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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent collection of interlinked adventures, 8 Jun 2013
By 
Gareth Simon (London, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Batman: The Streets of Gotham - Leviathan (Vol. 2) (Batman Streets of Gotham) (Paperback)
This volume reprints Batman: Streets of Gotham issues #5-11. The stories are -
Leviathan 1 & 2
In the Bleak Midwinter
Hardcore Knights 1 & 2
The Heroes
Final Cut

While these can be read as stand alone stories, there are links and continuity.
Leviathan starts with a new priest coming to St. Aloysius' church, `several years ago', where the outgoing priest gives him the salutary warning - "This is Gotham. It's not a city... it's a leviathan. Your faith won't be tested here. Here, the Beast himself will come out and rip it from you. It's not enough to have faith... you have to fight to keep it in Gotham." We then go straight in to a fight between the Huntress and Man-Bat. Helena is tired of sending killers to prison only for them to walk right back out and start again, and is determined to finish-off Man-Bat this time. The fight is interspersed with scenes from the priest's career in Gotham, as he experiences the worst that the city can offer. Eventually the Huntress and Man-Bat crash through his church's roof and land in front of him, at which point God tells him to kill them both... The second half reveals that the Black mask has given one of his henchmen an invisibility suit, and he's been wandering around killing people. Man-Bat can `see' him with his sonar, but Huntress thinks he's been randomly attack in people, and the voice of God is in fat the man in the suit... The acoustics in the church means that Man-Bat can't track him properly, and Batman crashes in just in time to knock him out of the fight. Then its Batman and Huntress against an invisible man and a priest with a gun...

`In the Bleak Midwinter' is a more of a character piece, involving Humpty Dumpty, Abuse, and a lot of dead children, leading us to discover what Mr. Szazs had been up to in the previous volume - Hush Money. It will also lead us in to the final story in this volume.

Hardcore Knights is a two-part murder mystery as Dick goes undercover in some of Gotham's more specialist night spots to find a serial killer. I thought the answer was pretty obvious, but then I'm out here, not in there.

The finale is a two-parter, as `The Heroes' fills us in on the life-story of Abuse, as he and Damian fall into the clutches of Szazs's murderous scheme - a club where children fight to the death for the entertainment of customers - and get in each other's way as they try to protect their identities while taking down Szazs and stopping the other from getting hurt. In `Final Cut' the two boys team up to destroy Szazs's operation.
Batman: "Did you kill him?"
Damian: "Do we look like homicidal maniacs?"
It's actually a much funnier exchange on the page.

These are excellent stories, both separately and as a linked series, with a beginning, middle and end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stories from the streets, 15 Feb 2012
By 
Noel - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Batman: The Streets of Gotham - Leviathan (Vol. 2) (Batman Streets of Gotham) (Paperback)
With Bruce Wayne lost to the world, Dick Grayson dons the cowl of Batman with Damian at his side as Robin and a host of allies, to keep peace on the streets of Gotham. But with Batman temporarily gone, chaos has erupted and Gotham is in as much peril now as it ever was. Cue Man Bat, Black Mask, a series of abducted children, the psychotic Zsasz, a jealous and murderous boyfriend of a call girl, and an unlikely new superhero called Abuse.

The "Streets of Gotham" series is a collection of short stories by a variety of writers showcasing the mini-disasters that happened when Batman left Gotham. And surprisingly, there are no duds in the stories here, they're all brilliant.

Chris Yost writes the title story, Leviathan, and does a fantastic job of turning expectations on their head. Huntress is after Man Bat who seems to have gone crazy - but has he?

Mike Benson writes "Hardcore Nights" where a seedy sex club has been building up a body count - Batman puts aside the cowl and decides to solve this mystery as Dick Grayson.

Paul Dini writes the other three stories starting with "In the Bleak Midwinter" and tells the sad tale of street children disappearing and an underground death club run by one Victor Zsasz. 12 year olds Damian and an orphan called Colin (with quite the secret) wind up in this club and must fight their way out.

What I like about these stories are that they're obviously Batman-themed but the Dark Knight plays a minimal role in all of them. Huntress and a priest are the heroes of the first story, Dick Grayson plays a bigger role than the Batman in his story, and Paul Dini's stories have Batman show up in the final couple of pages when the story is over - Damian and Colin are the heroes. And it's a credit to the writers that despite this lack of Batman that they're still gripping reads.

This book is a fantastic look at the heroes of Gotham who won't get entire books written about them but get a moment in the spotlight here nonetheless. "Leviathan" is a fine addition to the overarching Batman storyline and a must read for Batfans everywhere.
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