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Gotham Central TP Book 03 : On The Freak Beat Paperback – 21 Oct 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics (21 Oct. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401232329
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401232320
  • Product Dimensions: 16.9 x 0.9 x 25.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 35,556 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Greg Rucka is the bestselling author of nearly a dozen novels published in the US. He has also written several short stories, countless comics, and the occasional non-fiction essay. In comics, he has had the opportunity to write stories featuring some of the world's best-known characters including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Punisher. ALPHA is the first thriller in the Jad Bell series. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife and two children.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The 'Gotham Central' series is a unique perspective on the Batman universe. The men and women of the GCPD who risk their lives on a daily basis are all too often overlooked due to the ominous shadow cast over them by Gotham's Dark Knight. This series takes the reader into a very believable and beautifully gritty reality that is the Major Crimes Unit of the GCPD. Ed Brubacker & Greg Rucka have created a wonderful series which I would strongly recommend to any 'Bat-fan'.

Volume III: 'On the Freak Beat' follows the detectives of the GCPD on their latest encounters with the 'freaks' of Gotham. I was a little disappointed that there are events discussed in this volume which are not shown at any point in the series. It made identifying with the narrative a little difficult as the reader is altogether detatched from what happened and is a driving force in the story yet can only piece together from conversations, what actually happened. A prologue or even a retrospective epilogue would have been a nice and easy way to tie up the loose ends of the 'Lights Out' story in this regard.

All in all, I felt that the stories contained within 'On the Freak Beat' were not as gripping as their predecessors, but were never the less are very well written and beautifully drawn 'Bat-fiction'. An excellent series that I will undoubtedly purchase all of, but 'On the Freak Beat' was just missing some of the flare, surprise and suspense that both 'Vol. I: In the Line of Duty' and 'Vol. II: Jokers & Madmen' delivered in spades.

Well worth a read and still a strong book but just not quite of the same caliber as its forbears.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dawn Saunders on 4 Feb. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was a Christmas present for my son at his request,sure he was pleased with it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 15 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Solid, Worthwhile Graphic Novel! 14 July 2010
By V. R. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Being relatively new to the graphic novel genre, it took me a while to get used to the style provided in the artwork of this series. Flat, boxy, and simple, it reminds me of newsprint. By the third book, I understand it is the most appropriate style for tha dark stories being told.

This third book provides three big stories and one small, one-issue vignette. The first story told, "Corrigan" focuses on Detecive Renee Montoya and her partner, Cris Allen. Chris is accused of firing his weapon unnecessarily, and the MCU is having trouble clearing him due to missing evidence. This is the start of an important story between Renee and Jim Corrigan, who she thinks is dirty. This story also reveals more about Cris and Renee's working relationship--they trust each other implicitly and are probably the closest partners in the entire MCU. 5 stars for this story.

"Lights Out," the one-issue vignette, is next. As a reaction to the "War Games" fiasco and public outcry, Commissioner Atkins orders the destruction of the Batsignal. Some MCU detectives are glad to see it go, others think it's a huge mistake. Montoya reveals that Batman is the reason she's a cop today. 5 stars for this storyline--the tension in the squad room is absolutely palpable.

"On the Freak Beat" is next, focusing on Detectives Driver and Josie Mac. Looks like a Catwoman case, but Josie Mac can't reconcile that with her gut feeling. She also struggles with whether to tell her partner that her "gut feelings" are actually more like psychic premonitions. 4 stars here.

We end the book with "Keystone Kops," another Chris and Renee story. This one takes them into the Flash's universe for a bit, having them visit Keystone City to visit a prisoner who bears way too much resemblance to Hannibal Lecter. Important themes here include Renee's increasing attraction to violence and an important mended bridge in her family life. 2 stars for this; Dr Desmond actually uses lines from "Silence of the Lambs," and it is far too hokey.

This book features no bonus material, which always disappoints me in a hardbound collection. But the stories collected here are definitely worthwhile--Rucka and Brubaker have created a dynamic and righteous squad room in possibly the darkest, most infested city in the world.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
The lives of normal people in an abnormal world 10 July 2010
By Sean Curley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This third volume in a hardcover series collecting the totality of "Gotham Central", DC's landmark series focussing on the frontline detectives of the Gotham Police Department's Major Crimes Unit, continues in the tradition established by the first two. Namely, excellence. Slightly shorter than the previous one, this volume collects issues 23 to 31 of the series. Separate, Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka are two of the best writers in comics; their rare collaborations (and they are co-writing for most of this one) are always exemplary. Some spoilers follow. One should also note, starting out, that Amazon's product description for this volume is incorrect; "Dead Robin" (issues 33-36) are not included here.

The first volume, after the introductories stories familiarizing the audience with the concept and the initial main cast, was capped with "Half a Life", Greg Rucka's Eisner-winning Renee Montoya story, which is often thought of as "Gotham Central"'s finest piece. The second volume featured less of Montoya, but did include one of my favourite stories in the series, the Joker-centric "Soft Targets". Book Three features Montoya much more heavily in the lead position (a guarantee whenever Greg Rucka is writing), including revisiting some important elements from "Half a Life". Unlike the first two volumes of the series, marquee supervillains are not in evidence (though after back-to-back encounters with the Joker and Two-Face, there wasn't much of an ante to be upped, one supposes) for the most part, and even Batman's role in plot resolution is somewhat limited.

In terms of external influences on the series, Book Three picks up after the infamous "War Games" Bat-family crossover that seriously damaged Batman's reputation both among his fellow heroes (the Birds of Prey sought alternate living accomodations) and the police, who remove the Bat-signal when the story opens. Ed Brubaker's contribution to this volume is considerably smaller than in the past, writing only one of the three stories that comprise this arc, with Greg Rucka going solo on the other two (and those two take up most of the space, though Brubaker's supplies this collection with its title). The first story, by Rucka, originates what will become a significant plot thread before the series is out, dealing with the corruption of one Jim Corrigan (no relation to the Specter), a CSU technician at the GCPD. This is a decent story, though probably the least of the three (the peripheral elements of it, mainly dealing with changing attitudes towards Batman, are the most interesting parts). Next up is Brubaker's contribution, focussing mainly on detective Josie MacDonald, who, unbeknownst to everyone else on the squad, has some level of supernatural insight that she uses to solve cases, but must keep concealed. Her dilemma is effectively illustrated, and the story also features a cameo appearance by Catwoman (whose series Ed Brubaker was also writing at this time).

The real gem of the collection, though, is the final four-issue arc written by Rucka, called "Keystone Kops" (one can see why it wasn't chosen as the volume name), which begins with an ordinary GCPD officer, Andy Kelly, being horribly maimed in the process of rescuing a child from a mad scientist's lair. The effects cause Kelly to begin to mutate, and it is deemed the work of the Flash villain Dr. Alchemy. While Montoya and Allen head to Central City, a markedly different location than Gotham (with which some interesting contrasts are drawn), to enlist Alchemy's help, Kelly continues mutating. "Gotham Central" has been at its most effective when it showcases the reactions of the ordinary people who must live in a world full of superhumans and monsters, and this one is very affecting. Alchemy is an interesting foe (albeit at times perhaps a bit too transparently being written as a stand-in for Hannibal Lecter). The conclusion is bracing, though Montoya's personal life gets a bit of welcome good news.

The first story of this volume also represents the final artistic contribution of Michael Lark, whose distinctive pencils lent the series quite a bit of its distinctive atmosphere. Lark's final story is a nice one to go out on. Following that, there are some guest pencils by Jason Alexander (presumably not George from "Seinfeld"), and the final arc is done by Stefano Gaudiano, who would actually later colour Lark's art on "Daredevil". The whole series continues to look great, though.

Highly recommended.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Gotham's Finest 26 Mar. 2011
By C.B. Derrick - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This graphic novel/comic book series could have easily been called "Gotham's Finest" as it spools out the tales of Gotham PD's investigative unit as they solve crimes more upscale that regular police work and just beneath the need to call in the big guns - Batman and Robin. It's most interesting with how the GCP wrestle with avoiding calling in Batman, as if it's akin to throwing in the towel. Rucka's characterization of the Gotham detectives is as potent as your favorite TV cop show... It's hard to imagine a police procedural existing so well in a graphic novel format, since we seem to be jaded by them on TV, but this installment of GOTHAM CENTRAL, like previous two and subsequence ones, is top notch...
Third hardcover collects issues #23-31 of this excellent police series from Rucka & Brubaker 9 Aug. 2010
By K. W. Schreiter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This hardcover collects issues #23-31 of the "Gotham Central" series that follows two separate shifts of police officers working in the Major Crimes Unit of the Gotham City Police Department. Three of the four story arcs were written by Greg Rucka. "Corrigan" (#23-24) centers on partners Renee Montoya and Cris Allen and their suspicions of a corrupt crime scene investigator. The GCPD considers removing the Bat-signal in the one shot #25 "Lights Out". This is also the final issue with original series penciler Michael Lark (though he did provide the covers up to #30).
Ed Brubaker wrote the two-part "On The Freak Beat" (#26-27) with pencils from Jason Alexander. In this arc, Catwoman is suspected of murdering a televangelist and Detective "Josie Mac" considers her unusual powers of prescience. Longtime series inker Stefan Gaudiano provides the pencils for Rucka's "Keystone Kops" story (#28-31) featuring Montoya and Allen again, this time needing help from a supervillian to save a colleague's life.
Fans of the first two hardcovers should also enjoy this third volume. Though the "Gotham Central" series features some established characters from the DC Universe, new readers only need a general awareness of Batman rather than extensive familiarity with comic book minutia. Like most books from these writers, this excellent series is recommended for those who don't normally read comics as well as established fans of crime comics, police procedurals and/or DC's Bat-Verse.
More of the same Gotham Central - which is fantastic! 25 July 2010
By Kurt Conner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This third volume of Gotham Central is not a huge departure from the previous two volumes, which is great because it means the reader gets more dependably solid street-level storytelling about regular people trying to get by in a world that has been taken over by superhero/villain insanity. Renee Montoya is a big star of this volume, as she deals with a shooting of/by a costumed villain, a few developments in her relationship with her father, and her own propensity for violence, and she is consistently presented as a rounded and believable character. Story-wise, this book doesn't deal directly with super elements much, which makes it stronger, like in the issue where different employees react to the department's destruction of the bat signal after a falling out with Batman, or where a murder looks like the work of Catwoman until the dedicated police officers use their natural gifts to look a little more closely. Yes, there are inescapable elements of fantasy, like a detective who hides a low-level super power for fear of the damage it would do to her reputation, and a storyline with a mad scientist who transmutes physical elements while he psychologically manipulates his opponents, but for the most part, this series is not about powers and costumes. It's a series you could loan to a fan of cop shows on TV or detective novels on a plane, and this volume is as accessible, as exciting, and as emotionally gripping as the volumes that precede it. I highly recommend it.
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