Originally published in DC Comics’ Post-Crisis story-arc, Batman: Broken City is written by Brian Azzarello and illustrated by Eduardo Risso. Told across six issues, it uses the classic hard-boiled detective stories to set the tone and style.
After a young girl is found dead in a Gotham City landfill, Batman takes it upon himself to track down her killer, especially when he learns that she was pregnant. After learning that the victim’s brother was a drug dealer with ties to several loose Arkham Asylum inmates, Batman begins investigating Killer Croc, The Joker, Scarface, Arnold Wesker as the Ventriloquist, and several other key players. As Batman searches for the killer, he starts to see a side of Gotham City that is truly broken.
Brian Azzarello has a unique way of telling Batman stories. In this case, he takes a deep look not just at the Dark Knight, but at Gotham City. While I did find it a tad nihilistic for my taste, it was incredibly well-written with a focus on the roots of Batman as a pulp character and a detective who can solve crimes, even the ones that are dark. Likewise, Eduardo Risso’s artwork and illustrations complement the classic hard-boiled plot to an excellent degree.
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