Gotham Central Book 4: Corrigan

Let me set the scene: I finished reading this trade, and as soon as I close the book I grab my phone and text Mistah J, “Please tell me there are more issues of Gotham Central!!!”

He informs me that no, that’s the last issue.

I proceed to cycle through the 5 stages of grief in approximately thirty seconds.

Sadly, the series ends with a less-than-satisfying conclusion, if only because I really wanted to see justice served.  This collection finishes off just as strongly as it began, continuing the saga of Gotham’s M.C.U. trying to bring down the city’s big players in crime while simultaneously dealing with double-dealers in their own ranks.  Each story here felt unique, presenting a different view of Gotham’s criminal world, and those who fight valiantly to bring it down.

Poison Ivy dishes out her own brand of justice when a young girl is killed by dirty cops.  A reporter is brought down for murdering young boys who resemble Robin, all so that he can be a part of the Batman’s world.  And the most distressing story: Allen and Montoya try to find a way to bring down Corrigan, a dirty cop who has made a few too many pieces of evidence disappear.

This last story was by far the most compelling, and also the most heartbreaking.  Allen is conducting his own private investigation into Corrigan’s dealings, while Montoya continues to slip further and further into her anger.  Unfortunately, Corrigan catches wind of Allen’s, investigation, and decides he needs to put an end to the investigation in a very permanent way.

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Detective Allen is dead, and Montoya knows in her gut who pulled the trigger.

At first it seems like an easy case: they get a guy to admit to giving Corrigan the gun, and they’ve got him.  Unfortunately Corrigan’s pockets run deep, and he’s paid off all the right people.  The evidence is corrupted and he walks away.

Montoya’s not satisfied with letting him go free though, and she barges into Corrigan’s apartment, aiming her gun at him and planning to dole out a little rough justice of her own.  She can’t bring herself to do it though, and instead walks out of the apartment.  The comic closes with Montoya entering Captain Sawyer’s office, dropping off her gun and badge, and resigning from the force.

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And…that’s how the series ends.

Now, amidst my grief-stricken anger and frustration, Mistah J assured me that the characters’ stories do continue in other comics.  Still, it’s doubtful they’ll be the focus of those stories the way they were in this comic, and it’s really a shame.  This series was brilliant, subtly written to provide true depth into the understanding of how a corrupt police force could even hope to operate in a world of superheroes and supervillains.  The characters are well-developed, the writing is spot-on, and each story brings something unique and different to the table.

I had no idea what to expect from this title when I began reading it, but I’m so happy it’s a part of “the shelf”.   It’s a truly grounding force in a world of spandex-wearing crime-fighters who can fly or shoot fire out of their fingertips, and helps make those stories feel that much more real.   I’m sad that it’s over, but I can appreciate the DC world so much more for having read it.

-Jess

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