[World of Bats] Batman: Broken City

Hello everyone and welcome to the World of Bats, the Batman Book Club!

A new month means a new theme and this month we’re going to be focusing on more crime centric stories, many of which are penned and drawn by some of the best crime story creators in comics. This week, we’re going to be covering the six-part story arc “Broken City,” by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso, the famed creators of Vertigo’s “100 Bullets.”

A girl’s body is found in a Gotham City landfill, and the discovery sends Batman on a journey that pits him against the Joker, Killer Croc and more!

Here is the reading list and links:

Broken City

Batman #620
Batman #621
Batman #622
Batman #623
Batman #624
Batman #625

The main discussion will go from 2020-07-04T05:00:00Z2020-07-10T05:00:00Z, but if you’re a newbie from the future or trying to catch up from being behind (I know the struggle), feel free to chime in anytime!

So let’s get on the case! I think we’ll skip the discussion questions this time, just give what thoughts you have about the story, art, or just whatever floats your fancy about this story.

If you want to know more about the World of Bats Book Club, as well as see what we’ve previously discussed, click HERE!

Want to join? Click right HERE! Remember, BYOC (Bring Your Own Candle).

If you have any questions, you can contact @Jay_Kay, @BatJamags, and @AquamonC137.

Hope you guys have fun exploring these gritty streets! Mind the gutters, who knows what’s been in those…


Huh, is the comic cover not showing up on the front page for anyone else, or is it just me?

Nope, not just you.

I really dig that Batman logo from 2002-2006. Wish it was used longer.

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Just finished #620.
The art is great (got a bit of Mignola in there, especially with the statues and gargoyles) and I’m really enjoying the noir-like dialogue.
Also interesting seeing the villain in there (trying to keep from spoilers) with a pimp suit… and nice teeth…


@Angel.Azrael – Agreed, it’s a really cool logo, kind of like it more than the current one.

@super_dilla – I agree, I love film noir flicks, and Batman is a perfect fit for these kind of stories. As for that villain, Azzarello does use that character a lot in some of his other works, like his Joker OGN.

Finished #622 today. Really enjoying this story so far. This is street level Batman at his best. More when I finish.

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Okay, I’ll first note the context of this story arc. These issues start immediately after the final issue of Hush, and they’re immediately followed by the first arc of the Judd Winick run, As the Crow Flies.

Reading Order: Hush - Broken City - As the Crow Flies - War Games - Under the Hood Pt. 1 - War Crimes - Under the Hood Pt. 2 - Face the Face - Batman & Son

Okay, as for Broken City itself, I enjoy it as a pulp crime story in the Frank Miller vein, but I find it a bit weird to be hearing this kind of hard-boiled detective narration coming from Bruce. Then again, I hold to the philosophy that there’s no “true” interpretation of Batman, so I went along with it for the sake of the story, even if it doesn’t jive with my perception of Batman.


It is funny to see this be the first story after Hush, because it’s such a sudden change.

As I recall, this wasn’t originally going to be the case – Broken City was originally made as an original graphic novel, but when they needed time for Judd Winick to start up his run, they plugged this in.


Hush itself was a bit of a whiplash after Brubaker’s Bruce Wayne: Fugitive era that directly preceded it, so I suppose it was a great time for readers who wanted variety. :wink:

On an unrelated note, am I the only one who’s disappointed that Scarface is able to pronounce the letter B in this story? I mean, it’s a minor continuity error, but still.


I really enjoyed reading this story. The art did a wonderful job at creating the right atmosphere (I’m not sure of exactly the right word to use, gothic? noire?) Batman was always in the shadows and that, to me, feels like the right way to draw Batman.

The plot went somewhere I didn’t quite expect. It was different, for me, to read a story where Batman is after the wrong guy pretty well the whole time. I’ve come in expect that when Batman seems this sure he’s inevitably correct. Instead we get Joker scolding him for making assumptions. It was an interesting turn that I enjoyed.


Glad you liked it! The mood and atmosphere just pours off each page. I agree the twists were all very well done.

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Thanks all of you for sharing your thoughts on this story! I’ll be posting the entry for this week in a few minutes, but don’t let that stop you if you have further thoughts upon finishing this story. :smiley:

Okay, if you won’t stop me. Look, I love super Batman who brings Evil Gods to the knees as much as the next comic book reader, but there’s something very appealing and relatable about a Batman who takes beatings, feels it, gets back up again and wades into the sewer that is Gotham. And this is a Batman who does the really rare thing, I screws up. There’s a trail of bodies and teeth scattered around Gotham because Batman got it wrong, and he has to live with that.
Less can be more, art like this stands up as well as the most detailed images

The show Gotham managed a nice turn with the Ventriloquist, but I really really want to see this dummy on the big screen.


Fully agree, as cool as the consumate superhero is, there’s something I really love about the grim and gritty, dark detective stories for Batman.

Huh, I didn’t know Gotham used the Ventriloquist – I was liking it well enough, but stopped watching around the beginning of the fifth season, just got too busy at the time. Gotta go back to that sometime…


Won’t give it away, but he pops up in a different but cool way. That show got better each year, so recommend giving it a go

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