Gotham Central
Dead Robin

Authors: Greg Rucka and Ed Brubaker
Artists: Kano, Stefano Gaudiano and Steve Lieber
Titan Books
RRP: 10.99, US $17.99
ISBN-13: 978 1 84576 567 5
ISBN-10: 1 84576 567 2
Available 28 September 2007

Gang wars, death and betrayal have frayed the precarious alliance between Batman and the Gotham City Police Department. When dead bodies dressed as Robin start appearing throughout the city, tensions between the Dark Knight and the GCPD reach breaking point and shots are fired. The result is that the job of fighting crime in Gotham becomes that much harder. But both sides need each other, and the police and Batman will have to find a way to work together to find the murderer before more are killed...

Dead Robin is the latest Gotham Central collection - and what a treat for fans this is.

The men and women of the Gotham City Police Department face challenges like no other cops - including the city's Dark Knight, Batman, and his deadly rogues' gallery. When a young boy dressed as Robin is found murdered, the Dark Knight becomes the number one suspect, on a list that also includes the Teen Titans.

To be honest the opening title story Dead Robin, while entertaining, takes second place to the Corrigan II storyline. Here, detectives Renee Montoya and her partner Crispus Allen have issues with each other. They also have issues with a number of corrupt officers - all of who are on the payroll of Crime Scene Unit officer Jim Corrigan. Corrigan pays off his team to ensure that they keep some of the spoils from crime scenes - selling on drugs and crime scene memorabilia for a profit. Allen is close to busting Corrigan's antics wide open, but with so many police on Corrigan's payroll, Allen will have to work swiftly to bring him down without causing to much attention.

The relationship between Allen and Montoya is crucial in this story. Montoya is spiralling down the path of self destruction - spending her nights drinking and causing trouble in bars and her days not being a very good partner to Allen. Allen, on the other hand, is not only attempting to keep their working relationship together, but is working undercover without Montoya's realising - on a case that she can't be involved with because of past problems.

Not only is this tale well written and illustrated, but I was genuinely shocked by one of the plot twists. Something that happens less and less these days.

Whether you are a Batman fan or not, you really should own this collection. You can take or leave the Dead Robin tale, but the Corrigan II story is a must own.

Darren Rea

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