As part of its San Diego Comic-Con announcements, DC Comics has revealed an upcoming series titled GCPD: The Blue Wall that will likely act as a spiritual successor to the beloved Batman spin-off Gotham Central.
Gotham Central, written by Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka and drawn by Michael Lark, ran monthly from December 2002 to April 2006. It was a police procedural series that took a step back from Batman himself and instead focused on how the activities of Batman and his villains impacted the public servants of Gotham City. The series utilized an ensemble cast to explore a unique viewpoint that hadn’t previously been fleshed out. Gotham Central received the Best Serialized Story Eisner Award in 2004 for its 'Half A Life' storyline, which spanned five issues and focused heavily on the aftermath of Two-Face outing Renee Montoya (the current Question) as a lesbian.
As part of San Diego Comic-Con's 'DC's Gotham' panel, DC announced the approaching release of GCPD: The Blue Wall, written by John Ridley and drawn by Stefano Raffaele. This series will also focus on Gotham’s police department and how they operate in a city full of supervillains. From the preview pages, it appears the series will take a “slice of life” approach and examine how Gotham’s police force operates both on and off the clock. Set in the Gotham of the modern day, Renee Montoya will appear in her new role as Gotham's police commissioner, replacing longtime incumbent James Gordon. Take a look at the preview pages and the cover of GCPD: The Blue Wall #1 (from Reiko Murakami) below:
GCPD: The Blue Wall is following in Gotham Central’s footsteps with its premise, but it has the potential to tackle additional complex issues. John Ridley, an Oscar-winning writer, has an impressive range: he’s written sporadically for DC Comics since 2004, and is known to many for his work on movies such as 12 Years a Slave. In modern usage, the 'blue wall of silence' refers to the concept of police officers having a code of silence when it comes to misconduct by their colleagues. This suggests Ridley may provide a timely, much-needed reexamination of the inherent corruption of the police department in Gotham City through the eyes of its officers.
Ridley has written Renee Montoya before in The Other History of the DC Universe. Montoya, Gotham’s current police commissioner who also featured prominently in Gotham Central, appears front and center on the cover of GCPD: The Blue Wall #1. A true but flawed hero, Montoya has acted as the vigilante known as the Question in the past, and it's possible she'll be seen in costume in this series. However, Gotham Central's greatest success was in showing how terrifying even the lowliest costumed villains are to normal people, and hopefully GCPD: The Blue Wall will recreate this grounded perspective.
This important story is in extremely capable hands with its incredible creative team. Any Batman and DC Comics fans that loved Gotham Central will surely wait eagerly for the release of GCPD: The Blue Wall when it hits stores October 18.
Next: Superman, Batman & Wonder Woman Replaced by DC's Epic New Trinity