Gotham Central: Nature (#32) – Greg Rucka

5 out of 5

Out of the Michael Lark-like artists around which Gotham Central circulated, I wouldn’t have thought of Steve Lieber, but he ends up being a perfect match.  Going back to Rucka’s Whiteout days, Lieber has a grounded style that works great with the series’ human, streeted cast, with enough flexibility in his line to go comic book when scenes demand some of that sweet, sweet lack of reality.  And ‘Nature,’ a between arc one shot, requires just that.

While I think it’s odd for the book to have somewhat spoiled where it’s going with its cover, it’s also a nice way to build tension: the crooked cops trying to cover up their killing of a witness to their crookedness starts very far away from Gotham’s spandex crew, so you pretty much forget the tease until it comes back around, making it a compellingly punchy conclusion.  Greg tangentially ties us to our regulars – Crispus and Montoya are investigating the death; Corrigan is paid off to dispose of some evidence – but the issue lives and breathes with the MCU-hating regular joes on the fringes of the GCPD, and especially two despicable sorts who are “just trying to make a living” by being despicable.

Another issue that does it all, and fully represents the greatness of this title’s blending of the regular and the fantastic.