GCPD: THE BLUE WALL Limited Series

The top cops of Gotham City, led by Commissioner Renee Montoya, will soon become the central stars of GCPD: The Blue Wall, a Batman-related limited series written by Academy Award-winner John Ridley and illustrated by Stefano Raffaele.

DC released a preview for the first issue of the series at San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC0. The preview features a cover by Reiko Murakami showing Montoya and her officers standing proud as the silhouette of Batman looms over them. Interiors for the issue show Montoya giving a speech to Gotham City Police Department officers and reveal down-to-earth interactions between several cops on the force.

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This sounds really cool. I love to collect limited series like this with other books as companion pieces that either have similar premises or share a thematic theme.

So this and Tom King’s Gotham City: Year one are now in my headcannon in the same continuity once I buy both in paperback.

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@Samsonkillingtime

Yeah, when some say there’s too many Bat-books, I’m always like, “No, there’s not too many, and there’s plenty of room for more.” :smiling_face:

You can do a ton of stuff in Gotham City.

And yeah, the Tom King book sounds really great too.

Both of these I’m going to get as soon as they come out, I don’t want to wait six months later for them…

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Oh…
John Ridley writing Renee Montoya?!
I’m in!
(I mean, I want more Renee as the Question, but old school Detective Montoya is the perfect lead for this book!)

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@keath

I wouldn’t be totally shocked if The Question showed up…

She probably won’t get dressed up though, going by the solicits…

GCPD: THE BLUE WALL #1
Written by JOHN RIDLEY
Art by STEFANO RAFFAELE
Cover by REIKO MURAKAMI
Variant cover by FRANCESCO FRANCAVILLA
1:25 variant cover by JORGE FORNES
1:50 case file variant cover
$3.99 US | 32 pages | 1 of 6 | Variant $4.99 US (card stock)

ON SALE 10/18/22

Still relatively early in her tenure as GCPD commissioner, Renee Montoya sets out to rebuild her department and restore public faith in the historically troubled PD during some of the worst conditions it’s ever seen. But Renee can’t do it alone—in order for her plan to work, everyone from the topmost officials all the way down to the most fresh-faced new officers must contend with the harsh realities of being a symbol of law and order in a city of super-powered saviors and superhuman lawlessness. DC is proud to present GCPD: The Blue Wall by the stellar team of Academy Award-winning writer John Ridley and artist Stefano Raffaele. This six-part miniseries is a thought-provoking and riveting story of everyday people trying to do good in the midst of a flawed system. No one said protecting a city like Gotham would be easy.

…but she might.

But yeah, this is going to be cool either way.

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It’s possible – but I can’t help but notice the solicit for I Am Batman #14, also by Ridley, includes this little tidbit:

The mystery of a pair of brutal murders is solved, a hero is born, and a mantle is passed. The conclusion of the intense “She Got Next” saga will reverberate from New York all the way back to Gotham City as it sets up the next chapters for both Jace Fox and Renee Montoya.

So it’s possible that Renee might pass the mantle of The Question to somone else, the most likely one I think being Tam Fox.

Anyway, this sounds pretty interesting – definitely a different side and angle than the usual bat-books, and considering how many there are going to be come October, it’s gonna need it.

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@Jay_Kay

I was thinking Adriana Chubb maybe, but Tam is possible.

Jace’s gal pal, Hadiyah, she could be a wild card that no see’s coming…

“She Got Next” can cover a few people.

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Yeah, I’m thinking if anything that maybe the first few pages might have touches of “before” … sounds like she’s setting aside the mask to focus on her day job.

I didn’t see that - nice catch! I definitely need to read up on I Am Batman – it looks like Tiffany has been popping up more as well, huh?

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Renee appearing anywhere at all is cause for celebration for me. I am so hyped about this. :tada:

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The solicitation for issue #2

GCPD: THE BLUE WALL #2
Written by JOHN RIDLEY
Art by STEFANO RAFFAELE
Cover by REIKO MURAKAMI
Variant cover by SEBASTIAN FIUMARA
$3.99 US | 32 pages | 2 of 6 | Variant $4.99 US (card stock)

ON SALE 11/15/22

GCPD Commissioner Renee Montoya makes an unpleasant discovery about one of her newest recruits that spirals out further and further, making upholding the law in a city like Gotham even harder than it usually is. Meanwhile Officer Wells tries to give stability and security to his parolees… but things seem destined not to work out for the heavily burdened parole officer.

Yep, they can make this an ongoing… I would not say no. :smiling_face:

Anyway, looks like more John Ridley drama goodness.

Goody.

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I think that’s kinda why I still stick around for next Batman and I am Batman.

I really like the grounded drama of his writing, there is action but that doesn’t interest me as much as the character-building that goes into it. Making me think about the characters and or the social commentary long after I’m done reading it.

In his other history of the dc universe, he made me care about Mal Duncan of all people and hope to see more of his guardian in the future.

I do like Mal Duncan now and think John Ridley did something similar to him what Tom King did for Kite-man. And much like Tom King, although I do have certain creative ideas that I personally don’t agree with, I still think John Ridley is a talented writer and I honestly can’t wait for his Gotham GCPD miniseries.

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I will definitely be following this new series, very exciting!

I was not aware of it, thanks for posting this! @Isaac.Lawrence

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@Samsonkillingtime

I think that’s kinda why I still stick around for next Batman and I am Batman.

I really like the grounded drama of his writing, there is action but that doesn’t interest me as much as the character-building that goes into it. Making me think about the characters and or the social commentary long after I’m done reading it.

Yeah, action is really not his thing.

And yeah, of course screenwriter is his day job, and his comics almost feel like episodes of TV shows to me – and I mean that in a good way.

@Don-El

I will definitely be following this new series, very exciting!

I was not aware of it, thanks for posting this! @Isaac.Lawrence

Yep.

And I guess San Diego Comic Con still has comic news from time to time. :smiling_face:

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So the first issue is out, and…

Yeah, it is pretty fantastic and flawless. :smiling_face:

Spinning out of I Am Batman, John Ridley embarks on a new police-focused narrative set in Gotham City. One might immediately think of Gotham Central, but this narrative is much more attuned to modern-day thinking on police, particularly when serious police reform is something actively spoken about today.

In truth, this story spins out of I Am Batman mainly because it utilizes Renee Montoya as the commissioner of the GCPD. She popped up in that series and actually considered taking on a role in the NYPD, but she’s back in Gotham, and the story heavily focuses on three cadets. Montoya opens GCPD: The Blue Wall #1 giving a speech to the new cadets graduating and joining the Gotham police force.

Ridley makes a strong statement relatable to our world as these new cadets face different challenges. At the same time, we’re reminded they live in a world of supervillains as Montoya sees Two-Face in a crowd but is mistaken. She’s seen terrible things and thus knows these new cadets are facing challenges beyond our own, although their challenges in this first issue are all realistic.

I like the new cadets, they’re fun.

It’s important to note that this book does not steer away from tough topics like defunding police, nor does it make the police department look squeaky clean. Montoya is a good person, but she’s reeling from her internal struggles and trying to keep them at bay to be a good leader, while the cadets are overly hopeful and a good surrogate for the reader who isn’t sure what Gotham might throw at them.

The main character in this issue is a girl named Park, who is bright-eyed and hopeful. We follow her as she connects with her two fellow cadets–also main characters but given fewer scenes in this issue–and goes out on her first day. On that first day, she is pressed with a tough decision to pull her gun on a kid who may or may not be a perp called in. This leads to her becoming a super-cop hero simply for not firing her gun at a Black kid. She sees it as ludicrous – surely cops aren’t heroes for simply not shooting innocent Black kids, but we know the truth of the matter is anything but. Her story is relatable, and her mixed feelings about becoming a publicity piece for the GCPD are fascinating.

The scene in question I thought was nicely done.

First though, I liked the three kids and their bonding…

Then the scene in question…

And the revelation near the end of the issue, after Park becomes a hero cop…

In all, it’s John Ridley writing a grounded comic, so I’m an easy mark for that. It would have been hard for me not to love it.

The dialogue in this issue is astounding, incredibly easy to read, and drops you right into every moment as if it was taking place in real-time. There’s nuance in what they say that informs the reader who these characters are and relate to others, and more importantly, who they genuinely are in private. That goes for the optimistic new cadets, who you’ll feel for knowing full well they’re about to be put through a meat grinder, and for Montoya as well, who is almost glassy-eyed at times and not sure how to guide new cadets who aren’t aware of the horrors Gotham contains.

Art by Stefano Raffaele is superb, especially for a gritty, realistic on-the-street story centered on human characters. One could even argue this isn’t a superhero comic, save for a nightmare vision Montoya sees early on. Colored to perfection by Brad Anderson, this book is toned without any bright comic book pop colors. The world around these characters is even antiseptic at times, drawing you into the realism of each scene. The world is rendered in high detail, with thoughtful backgrounds like a diner with random stuff plastered to the wall or a busy city street that could mimic a photograph of the New York City streets.

And as I usually do with these kind of things: I loved GOTHAM CENTRAL, it’s one of my top 10 favorite comic series.

After only after one issue though, I already like GCPD: THE BLUE WALL more – I like the characters more.

(But of course I would say that. :smiling_face:)

If you’re looking for a police drama rooted in a reality much like ours, check out GCPD: The Blue Wall #1. This series humanizes its characters while reflecting on real-world concerns of defunding the police and putting too much power into a cop’s hands. This first issue is flawless, smart, and anchored by the hard-boiled setting with deeply human characters.

That sums it up pretty nicely. And GCPD: THE BLUE WALL feels like a cop show that I would like to watch.

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@Isaac.Lawrence

So I’m been preoccupied for some time that I never thought to come back to Blue wall for several issues. Nothing against the series but got preoccupied with other readings to put this series on hold for some time.

So let me just summarize my feelings for Blue Wall and say this series is great. This is the kind of quality I have liked about John Ridley writing to begin with. The grounded setting here is one thing but having these issues deal with mental health, racism, and a handling of grey morality in either institutions or society in general makes you think about them long after you read the issue. That’s how I feel anyway.

I love the cadets!

Samantha Park, Danny Ortega, and Eric Wells are all great officers and super interesting and I’m going to talk about them briefly and tell you there would be spoiler here folks.

All of them are a tragic bunch of heroes. People with the best intentions who got blindsided, disheartened, and bullied by their department. Ridley is clearly showing no amount of change from a Latina lesbain like Renee leading the department cannot fix. I lot of work to do until that is done.

Samantha Park:
A officer who got pulled into a figurehead for the department that she wasn’t uncomfortable with and when she inevitably screwed up they pull her away from the streets and left her in the background dissatisfied and unhappy.

I like Park, she remind me a lot of Jessica Cruz when I was reading it. That pressure and anxiety this woman face on her first week and faced the pressure of massive success and failure in a short period of time. And this is my irrelevant opinion but she is cute as a button.

Danny Ortega:
Danny was described as a genius officer in this series mocked and bullied for being a Puerto Rican. He tries reporting it and nothing happens. It becomes so bad following his removal from the Tricolor, and further bullying that Danny is forced to take matters in his own hands.

I did notice and hope that Ridley had written it from this perspective that unlike the other two, Danny was a pushover and bullies tend to pick on someone like that weak. Being put into a more dangerous police field made it easy for me to see that they saw Danny as a easy target. Not necessarily for racist reasons because we are shown that when he kills someone in a arm-robbery incident they respect him.

Eric Wells:
He wanted to become a police officer to help former convicts as a parole cop. He got particularity close with a convict who used to run with two-face crew and can’t try a job to support his pregnant girlfriend. The former convict guy feels hopeless to attempt a hit on Foxtech industry. But it was Wells words, his approach changing from compassionate to fear to the former convict that caused him to continue with the job but snitches on them, so it fails. The criminal who hired him finds out and kills the former convict. It’s later revealed to Wells that the former convict put life insurance on himself, so he can support his family long after he is gone. Causing Wells to lose faith in his job.

Wells has to be my favorite cadet. He believes in the system and wants to do the right thing as a parole cop. No shame in parole cops but considering that the United States has one of the highest rate of recidivism in the world could make you believe that he was being a little too hopeful. He is so good and interesting to see Ridley write a well-rounded African-American hero, with regard to I Am Batman, I wonder why people like Jace as Batman couldn’t had this personality. Wells, be my new Black Batman.

Renee Montoya is probably the best thing here, but that doesn’t mean she is the best person in the story. Montoya currently having PTSD about two-face that causes her regress considerably, become obsessed to arrest two-face again has become her focus.

Listening to the terrible advice ot her chief of police doesn’t help either. 2 of the 3 cadets I mentioned have problems they ask her about, instead of helping she gaslight them and gives them platitudes.



If it weren’t for Benny her brother, his girlfriend, the fish, and her new dog, she honestly would be unlikely to be called the best character here.


Screenshot_20230117_150059_Infinite

The art by Stefano Raffaele is fantastic and way too good for a miniseries. Wish it was in I Am Batman.

I’m probably going to say besides other history of the DC universe this is my favorite series he wrote to date. Can’t wait to see how it all ends and when that happens I’ll come back to hopefully say it’s still great.

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While reading and writing this small review I thought of two songs that got me really into the vibe with the series theme and messages :sweat_smile: .

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