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Burning bridges to the past
on 1 May 2014
Someone in Gotham is blowing up the bridges of the city and enacting some strange vengeance against the descendants of the families who built Gotham - the Elliotts, the Kanes, the Cobblepots, and the Waynes. But who, and why?
The adventure collects the three Robins - Dick Grayson as Batman, Tim Drake as Red Robin, and Damian Wayne as Robin - along with the Cassandra Cain, the Batgirl currently stationed by Bruce Wayne in Hong Kong, to stop this terrorist before more of Gotham's historic buildings are destroyed.
The story jumps from the 19th century when Gotham was being built to the present day to explain the actions and it was great to see a young Gotham and see how the city came into its gothic look. The new villain in this book, "the Architect", has a steampunk look, something a lot of comics are doing these days, and looks very cool. I'm enjoying these stories of the young heroes of Gotham more and more and think that Bruce Wayne can safely retire with these guys taking care of things. That said, the book shows the difference between Wayne's Batman and Grayson's in the lack of knowledge Grayson currently has about the city he's supposed to be protecting. Its touches like that that makes for a more engrossing read.
Also included is a story about the Night Runner of Paris and how he comes across Bruce Wayne/Batman and is recruited into Batman Inc., to become the Batman of Paris. The story contained political elements that I thought DC could've avoided as they showed a contemporary France with its racial and cultural issues in full view, but they included it and I thought that was a very ballsy move. The Batman of Paris is very cool too and Batman Inc is shaping up to be a tremendous concept.
One side-note though - the book lists Scott Snyder and Kyle Higgins under "story" and Higgins under "dialogue" so I don't know whether Higgins wrote the script and Snyder wrote the outline with Higgins but it seems like an odd distinction. Anyway, Snyder is quickly becoming one of the best Batman writers working today and for anyone who hasn't read "The Black Mirror" I highly recommend it.
"The Gates of Gotham" is a fine Batman story with plenty of action and mystery, as well as continuing to build the new Batman world strongly, subtly and in new inventive ways.