Today I had the good fortune of reading the collection of Bat-family titles known collectively as "Officer Down".  I think this era of Batman is just about as good as it can get.  The writing team was as good or better as the days when Doug Moench was at the helm and these writers all worked really well to tell a story in tandem with a  cohesive feel to it.  Led by Greg Rucka who wrote the first and last part of the book, the other writers were all top notch.  Chuck Dixon, Ed Brubaker, Devin Grayson and Nunzio DeFilippis all filled out the rest of the story with skill, though some of the art (particularly in Brubakers issue) was sub-par, the story was engaging enough to have a couple of misty-eyed moments.

Chronologically, this takes place after No Man's Land and before Bruce Wayne: Murderer? and it shows how well this writing group was at working with each other.  My only complaint is that this story didn't go on for longer since it was so well told, but they got to cut loose with the massive Murderer and Fugitive story arcs soon after.

The Gotham City PD figure prominently in this book in a way that no one seems to have been doing lately and  it's actually sad to see.  I miss these days in the Bat universe.  Crispis Allen, Renee Montoya, Hardback Bock, Akins and Harvey Bullock all figure prominently in the story and create a unique police room chemistry that is so deftly written that it makes all of those really bad cop shows on TV look like they were written by a preschooler.  And with the quality of those shows, we all know they probably were.

Reading this, I can see how a police force drama with the Gotham PD and their rivalry with the Bat would make it the greatest scripted drama on television.

Having said that, I really don't like the way they wrote Catwoman.  And it's nothing personal, they wrote her as best they could for the era in which they did, but this iteration of Catwoman as a vicious and psychopathic thief never did anything for me.  It wasn't until Ed Brubaker updated her and turned her into the protector of the East End that I was ever interested in her.  (Also Darwyn Cookes 250,000% incredible "Selina's Big Score").

Long story short, this is one worth reading.

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Tags: Comics , Reviews