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One of the best Batman books ever made barely has Batman in it at all

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It’s the version of Fox’s Gotham we need, but not the one we deserve right now

The best thing about expanded, crisscrossing comic book universes is that there’s room for literally any kind of story in them — including things like Gotham Central.

Kicking off in 2002 from the pens of Ed Brubaker, Greg Rucka and Michael Lark, Gotham Central might be best described as The Wire, minus the criminals, set in Gotham City — or Law & Order, minus the lawyers, set in Gotham City. It was the vanishingly rare book about Gotham that didn’t star any superheroes at all. Instead, it was about the day and night shift of Commissioner Gordon’s hand-picked major crimes unit, surrounded by crooked cops, super villains and cosmic events.

Not a workplace comedy, or a sitcom, but a simple procedural with surprising depth, Gotham Central is the subject of this week’s episode of Issue at Hand, Polygon’s series about the strange world of comics.

For more episodes, be sure to check out our YouTube channel.