Overview

Batman: Gates of Gotham #4

Review

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Batman: Gates of Gotham #4

Credits

  • Words: Kyle Higgins, Scott Snyder, and Ryan Parrot
  • Art: Dustin Nguyen and Derec Donovan
  • Colors: Guy Major
  • Story Title: The Gotham City Massacre
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Aug 4, 2011

Gates of Gotham #4 continues the outstanding character work of the previous issues.

While still heavily focusing on the strong character development that has made Gates of Gotham so fresh and enjoyable, issue #4 is sadly the weakest of the series.  The weakest of Gates of Gotham, however, is by no means an insult as there are still several enjoyable moments throughout the story, much of which sets up the final confrontation between the Bat-Family and the Architect. 

Kyle Higgins and Scott Snyder, along with fellow writer Ryan Parrot, spend much of this issue delving into Nicholas Gate’s mind and intentions, as he is quickly shunned by the very men who made him.  The downfall of such a genuine and hopeful man is heartbreaking, and makes his murderous direction so much more believable and understandable.  The rise of the Architect works amazingly well with Dick Grayson’s feelings of self-doubt and rejection by Gotham City.  Grayson, like the Architect, is confronted with the possibility that Gotham itself could forsake him at any time, regardless of his achievements as the Dark Knight.

While the story works well, the split art duties by Dustin Nguyen and Derec Donovan leave more to be desired.  In no specific instance is the art mediocre or boring. It just does not match well with the previous pencils by Trevor McCarthy.  Not only do the pencils not represent the previous issues, the styles of Nguyen and Donovan fail to meet or reflect each other.  Over the course of the 20 pages, for example, hairstyles, jawlines, and muscle-builds change, leading to a lack of cohesion between the character’s appearances.

Batman: Gates of Gotham #4 is still a strong issue in the series, if just shy of the quality expected from the previous releases.  Higgins, Snyder, and Parrot delivered a solid story, all of which leads up to the final confrontation between Batman and the Architect.  The creators continue to explore and expand the hidden history of Gotham City, making Gates of Gotham one of the most exciting and interesting series in recent history.

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