The Literary Horizon: Young Justice: A League of Their Own, Gotham Central: In the Line of Duty

Today’s pairing, I think, is a pretty good representation of the spectrum DC runs as a comic book company on a good day—from the light, optimistic, and fluffy to the gritty, realistic, and earnest. There’s a reason I prefer DC to Marvel.

Young Justice: A League of Their Own by Peter David and D. Curtis Johnson

Meet Robin, Superboy and Impulse! Setting up shop in their cave headquarters (the original meeting place of the JLA), the newly formed team’s first case involves a strange vehicle of unknown origin. As is typical of our youthful heroes, they spend hours carefully studying its design to determine its function and contact older, more established authorities to…well, actually they don’t do any of that. They just leap in and find themselves hurtling off to parts unknown! Do these kids even have learner’s permits?

via Amazon

First of all, I will always love nineties Superboy. The fade, the Elton John glasses, the earring… it’s a beautiful thing. I’ve actually read an issue or two of Young Justice—this is the only collection, but, hopefully, with the popularity of the current television show, that’ll change—and I’ve enjoyed it; optimistic, snarky, and just joyful in its teenage insanity.

Saranga at New readers…start here! praises its sense of humor and witty banter, as well as the fun of it—but warns that if you don’t care for young adult material, you won’t care about teenage superheroes. Win Wiacek at Now Read This! found it to be great fun without skimping on dramatic material—but not too much of it. After all, they’re kids.

Young Justice: A League of Their Own was published on September 1, 2000.

Gotham Central: In the Line of Duty by Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka

The first ten issues of the Eisner and Harvey Award-winning series is collected in hardcover for the first time! Written by Ed Brubaker (Captain America) and Greg Rucka (Detective Comics, 52), this series pitted the detectives of Gotham City’s Special Crimes Unit against the city’s greatest villains – in the shadow of Batman himself.

This volume collects two cases of the Gotham Special Crimes Unit. In the first, a cop is killed by Mister Freeze, and the squad is in a race against time to bring him in without the help of the Dark Knight. In the second story–the acclaimed, award-winning “Half a Life”–Detective Renee Montoya is outed as a lesbian and finds her work environment and personal life turned upside down. Things only become more complicated when she’s kidnapped by Two-Face. This debut volume features an introduction by acclaimed mystery author Lawrence Block.

via Amazon

I have heard only good things about Gotham Central. By focusing on the regular men and women who serve in Gotham City instead of Batman, it gives the reader an interesting look into a universe were superheroes (and crazed vigilantes) are something you have to deal with and work around, as well as an interesting take on Bats.

Graeme at Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review thought it was absolutely fantastic—his only criticism was that sometimes the plot can be a bit too pat. Scott Cederlund writing for Collected Editions also found it stunningly good.

Gotham Central: In the Line of Duty was published on September 16, 2008.

One thought on “The Literary Horizon: Young Justice: A League of Their Own, Gotham Central: In the Line of Duty

  1. I have several friends who speak highly of Young Justice. I think more people would be impressed by it if it hadn’t been immediately followed by Geoff Johns’ Teen Titans.

    Gotham Central is a greater accomplishment, if only because it has Brubaker and Rucka at their collaborative best. Both of them know how to pull out the depth of their characters, especially when it comes to showing the internal struggles those characters go through. Gotham Central was so significant while it was running, it gave massive prominence to Detectives Crispus Allen and Renee Montoya. Both have gone through such amazing character arcs that Paul Dini once said he thought of Montoya as a Greg Rucka character, even though Dini created her for Batman the Animated Series.

    Of course, I’m biased when it comes to Rucka, enough to say you should read his Queen & Country series or anything of Wonder Woman that he wrote. Geoff Johns can’t even say he’s written a solo series for each of DC’s big three characters; Rucka can.

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