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Batman: Detective Comics, Volume 5: Gothtopia

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Gotham City is and always has been a crime-free utopia, where the heroes are celebrated through the streets of one of America's best cities. Batman is a universally beloved vigilante clad in white. His sidekick is Selina Kyle, otherwise known as Catbird. Who, or what, has created the Dark Knight's alternate hometown? This twisted take on Gotham City, written by John Layman Gotham City is and always has been a crime-free utopia, where the heroes are celebrated through the streets of one of America's best cities. Batman is a universally beloved vigilante clad in white. His sidekick is Selina Kyle, otherwise known as Catbird. Who, or what, has created the Dark Knight's alternate hometown? This twisted take on Gotham City, written by John Layman (Chew) and illustrated by Jason Fabok (Batman: Eternal), includes the monumental issue Detective Comics 27 that celebrates the 75th anniversary of Batman. Collecting: Detective Comics 25-29


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Gotham City is and always has been a crime-free utopia, where the heroes are celebrated through the streets of one of America's best cities. Batman is a universally beloved vigilante clad in white. His sidekick is Selina Kyle, otherwise known as Catbird. Who, or what, has created the Dark Knight's alternate hometown? This twisted take on Gotham City, written by John Layman Gotham City is and always has been a crime-free utopia, where the heroes are celebrated through the streets of one of America's best cities. Batman is a universally beloved vigilante clad in white. His sidekick is Selina Kyle, otherwise known as Catbird. Who, or what, has created the Dark Knight's alternate hometown? This twisted take on Gotham City, written by John Layman (Chew) and illustrated by Jason Fabok (Batman: Eternal), includes the monumental issue Detective Comics 27 that celebrates the 75th anniversary of Batman. Collecting: Detective Comics 25-29

30 review for Batman: Detective Comics, Volume 5: Gothtopia

  1. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    3.5 stars Not all of the stories were stellar, but overall I liked Gothtopia. Gordon gets his turn to tell his Zero Year story, and it's one of the better issues in this thing. If you don't feel like reading the whole volume, I'd still say check that one issue out. Very nicely done! The Man-Bat story is utterly forgettable. Kurt Langstrom has gone off the rails this time around to chase down his crazy ex-wife...Bat-Queen *bangs head on desk* Moving on... The Gothopia storyline finally gave me the answ 3.5 stars Not all of the stories were stellar, but overall I liked Gothtopia. Gordon gets his turn to tell his Zero Year story, and it's one of the better issues in this thing. If you don't feel like reading the whole volume, I'd still say check that one issue out. Very nicely done! The Man-Bat story is utterly forgettable. Kurt Langstrom has gone off the rails this time around to chase down his crazy ex-wife...Bat-Queen *bangs head on desk* Moving on... The Gothopia storyline finally gave me the answers to all of the questions I had about Batgirl's alter ego Bluebell. I know I wasn't the only one curious to find out why Babs was wearing white and living in Mayberry! For that alone I was excited to read those issues. Both Batgirl & Birds of Prey had crossovers with this...mysterious event, but you never really found out what exactly was going on. Well, the bulk of the story happens here, people! And it's not just Barbara Gordon who's living an entirely different life... Scarecrow has released an alternate version of his usual Fear toxin, and now the entire city is seemingly living in a contented state of being. Everyone's dreams are a reality, at least, in their own minds. Why would Scarecrow want Gotham's citizens to think that they live in a utopia? Spoilery Reasons! But thanks to Poison Ivy (and her immunity to toxins), Batman wakes up and starts fighting back. He also manages to rack up quite a few smooches from the ladies in this one... Unfortunately, there are massive plot holes in Gothtopia's storyline. Such as, when Scarecrow uses the Fear Toxin, each person sees their own individual fear. Then they sit in a corner pissing themselves, or spend the next few hours fighting invisible monsters (or people they 'think' are monsters). How the fuck did he not only get everyone to hallucinate the same thing at the same time, but how were they all functioning in a society of nothing but dreams? How were they all seeing Batgirl as Bluebell, and Catwoman as Catbird. It makes NO sense on any level! Alright, the next few issues are all to celebrate 75 years of Batman. So there are several different stories, and each of them varies in quality. Brad Meltzer does a pretty cool re-imagining of the Joker's origins in The Case of the Chemical Syndicate. Gregg Hurwitz does an excellent job showng Batman's transformation over the years in Old School. To me, this was one of the better ones in the bunch. Better Days by Peter J. Tomasi was hands-down my favorite! There was a real joy to this story that the others just didn't have. Batman is retired, and everyone is gathered around for his 75th birthday. Of course, as soon as they blow out the candles, trouble strikes! Is Batman going to turn in early, or is he gonna sneak out and have one last hurrah? I loved that this one didn't do the Lonely Old Bruce thing. This was the perfect story to celebrate this character and all of the fans who love him. Rain is an extremely short story (4 pages) by Francesco Francavilla. I'm not even sure if I got the gist of it, but I think it shows Batman saving James Gordon Jr's life. Maybe. Mike W. Barr writes The Sacrifice. The Spectre shows up and gives Bruce the opportunity to change the outcome of what happened in Crime Alley. Bruce never lost his parents & never became the Batman. Instead, he's a happily married father. But what is a world without Batman like? Well, it's apparently gone to hell in a hand-basket. Which version of his life will Bruce choose? Last up is Scott Snyder'sTwenty-Seven Well, that was just shit. Total shit. The art was shit, the story was shit. Shit. Every 27 years there's a new 'Batman clone' that pops out of the Bat-incubator. Each one has to choose if they want to serve the city as Batman, and a few years after the new guy pops up, the old one dies off. Of course, this is how the original Bruce engineered it, because he figured that you reached your maximum efficiency at 27. *gag* Depressing, bleak, and ugly. Everything a Batman comic should be! It's a volume of hit-or-miss stuff, but there was enough good to outweigh the bad, in my opinion. Gordon's Zero Year & a few of the 75th anniversary issues are totally worth thumbing through this sucker! Get this review and more at:

  2. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    Thank god Gothtopia is over. I was especially annoyed when the villains captured Batman and DIDN'T TRY TO KILL HIM or any of the Bat Fam. Like, seriously, I understand Batman doesn't kill but the villains should've offed him and not carted him to Arkham expecting him to sit tight. I normally like Scarecrow stories but giving him villain sidekicks who should've tried to kill Batman but didn't because ... why, exactly? ... made zero sense. Issue #27 was billed as a special mega-sized anniversary is Thank god Gothtopia is over. I was especially annoyed when the villains captured Batman and DIDN'T TRY TO KILL HIM or any of the Bat Fam. Like, seriously, I understand Batman doesn't kill but the villains should've offed him and not carted him to Arkham expecting him to sit tight. I normally like Scarecrow stories but giving him villain sidekicks who should've tried to kill Batman but didn't because ... why, exactly? ... made zero sense. Issue #27 was billed as a special mega-sized anniversary issue with over 80 pages, but I'll be honest I skimmed almost the whole thing because it didn't fit into any of the main storylines at all. This was more like an anthology I pick up because it has one or two stories that tie into series I'm in the middle of and just skip the rest. Also, way to be a dick to Selina in the end, Bats.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sam Quixote

    Batman awakens to a utopian Gotham - a “Gothtopia” (which sounds like a club for Cure fans) - where crime is all but wiped out and he has a happy existence with his partner in crime and in life, Catbird, aka Selina Kyle. But can this really be the White Knight’s real life - or is it a mirage? Like a lot of the latter New 52 books, Detective Comics Volume 5 is a grab bag of issues. The opening chapter is a Zero Year tie-in where a younger Gordon deals with crooked cops and the emerging Black Mask Batman awakens to a utopian Gotham - a “Gothtopia” (which sounds like a club for Cure fans) - where crime is all but wiped out and he has a happy existence with his partner in crime and in life, Catbird, aka Selina Kyle. But can this really be the White Knight’s real life - or is it a mirage? Like a lot of the latter New 52 books, Detective Comics Volume 5 is a grab bag of issues. The opening chapter is a Zero Year tie-in where a younger Gordon deals with crooked cops and the emerging Black Mask gang while encountering Batman for the first time. Then we’re into a Manbat one-shot before beginning the three-part Gothtopia storyline. The book closes out with the bumper-sized New 52 Detective Comics #27, celebrating Batman’s 75th anniversary with this rehashed iconic numbering. Unfortunately there’s not a whole lot here that’s worth reading. The Gordon issue was enjoyable in part and I liked Jason Fabok’s art on this and the Gothtopia opening chapter. There’s a couple of nice moments in the anniversary issue too, like the Peter J. Tomasi/Ian Bertram story where a 75 year old Bruce Wayne goes out one last time as Batman, and the Mike Barr/Guillem March has a Christmas Carol flavour to it as Phantom Stranger shows Bruce what his life - and the other lives he touched - would have been like if he hadn’t become Batman. It’s also sweetly dedicated to Batman’s creator, Bill Finger, who sadly almost never gets a mention because of Bob Kane’s shady legal hustling way back when. Add it up though and that’s not a whole lot of positives. The Manbat issue was like every other Manbat story, involving Kirk’s wife and the serum, etc. The Gothtopia storyline feels played out as well - Batman’s hallucinating, who could it be? An experienced reader would go down the list, starting with Scarecrow, and who’da thunk it - it is! So even that’s your generic “Scarecrow experimenting with his toxins” storyline. The anniversary issue is the real let down though. It should’ve been so much more considering the stature of the character we’re celebrating, and DC did go all out with the creators contributing: Bryan Hitch, Brad Meltzer, Gregg Hurwitz, Neal Adams, Francesco Francavilla, Sean Murphy and Scott Snyder all throw in some pages, alongside those I mentioned earlier. And yet the stories are so very meh. Even the Hitch/Meltzer retelling of the first Batman story from the original 1939 Detective Comics #27 felt lacklustre - I actually prefer the original, as corny as it is! As much as I like John Layman for his work on the awesome Chew, his run on Detective was only so-so - though it was better than Tony Daniel’s inauspicious start with the first two volumes! Gothtopia is a very weak Batman book and Layman leaves the title with a whimper rather than a bang. Hopefully The Flash creative team of Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato, who’ve taken up the reins for Detective Comics, will do greater things with the next volume.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jesse A

    Bleh

  5. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    While Gothtopia is a decent read overall, it doesn't entirely do justice to John Layman and Jason Fabok's otherwise solid run on Detective Comics. By far the best issue is the Zero Year tie-in that focuses on Jim Gordon's early days in Gotham, as he begins to tackle the corruption that runs rampant throughout the GCPD. Layman's signature time-jumping narrative works wonders in this tale and Jason Fabok's artwork is outstanding, as always. The culmination of the long-running Man-Bat storyline suff While Gothtopia is a decent read overall, it doesn't entirely do justice to John Layman and Jason Fabok's otherwise solid run on Detective Comics. By far the best issue is the Zero Year tie-in that focuses on Jim Gordon's early days in Gotham, as he begins to tackle the corruption that runs rampant throughout the GCPD. Layman's signature time-jumping narrative works wonders in this tale and Jason Fabok's artwork is outstanding, as always. The culmination of the long-running Man-Bat storyline suffers from the generic style of new artist Aaron Lopresti. There's nothing particularly bad about his art, but given that Detective Comics is a flagship series with consistently strong visuals, it's still a notable step down. Fortunately, Fabok returns for one last issue, the introduction to the three-part Gothtopia storyline. A white-clad Batman has a happy relationship with Catbird (ugh), the respect of Mayor Cobblepot and an almost crime-free city. So why are there so many attempted suicides and why does something not feel right? The storyline is an interesting one, but it carries a few plot holes and lacks the depth of say, the Death Of The Family and Harvey Bullock storylines in the previous volumes. It certainly has it's moments and Lopresti's artwork is better in parts, but I couldn't help wishing something had been done with the Emperor Penguin/Wrath partnership that was teased at the end of Vol. 4 instead. Also included in this trade are several extra stories that were published in issue #27 along with the start of Gothtopia. This issue celebrated the 75th anniversary of Batman's debut in the original 'Tec #27 in 1939. Some of the creative teams behind these stories fare better with their tributes to the Caped Crusader than others, but most Bat-fans should at least enjoy a tale or two. Although not as consistent as their previous efforts, Layman and Fabok's third volume together is at least a decent conclusion to their run. It's just a shame that, aside from the Jim Gordon issue, Gothtopia doesn't compare to The Wrath or Emperor Penguin. A worthwhile read, but also a flawed one.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Chris Lemmerman

    John Layman's Detective Comics run has been the best the book has seen up to this point, so it's a bit disappointing to see it go out with a whimper rather than a bang. The volume opens with the Zero Year tie-in, which is good fun and a nice look at one of Commissioner Gordon's earliest investigations, though I'd already read this issue in the Zero Year trade. Next up is the conclusion to the Man-Bat storyline which had been bubbling along in the back-ups of the past few issues, so issue 26 is de John Layman's Detective Comics run has been the best the book has seen up to this point, so it's a bit disappointing to see it go out with a whimper rather than a bang. The volume opens with the Zero Year tie-in, which is good fun and a nice look at one of Commissioner Gordon's earliest investigations, though I'd already read this issue in the Zero Year trade. Next up is the conclusion to the Man-Bat storyline which had been bubbling along in the back-ups of the past few issues, so issue 26 is devoted to tying up that loose end in time for Gothtopia, plus the back-ups were removed from almost all DC titles at that time so it kinda had to move into the main story or be forgotten. Gothtopia itself is a good idea, but poorly executed. There's hardly any mystery around what's happened to Gotham, and the explanations for how Scarecrow is able to do what he's done are full of a lot of scientific names which don't add anything to the plot. The idea of having all of Batman's friends and foes come together for this story is a good one, but the artwork in the second two issues by the usually reliable Aaron Lopresti falls flat, especially when compared to the Jason Fabok issues earlier in the volume. Then, crammed in the back of this volume are all the extra back-up materials that were in the oversized Detective Comics #27 which range from excellent (Francesco Francavilla's 4 page story) to clever but poorly executed (the Neal Adams story which is meant to span lots of different eras but comes across as nonsensical), with a few middle ground stories that are all ultimately forgettable. As I said, it's a shame to see Layman leave this title on a low after the past two volumes of high points, but I assume by this point he had told the story he wanted to tell, and it paves the way for the excellent Buccellatto/Manapul run to begin in Volume 6.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Gavin

    Meh. The best of the bunch I've already read...the Zero Year Gordon story. Other than that, it feels like the Dark Knight series...throw villains at Bat, rinse, lather, repeat. Man Bat, a really meh 3 parter about Scarecrow and feat toxin turning everyone but Ivy...that part was OK, and Ivy got tongue action! Then the 75th Anniversary with the "new" issue 27 where it all started. Each tiny story by a different creator. The best? The one where Phantom Stranger shows Bruce his life if his parents live Meh. The best of the bunch I've already read...the Zero Year Gordon story. Other than that, it feels like the Dark Knight series...throw villains at Bat, rinse, lather, repeat. Man Bat, a really meh 3 parter about Scarecrow and feat toxin turning everyone but Ivy...that part was OK, and Ivy got tongue action! Then the 75th Anniversary with the "new" issue 27 where it all started. Each tiny story by a different creator. The best? The one where Phantom Stranger shows Bruce his life if his parents lived, and like George Bailey, he decides things were fine the way they were... John Layman did some good work, specifically with Emperor Penguin...I think that was him....but this was his last piece of DC...much better than Tony Daniel still.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lashaan Balasingam (Bookidote)

    Zero Year Gordon origin story is a massive trap. It gives you this feeling that what this volume has in store for you is going to turn out to be a classic in this New 52 Detective Comics run. The Zero Year story was definitely awesome. The way the story was told, the ideas that were confronted and the artwork to embellish the whole, it was definitely the main issue that ended up being the highlight in this volume. The chapter after that? Something to bring a final conclusion to all the Man-Bat sh Zero Year Gordon origin story is a massive trap. It gives you this feeling that what this volume has in store for you is going to turn out to be a classic in this New 52 Detective Comics run. The Zero Year story was definitely awesome. The way the story was told, the ideas that were confronted and the artwork to embellish the whole, it was definitely the main issue that ended up being the highlight in this volume. The chapter after that? Something to bring a final conclusion to all the Man-Bat shenanigans that were being sprinkled around throughout the series. That is all that was. It wasn't spectacular, and it had one of those "superhero/villain moments" where... they just self-exclaim their name. Gosh... What a bland moment. Gothtopia is the "big event" of this volume. Stretched out on three short chapters (and a teaser on another chapter), Gothtopia was disappointing. My biggest concern is the premise behind the whole storyarc. Something that affects everyone individually ended up bringing forth a synchronized and collective utopia? How on earth did that make sense. To top it off, Batman finds himself in more compromising situations where death could've been EASILY presented to him. But all these villains close their eyes on one of their biggest dreams.. to what end? Gothtopia didn't feel special at all. In fact, the "alliances" that Batman will have to make in this story is one that I've seen before with the Arkham Knight game. I don't know if it's cause the idea itself was over-used in Batman history or if they suddenly decided to inspire each other, but Gothtopia's version was a lot less interesting. Volume 5 also contains an anniversary collection of issues (#27) with some really amazing writers and artists. Some of these were atrocious. Others were tolerable. A couple were fun and managed to be a nice little homage for Batman. I definitely liked the one where the Bat-family celebrate Bruce Wayne's anniversary. I liked the Old School story with its throwback artwork. Scott Snyder's story was interesting too. Definitely unusual, but it felt like a S. Snyder story. Even the artwork had something going. It just somehow felt pleasant to the eyes. In the end, Gordon's Zero Year story was the biggest highlight, while the rest had plenty of problems stuck to them. Have to give credits to Jason Fabok's artwork too. Dude can draw. P.S. Full review to come. Yours truly, Lashaan | Blogger and Book Reviewer Official blog: http://bookidote.wordpress.com

  9. 4 out of 5

    Aron

    This was a great read. I really enjoyed the three Gothtopia stories & the Jim Gordon stories at the very front. The only thing I didn't like we're the few short stories at the very end that I thought really brought down an otherwise excellent installment of Detective Comics.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Robjr73

    I enjoyed this collection of Batman stories. Starts with a cool backstory of Jim Gordon. This leads into a fun Man-Bat vs Batman story as well as a handful of shorter Batman adventures until we get to the finale which is entitled Gothiopa, a story which showcases many of Batman’s rogue gallery of villains. Some great art in this book too. All in all a fun Batman read.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Douglas Gibson

    A fun read, but nothing major. I did enjoy the premise that Gotham was finally a happy place, until it of course turns out to be one of Scarecrow’s tricks.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Joe

    Some fun and interesting things happen in this book. ..not enough. The art is well done but..not all of the art. I liked it. I thought I was missing something without reading it but..I could have skipped it if I was worried about real plot points. I wouldn't have missed anything. The status of our hereoes stays the same.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Will Robinson Jr.

    I really enjoyed the stories here in this volume of the Detective comics series. The James Gordon zero year stories were intriguing. I think John Layman captured Jim's thoughts well. We got to see the heroic side of Jim when dares to be the good guy in such a corrupt city. He really seemed to be fighting alone and this story proves that Batman can not be everywhere all the time and that is good to know there are people like James Gordon willing to fight on against the forces of evil. The Gothopi I really enjoyed the stories here in this volume of the Detective comics series. The James Gordon zero year stories were intriguing. I think John Layman captured Jim's thoughts well. We got to see the heroic side of Jim when dares to be the good guy in such a corrupt city. He really seemed to be fighting alone and this story proves that Batman can not be everywhere all the time and that is good to know there are people like James Gordon willing to fight on against the forces of evil. The Gothopia storyline was amazing as well. I always like stories that show that to be the hero at times cost you something and Gothopia just proves that for Batman nothing is more important than the mission. Scott Snyder's issue # 27 was a great bonus to this collection as well. Please read Scott Snyder run on Batman it is worth all the buzz it is generating.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Richard Rosenthal

    Maybe 2.5 This one is all over the place. The Jim Gordon zero year story is pretty Good but I'm not sure what it has to do with anything that else in the New 52 Detective comics story line except perhaps to shift the focus off off Batman all of the time, I would support taking Batman out of thy title and making it Detective Comics again or even changing it to Gotham Detective Comics. That would be a cool shift. While I didn't like the Gothtopia arcs in Birds of Prey or Catwoman, it works here. I Maybe 2.5 This one is all over the place. The Jim Gordon zero year story is pretty Good but I'm not sure what it has to do with anything that else in the New 52 Detective comics story line except perhaps to shift the focus off off Batman all of the time, I would support taking Batman out of thy title and making it Detective Comics again or even changing it to Gotham Detective Comics. That would be a cool shift. While I didn't like the Gothtopia arcs in Birds of Prey or Catwoman, it works here. I think it is because you get a more complete story. The other titles tried to weave in and out of the Batman story line and can leave the reader wanting. I didn't care for the 75th anniversary stuff at the end of the collection.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ivy

    5 stars Another good Batman Detective comic. Gothtopia was very nice except not very realistic. Glad Batman was able to figure it out. Nice that he was in a relationship with Selina there.

  16. 5 out of 5

    SarahKat

    Gothtopia compiles the end of the Man-bat story from the previous trade, a run of Scarecrow, plus some history of Gordon and some alternate stories of Batman to celebrate the character's 75th anniversary. I loved Gordon's story, which is the first in the trade. It shows how he initially encountered Batman and got the idea for the bat signal. Scarecrow's plot was also really awesome. When it first started I was really confused because Catwoman was there but (view spoiler)[ partnered with Bruce and Gothtopia compiles the end of the Man-bat story from the previous trade, a run of Scarecrow, plus some history of Gordon and some alternate stories of Batman to celebrate the character's 75th anniversary. I loved Gordon's story, which is the first in the trade. It shows how he initially encountered Batman and got the idea for the bat signal. Scarecrow's plot was also really awesome. When it first started I was really confused because Catwoman was there but (view spoiler)[ partnered with Bruce and calling herself Catbird (hide spoiler)] and I thought I might have missed some major plot points in another issue or something. Turns out, (view spoiler)[ Scarecrow has just made everyone have mass hallucination that everything is totally fine, so his fear serum can have maximum effect. (hide spoiler)] Pretty sad moment between Selina and Bruce after the whole thing. Issues at the end were just a bunch of throwbacks. The diary of Batman under the super-overtold Red Hood/vat of chemicals story; campy Batman and Robin complete with dot-art; Bruce as a septuagenarian; Bruce undergoing a "It's a Wonderful Life" type world where his parents survived; and a weird clone(?) Batman history.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Leandro Raimundo

    This volume is divided in 3 parts. On the first ine we have the Zero Year tie-in, followed up by the ending of the Man Bat storyline from some previous issues. This two issues are so out of place in this TPB. If the tie in is collected in a Zero Year collection, why puting it here too? Then the Man Bat issue should be alongside the other side story issues in another TPB, so it is a whole volume to develop that story. Then, is the Gothtopia storyline, the one of the title. It is an interesting one This volume is divided in 3 parts. On the first ine we have the Zero Year tie-in, followed up by the ending of the Man Bat storyline from some previous issues. This two issues are so out of place in this TPB. If the tie in is collected in a Zero Year collection, why puting it here too? Then the Man Bat issue should be alongside the other side story issues in another TPB, so it is a whole volume to develop that story. Then, is the Gothtopia storyline, the one of the title. It is an interesting one. It's not great, but good enough. I still feel some plot holes though, and it was a little quick and short, with an easy resolution. Then it is the 75th year anniversary issue, with a bunch of different stories from different authors. It's not bad, but it still feels so out of place and context. So, yeah, Gothtopia is only on the title of this TPB. It could have been a grat TPB, if the story was larger and with a more consistent collection.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This was fun, though the narration was a bit much. The art was beautiful and classic. The stories were fun. Story 1 focused on Jim Gordon and worked as a prologue to the book. Story two was about the man bat and his wife and had some nice little misdirection. Story 3 creeped me out. I never want to see Catbird again. Same with Bluebelle and her band of bellends. The first half read like weird fan fiction and I had to put it down several times before getting to the “twist”. But part 2 of the scar This was fun, though the narration was a bit much. The art was beautiful and classic. The stories were fun. Story 1 focused on Jim Gordon and worked as a prologue to the book. Story two was about the man bat and his wife and had some nice little misdirection. Story 3 creeped me out. I never want to see Catbird again. Same with Bluebelle and her band of bellends. The first half read like weird fan fiction and I had to put it down several times before getting to the “twist”. But part 2 of the scarecrow teamup was interesting (Harley Quinn, Mr. Freeze, Professor Freeze, Killer Croc and Merry Maker). Batman and Poison Ivy have to come up with an antidote to save the world from Scarecrow of all people. His team did nothing that regular henchmen couldn’t do, but maybe they were there to look intimidating. The bookend is a bunch of small boring vignettes. But when it worked, it worked. Once each of the stories got going I was fully invested.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Bruce

    Decent 5th volume in the series. Art is excellent. Overall story starts off well, gritty, film-noir style with Commish Gordon, then progresses through to reveal the Scarecrow up to his usual tricks. Final resolution isn't anything terribly exciting though. I enjoyed the addition of Poison Ivy. Best part (surprisingly) of this volume is the little stories at the end; Batman turns 75, A Christmas Carol style look (courtesy of The Phantom Stranger) at what would have happened to Gotham had Bruce's Decent 5th volume in the series. Art is excellent. Overall story starts off well, gritty, film-noir style with Commish Gordon, then progresses through to reveal the Scarecrow up to his usual tricks. Final resolution isn't anything terribly exciting though. I enjoyed the addition of Poison Ivy. Best part (surprisingly) of this volume is the little stories at the end; Batman turns 75, A Christmas Carol style look (courtesy of The Phantom Stranger) at what would have happened to Gotham had Bruce's parents not been murdered; usually just filler, these little looks were quick reads that could really make for something great if expanded...

  20. 5 out of 5

    Joseph

    Not a bad volume, but the switch in artists from Fabok to Lopresti takes this volume down a notch. The primary story involving the Scarecrow isn't very satisfying, either, and relies on a few cliches about how Arkham Asylum works. Issue #27 is used to commemorate Batman's 75th anniversary, and there are some interesting shorts by a wide variety of creators, most of which are probably not canonical. And opening the book is a story starring James Gordon during Zero Year, which has strong elements Not a bad volume, but the switch in artists from Fabok to Lopresti takes this volume down a notch. The primary story involving the Scarecrow isn't very satisfying, either, and relies on a few cliches about how Arkham Asylum works. Issue #27 is used to commemorate Batman's 75th anniversary, and there are some interesting shorts by a wide variety of creators, most of which are probably not canonical. And opening the book is a story starring James Gordon during Zero Year, which has strong elements of the Gotham TV show. Still worth a read for Batman fans, just don't expect anything too superlative.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    I don’t know if Gothtopia is considered a whole event or what, but I know that I was already familiar with some of this from the Batgirl volume/tie-in. If I didn’t know what was going on I probably still could have given this a 3/5 or 4/5. I actually wasn’t as impressed with the special issues at the back that hopped to potential futures.... they were odd.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Michael J.

    This reprints Issues #25-29 of DETECTIVE COMICS, including the classic 75th anniversary tribute issue and the three-part Gothtopia story where Scarecrow develops a new toxin that causes all of Gotham to think everything is perfect. I enjoyed it. John Layman knows how to write a good Batman story.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nicolas

    Such a disjointed collection. I mostly liked it though.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Nia Nymue

    One of the few graphic novels I reread parts of. Interesting!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Charles Mitchell

    Includes some modern classic landmark issues. The highlight for me is the 75th anniversary issue which features several vignettes that honor the history of the title. Must read for Bat-fans.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Earl

    The idea of having Catbird was fun as it lasted. Unfortunately, the whole Gothtopia thing seemed to be a rip-off of anything that resembles Pleasantville.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Hayden

    2.5 stars. Not terrible, but a mixed bag.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Maximiliano Vardé

    Arranca con un tie in de Zero Year sobre Gordon que esta bueno. El segundo número le da un cierre un tanto abrupto a la historia de Man Bat, y después vienen los tres números de la insípida Gothtopia. Lo mejor son las historias de complemento del número 27. Todas muy copadas, creo que eso le subió una estrella. No es un buen laburo de Lapham en general. El dibujo de Fabok y Lopresti cumple.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Rush

    Yup. That went as fast to Nowhere Meaningful as we all imagined it would. The soul-crushing Man-Bat saga gets yet another painfully incompetent entry; hopefully this will be the last. Apparently taking vampire bat serum turns you into a mutant Vampire Queen ... but you can also be defeated by one ounce of fixing juice and two seconds of white noise. Oh, and Batman lies, which is not exactly what you want in a hero, even if he is "dark." Mr. Layman seems a big fan of the Magic Fix-It Button, sinc Yup. That went as fast to Nowhere Meaningful as we all imagined it would. The soul-crushing Man-Bat saga gets yet another painfully incompetent entry; hopefully this will be the last. Apparently taking vampire bat serum turns you into a mutant Vampire Queen ... but you can also be defeated by one ounce of fixing juice and two seconds of white noise. Oh, and Batman lies, which is not exactly what you want in a hero, even if he is "dark." Mr. Layman seems a big fan of the Magic Fix-It Button, since most of the complications in his stories thus far are "resolved" by it. That leads in to the title storyline for this collection, the hastily-cobbled together "Gothtopia," in which time passes without anyone knowing how or when and Mr. Layman channels his inner jealousy for quality alternative universes such as Age of Apocalypse or House of M and tries to create a meaningful story without succeeding. Three issues is not enough for us to believe the alternative world or understand why characters are acting certain ways or when this all supposedly started. You know, the sorts of things readers want in a comic book story. Perhaps it could be have been more enjoyable had Batman not crushed Catwoman's spirit, but Layman's Batman is a total jerk, anyway. He lies to people he is supposedly trying to save, he allows small-time crooks to gain life-ruining, brain-destroying nightmares for ever, he crushes Catwoman's spirit and likely turns her even further toward a life of crime. Again, not really a hero, this guy, under Layman's "direction." Supposedly the highlight of the collection is the vaunted-for-no-apparent-reason issue 27, featuring diverse stories and artists and no continuity. Even the stories purportedly designed to pay tribute to the past come off as critical, sarcastic "we are so much smarter than you were back then" stories. Two stars because at least Gordon doesn't come across as a total helpless buffoon all the time.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Victor Orozco

    Wow. Another great read. With the New 52 firing up several characters in the Bat-Family with several chances to team up in an arc such as the "Court of Owls" or "Death of the Family" is there ever something to get really bored about. Unfortunately the execution of the "Gothopia" arc isn't well executed, at least not for the rest of the characters. Batman's is the only one that properly explains what happened; that this perfect world that they all live in is because of a trap set up by the Scarecro Wow. Another great read. With the New 52 firing up several characters in the Bat-Family with several chances to team up in an arc such as the "Court of Owls" or "Death of the Family" is there ever something to get really bored about. Unfortunately the execution of the "Gothopia" arc isn't well executed, at least not for the rest of the characters. Batman's is the only one that properly explains what happened; that this perfect world that they all live in is because of a trap set up by the Scarecrow and several other Gotham inmates. In many ways its the perfect follow up to Scarecrow's debut in the New 52 Batman Dark Knight Story. While the action for the characters such as Catwoman, Batgirl, Batwoman and others is told to a degree with some interest -- The costume changes alone are pretty interesting, despite some of the silliness. But its best told from Batman's perspective. In the end he eventually finds out what is going on and snaps out of the illusion with the help of his friends. From there things end well, with the mild exception of him and Catwoman. Boy oh boy, Bruce is such a jerk. Deep down he knows he can be happy with her, he wouldn't have to stop fighting - the two could fight together hand and hand. But he says no. The rest of the stories conclude in what I can only think of as dreams or visions of a potential future where Bruce Wayne never became Batman or how he eventually grows old but still lives happy. To 75 Years More!!! Thank You Batman! A

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