DC Pride Book Club Week 3: Gotham Central (2002-) #6-10 🌈

:rainbow_flag:"The beauty of standing up for your rights is others will see you standing and stand up as well." -Columnist Cassandra Duffy

In celebration of Pride Month, I want to welcome you back to the Book Club featuring LGBT characters.

:closed_book::ledger::orange_book::green_book::blue_book:

:books:WHAT TO READ :books:

GOTHAM CENTRAL (2002-) #6-10

SPOILER discussion begins now and goes through June 22nd. Let us know what you’re thinking of the comic as you read.

:star2:TOPICS FOR DISCUSSION:

  1. How do you like Gotham City when seen through the eyes of other characters and not Batman?

  2. What is your level of familiarity with Renee Montoya/The Gotham City Police Department (GCPD)?

  3. What do you think about Renee’s emotional ride throughout these issues?

  4. What parts of the story stood out to you?

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the overall story, characters, art, etc.

Hope you enjoy Gotham Central: Half a Life Winner of the 2004 Eisner Award for Best Story

Special thanks to @Yazme for helping me with this week’s selection. Thanks to @Jay_Kay for having piqued my interest in Renee Montoya.

Happy Pride Month :blue_heart:

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Glad to be a good influencer. :smiley:

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Insta models, YouTubers, etc. beware. There’s a new influencer in town :slight_smile:

I’m really excited to read this.

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Neat. It’s been years since I’ve read this, should be a fun re-read.

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I love Gotham Central! I’m on it like a bonnet

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I’ve heard nothing but great things about Gotham Central. Your enthusiasm has got me hyped @Vroom @biff_pow. BTW, biff_pow, that image of Ambush Bug is hilarious.

Glad I’m getting an excuse to make time to re-read this series! Amazing book. So underrated.

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Glad to have you on board @Batwing52 :grinning:

Just finished #6 (because I started reading from #1-5). Poor Renee. That’s pretty messed up they did that at her work.

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Yeah, I’m pretty sure there is a worse way to be outed like that at work, but I’m having a hard time thinking of a worse one.

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If there are worse ways, they are few. It’s pretty crazy that Renee still doesn’t feel all too safe despite the head of Major Crimes Unit being Maggie Sawyer. That’s how unwelcoming some people can be. :sob:

On a lighter note, Major Crimes Unit being referred to by their acronym of M.C.U. makes certain lines of dialogue pretty funny :joy:

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Gotham Central! This series is one of my all time favorite comics. I just reread it a little while back so I probably won’t be following along with the book club, but still, I have to gush over it. For me, this is exactly they type of world building I love. Seeing Gotham City, and the fantastic, twisted battles between caped crusaders and villains through the eyes of regular people trying to do good and just live as they are is fascinating, powerful, and tragic. In the end, not only are they fighting against true evil, Renee is still dealing with regular issues that plague us in the real world as well, such as homophobia and police corruption.

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@chaotickairos No worries! I love reading about your overall thoughts on the series. If you want to follow along with the comments as more us read on and anything reminds you of something you want to talk about, feel free to join in. We can always use more opinions and thoughts to stimulate conversation.

I’m 8 issues in and the world building is insane. I’ve loved every single issue so far. My favorite part has been seeing Gotham through a lens we normally don’t get the opportunity to experience. I appreciate that we see the good and bad of the human aspect in Gotham.

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@nu52 It’s truly an incredible book! It just weaves together so many different characters and viewpoints. I’d love to see this kind of story again, either in a rebirth Gotham PD book (hmm, Nightwing is a cop sometimes, could be a place to take him at some point) or with other heroes. Like, a Daily Planet book, or something like that.

There really isn’t a bad arc in this series, but outside of “Half a life”, “Soft Targets” and “Dead Robin” are some top tier ones.

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@chaotickairos The setup for this book could work excellently for a Daily Planet setting. DC has some interesting characters that are journalists, reporters, correspondents, photojournalists, etc. They could really do something with that. I like that idea, especially since it could be very topical. How would they handle people buying less print media? How would they deal with the public not believing everything the media says or maybe a rivalry with a different paper or even within departments (the same way the GCPD has people competing between the M.C.U. and the other cops).

I’ll be looking forward to those other arcs. The title for “Dead Robin” already has me intrigued.

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I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on all of them!

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  1. I absolutely love seeing Gotham through the eyes of the GCPD. I like how they interact with each other, the villains, the community in general. I like how they work with Batman and how they work around him. When Crispus Allen and MacDonald were following Batman and Bats was going just slow enough for them to keep up, that was brilliant. Gotham in this series feels much more real than when it’s seen through Batman’s perspective. Even the villains that normally feel other worldly seemed much more tangible. Being able to view Gotham in this light is actually one of my favorite aspects of this book.

  2. I didn’t know much about Renee Montoya and any level of knowledge of the GCPD came from Gotham the TV show, the animated series, or Gordon-centric stories. I learned about the M.C.U. in Gotham for the first time through this book. I didn’t know Maggie Sawyer was in the GCPD at some point. Marcus Driver (from issues 1-5) actually became a character I highly enjoyed. I didn’t know much about Renee, but I feel like this story allowed you to get to know her and know what her personal struggles were fairly easily. Right off the bat I had a sense of who she was and the place in her life that she was at. I could relate to her on multiple levels and feel for her when things were going downhill. I appreciate that we get to see her relationships with her family, her colleagues, criminals and Daria.

  3. Renee went through a ton in the span of five issues. It was really sad to see her go through a lot of it. The dinner at her parent’s was all too real. I could feel the tension in that scene. Renee having to skirt around being a lesbian whenever her parents brought up her love life and children was something a lot of LGBT people can relate to. What made it harder for Renee was how religious her parents are. Her brother knowing for years and still not accepting her hurt. Then she got outed in her place of work. Being outed is $!%%#, but add your coworkers not accepting you and harassing you on top of that? Horrible. You also have to factor in that Renee is a cop and criminals are out to get her. One of them being Lipari. That dude was garbage. Gotham’s got to do something about keeping the villains locked up. Their prisons have a revolving door it seems like. What I didn’t expect was the Two-Face part. I saw him on one of the covers, I expected him to show up. I just didn’t expect him to be behind it and to be in love with Renee. That came out of the blue for me. I never knew about that, never heard anyone ever mention it. Well, I guess Harvey was in love with Renee, not Two-Face. Montoya’s a lesbian Harvey, she’s never going to like you. Out of all of Montoya’s interactions with other characters that were showcased in this arc, the one with Harvey felt the most out of place. I didn’t really get how they knew each other or why she would visit him in Arkham. That was glossed over as if we were supposed to be aware of their previous interactions. I wish we would have gotten more of Two-Face earlier or known about him being behind it all sooner. What also bothered me was the one I.A.U. cop that was working for Two-Face going out of his way to shame Montoya by making her walk through all of her coworkers in handcuffs. He knew she was being setup and if he really was just doing because his son was threatened, why wouldn’t he try to at least let his fellow cop have some dignity in that moment?

  4. What stood out to me was just how real this series can get. The situations Renee was in were relatable and uncomfortable because of just how authentic they came across. Even though this is a comic and it involves superheroes and super villains and things work out in the end, not everything does work out. Sure, Renee is no longer accused of murder and she still has her job, but her parents have rejected her. All of the interactions that Renee had with her brother felt honest. The way certain coworkers were treating Renee after her outing didn’t feel unrealistic, sadly. Nothing was over the top, it was just raw. Renee and Daria felt as if they shared a genuine connection. I bought everyone of their scenes. It was sweet. They cared for each other. The scene at the end with Daria and Renee in the car was heart breaking because Renee’s parents had disowned her, but it was also heart warming because Renee was not alone and she still had someone that loved her and was there for her in such a hard time. I also just adored Montoya’s partnership with Allen. Crispus instantly believed Renee just off of her word and didn’t second guess it. He then started to look into the Two-Face angle and made sure to let everyone know he had Renee’s back. That was awesome. It’s also pretty cool of Bruce to have set Renee up with a good lawyer and to have been on the case like that. Batman has to protect the good one, which is why he made sure Renee didn’t get ahold of that gun.

The art in this book is some of my favorite. The art alone added greatly to the emotion and atmosphere of this book. The scenes with the rain were some of the best panels. I highly enjoy the simpler art style that manages to convey the feelings each character is experiencing all the while the story still manages to come through. The art reminded me of Long Halloween, Dark Victory, and When in Rome. The use of shadows was another plus for me. It was gorgeous.

Overall, I’m going to keep reading this book. I’m looking forward to what else is in store for these characters.

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I’ll be starting this series from #1 soon! Loving all this discussion!

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You’re in for a treat, Mae. It’s honestly my favorite book we’ve read for Pride. It’s a little heavy, but it’s extremely well done.

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