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Sesana

Sesana

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Childhood's End
Arthur C. Clarke
Siege
Brian Michael Bendis, Olivier Coipel
Scrivener's Moon - Audio
Philip Reeve
Batman: Gates of Gotham - Scott Snyder, Kyle Higgins, Trevor McCarthy Scott Snyder is (and may always be) best known for American Vampire. His take on Batman shows that background most in the historical backdrop that adds depth to an already interesting story. As a note, the credits say that Snyder provided the story and Kyle Higgins the dialog. I suspect that means that Snyder wrote the plot and Higgins did most of the sentences that you see on the page, but there's really no telling.

We all know that Gotham drives people mad. It's almost comforting to know that it always has. Case in point, the Gates brothers, whose steampunk flavored architecture brought them into close quarters with the first families of Gotham. Familiar names, more than a century later: Wayne, Cobblepot, Elliott, Kane. One of their descendents sets out to avange his family, by causing massive destruction with really big bombs by wearing a cool set of steampunk armor. As one does, in Gotham. The story is really far more about Gotham city itself than it is about Batman, and I really liked that. Gotham is a fascinating place.

I really liked seeing Dick Grayson as Batman, and this story is from his tenure, after Bruce returned and left Gotham to him. He's backed up by Tim Drake (still Red Robin, still not fond of the name), Damien, and Cassandra Cain, now Hong Kong's Black Bat. She was especially good to see, as she hasn't been treated very well by editorial in the past. It's a good team, and they balance each other nicely. I was surprised to see Dick struggling so much with his doubts. I get that he'll always wonder how he measures up to Bruce, but it seemed like a step backwards from previous stories.

As a bonus, there's an additional story about Nightrunner, the Muslim, Parisian member of Batman Incorporated. It's his own backstory, and it's very well done. I really did like the idea of Bruce using his billions to fund Batman-inspired heroes around the world. Gotham isn't the only place that needs him, after all. Too bad that seems to have gone with the reboot.