To most comic readers, “Gotham City” is synonymous with crime, dark alleys, and almost getting destroyed every other month. After all, what would be the point of Batman’s war on crime if there were no criminals to strike fear into the hearts of? However, Gotham wasn’t always like that. On October 4, writer Tom King and artist Phil Hester will be teaming for Gotham City: Year One to explore what made it the cesspool of violence and corruption it is today.
Taking place two generations before Batman, this six-issue story will follow private investigator Slam Bradley as he investigates the kidnapping of infant Helen Wayne. It promises to be a brutal, hard-boiled, epic tale of a man living on the edge and a city about to burn. Slam is a fitting character to explore Gotham in the days before Batman. He’s got a long history in Detective Comics, appearing in its first issue in 1937, 2 years before Batman would premier in Detective Comics #27.
Tom King had this to say about writing such a pivotal time in Gotham’s history:
Having written a ton of Batman comics, I can say it’s incredibly rare to write book like this, where you can add something large and essential to the mythos of the Dark Knight, as Scott did with Court of Owls or Grant did with the introduction of Damian or Frank did with, well, everything he touched. In Gotham City Year One, Phil and I will take you to a noir drenched past, where the secrets that made Gotham become Gotham, the sins that made Batman become Batman are finally and violently revealed.
Find out more information about the six-issue series here, and check out a preview of the first issue below.