that is held back by its messy connections to the titular city. I love when a book goes sorta old school and washes the whole page in a few similar colors, like good lighting in a film. However, my fear is that King is going to try and make Batman’s persona the legacy of some criminal as a shocking twist, which I would find annoying more than anything else.

Here at its final moments, she manages to calmly control the conversation even while Slam and Richard struggle over a gun. The only big changes seem to be in motivation, but those motivations as far as I know are wholesale created for this series. It was the kind of assignment that would send plenty of reviewers scrambling to give their two cents before they could even muster up a penny. The Batcave was his hideout where he would collect trophies of his sexual conquests in a disgusting twist on Batman’s collection of mementos. When Slam Bradley is hired to deliver a letter to Richard Wayne, he gets caught in a web of kidnapping, lies, and murder!

While it takes a bit of time to really get started, the plot’s mystery becomes genuinely intriguing in the back half of the story. Featuring weekly comic release discussions, creator AMAs, a friendly and helpful userbase, and much more! I was appreciative of the new idea, but still somewhat felt a bit like it retconned the whole Batman history.Tom King gets all noir with Bruce Wayne's grandparents and one of DC's earliest private detective characters, Slam Bradley. 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.

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