Batman: Gotham Knights – Gilded City #5 review

We’re back with a blast from the past (a few, actually) in this week’s issue of Gilded City! This whole mini has been better than it had any right to be, especially for a video game tie-in comic, and I honestly would love to see this Narcisse/Abel/John/Wands team on a future bat-project, unhindered by any obligations to larger projects or outside sources.

But enough of my musings, let’s dig in!

It’s unbelievable how much better this Robin suit looks in the comics I love it so much

My love for Tim Drake and his assorted costumes aside, however, this issue is a very interesting installment, as we follow Red Hood and Robin’s attempts to dive deeper into the history of Cyclical Concern and the mysterious journal, as well as the Golden Iris virus that’s been plaguing Gotham. I’m a big fan of the way Narcisse (and the game, at that!) portrays detective work as such an integral part of the Bat-fam’s heroics. Watching the World’s Greatest Detective and his proteges actually, well, detect is always really cool. I’d honestly like to see more of it here. A lot of the work is told, not shown, with characters narrating how they figured things out, or cuts to after the deductions. There is a Robin page that is pretty much perfect, though!

Tim actually getting time to shine!

It’s a small thing, but I really appreciate when writers do stuff like this.

On Jason’s end of things, the book gets a little iffy. There’s a lot of exposition that anyone reading this comic, be they coming from the game or other comics, don’t really need this much backstory on Jason Todd. They know who he is.

Side note: all the flashback designs are so good! I’m pretty sure they’re all available in-game as well, which is really cool!

Not only this, but Jason gets two pages of flashback conversation with Nightwing, all of which just establishes again that he and Bruce don’t like each other that much. It feels redundant, and a little like padding for time, which is a shame, because the dynamic between Jason and Dick is really fun!

Runaway Times

But of course, this comic isn’t complete without a little flashback to the 1800s! The identity of the Runaway has been revealed, and it’s exactly who we thought it was! I actually really love this character, and I’d love to see more of them in the future!

God this character is so COOL

Vandal Savage makes his return as well, and I just gotta say: I love this guy. He’s such a cool villain, especially when he’s used like this, and I wish more stories gave him this kind of treatment. Dude’s an immortal warrior, let him be cool and mysterious!

Abel and John have absolutely knocked it out of the park for another issue as well. I waited to talk about it until this part because I wanted to gush a little about the way 1847 Gotham is drawn. I absolutely ADORE this aesthetic. You have the bustling town centers and large brick buildings of a major urban area, but the orange hue helps create that lamplit atmosphere in a way that also mimics a sunset on some sort of “golden age” (though for who is debatable) of Gotham. There’s a weird sense of ending, like things are coming to a close, that persists throughout the entirety of the 1800s flashback story, and it creates an absolutely immaculate vibe for the book. I can’t get enough of it.

Recommended if…

  • You know the drill here
  • It’s a good series if you like the game!
  • Game coooooodeeeeeee


This has been a really solid mini. This issue stumbled a little bit with some awkward exposition, but there were enough intriguing reveals that I’m hooked for the finale!

Score: 6.5/10

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