GCPD: The Blue Wall #4 review

While this comic might work for some, to me it’s been rather boring. My biggest complaint about the previous issue was that there were various themes that were fighting for the spotlight, and none of them were really being fleshed out. I’ve been hoping that perhaps the halfway point of this 6-issue series would inject much needed energy into the story, but I’m not feeling very optimistic about it. Let’s have a look.

What I dislike the most about this police drama is how little actual police work we see. Instead of an intriguing plot, we get a collection of separate scenes that don’t really mesh well together. Ridley’s attempts at character work are often very on-the-nose, or they remain surface level and there’s not a whole lot of character development. For example, rather than giving us a strong plot throughout which we see Renee being forced to adapt and become a better person, we waste a lot of panels on her getting a dog from her friends. Of course her having to take care of a dog creates the opportunity to develop her character, and of course dogs are cute, but I promise there are far more interesting ways to put Renee through a character journey than seeing her take care of a dog, or neglecting a goldfish, or drinking at a bar, or being nasty to other characters.

What happens in this issue is also very predictable (save for one scene, but I’ll get to that). For example, one of the racist cops tells Ortega that he thinks Ortega is a badass and that Ortega and his dad are invited to a party. Immediately I can tell that this is a trick, and lo and behold, when Ortega and his dad arrive, it’s another racist prank. While it does make a strong point about racism, especially in the way Ortega’s dad talks to his son, I saw it coming from a mile away.

Other than that, I’m just desperate for something big to happen in this comic, plot-wise. We find Park at a crime scene and for a moment I have hope that we’ll see some interesting detective work, or anything along those lines, but she ends up just kind of standing there, talking. We see another static meeting where Renee and the others talk statistics, and I don’t want to see this. Most of the time, characters are just not moving, not taking any actions that drive the plot forward.

Except for the cliffhanger. Something happens there that I did not see coming, and it’s something that really makes me want to see what happens next, if only because I wonder how certain characters will react to this event. It’s something that upsets the status quo pretty severely. I just wish it didn’t take the series this long to get to a point where I’m genuinely curious about the next issue. That said, we see a character doing something that does not seem to fit that particular character at all. It also reads and looks like shock value just for the sake of it. I’m not entirely confident that this plot twist is going to lead to anything good, but right now I’m just thankful that there is at least some kind of plot twist at all.

Raffaele’s art this time around is much better than last month’s issue. While the art style is still very loose, and the backgrounds are often not very refined, faces and body language is consistent to each character. The dark Gotham alleyways look pretty good; it sells the grittiness of this fictional city, but I wish that Ridley would give his artist more interesting scenes to draw than people that are just standing still or sitting on chairs. It seems like a wasted opportunity, visually speaking.

Recommended if…

  • You’re a dog person.
  • Since the start, you’ve been waiting for a plot twist.
  • Characters just sitting around talking doesn’t bother you.

Overall: Aside from the plot twist at the end, this comic does nothing for me, and even the plot twist seems kind of fabricated and uncharacteristic. I see plenty of potential in this title, but the execution is not up to par. I still can’t recommend this book. I wish I could.

Score: 4.5/10

Disclaimer: DC Comics provided Batman News with a copy of this comic for the purpose of this review.