Gordon of Gotham
by Denny O'Neil, Dick
Giordano, Klaus Janson
(DC Comics, 1998)

Those who are even remotely familiar with the Batman will have heard of Commissioner James Gordon. A tough-as-nails veteran cop, he plays a prominent role in the Batman mythos, as the caped crusader's friend and ally. And, while he's been spotlighted to some extent in the past, it may never have been done quite so well as in D.C.'s four-issue miniseries, Gordon of Gotham.

While set in Batman's world, however, this is no superhero tale; it is a gritty, entertaining cop yarn, sure to please the most demanding fan of that genre.

In the story, the reader is taken back to Gordon's days as a young officer on the Chicago Police Force. Suspecting a fellow officer of involvement in illegal activities, he begins to dig for evidence and becomes the target of said officer and his cohorts. Add to all of this an international assassin, who seems to have a penchant for saving Gordon's life and becomes "the one that got away," and you have the makings of an engrossing read, with an element of redemption for the hero.

Writer Denny O'Neil, one of the best-known Bat-scribes in comics, does a wonderful job of bringing all of the above elements together into an intelligent and involving adventure. His characterization and dialogue are involving and believable. Meanwhile, artists Dick Giordano and Klaus Janson (also veterans of the world of Batman) provide the perfect dramatic style for such a tale; realistic and forbidding, with great shadowing and plenty of impressively jawed bad guys.

Gordon of Gotham is recommended for those who enjoy good police drama and adventure.

- Rambles
written by Mark Allen
published 30 August 2003