The art style holds it back from being as good as it could be.
Gotham City Garage is a brand new, digital-first series from DC Comics based on a collectible statue line similar to the DC Bombshells.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
It’s been decades since Governor Lex Luthor turned Gotham City into a modern utopia, saving his people from the devastation that made the rest of the continent a wasteland. But his city isn’t paradise for everyone. If Lex’s network misfires, and a citizen wakes up and steps out of line, the Bat and his minions are brutal in restoring the status quo. So when young Kara Gordon, whose ridealong tech has never functioned optimally, rushes headlong into the Freescape, she’s shocked to find Gotham City Garage–where new friends might become family, if she lives long enough.
Why does this matter?
Gotham City Garage is the second book based on a DC collectible line that also has a focus on female characters outside of the main DC universe. It takes place in a universe with both a lack of male superheroes and a dystopian society.
What’s good about this issue?
The world of Gotham City Garage has a very strong Mad Max feel, with a desolate wasteland that is crossed using vehicles. It also has the feel of a dystopian story where the ruling class controls every section of the populace using mind control devices and robotic police forces, led by a shady politician who also has a dark and brutal right-hand man. The usual DC superheroes are myths and stories that the main character Kara Gordon — Supergirl, who was adopted by James Gordon — dreams of while working. Wonder Woman specifically is one as she dreams of saving society, while Superman is only present as a logo on a small rocket hanging in the area that the series is named after. Batman, however, is the shadowy right-hand man of Governor Lex Luthor and is used to keep the populace in check. This Batman is very much willing to kill the people who fall out of line in this very fascistic driven society within a dome that protects the people in the last city on earth from the wastelands outside and provides red sunlight to the populace.
The designs of the characters, taken from the collectible statues, are interesting, though most lack detail. The colors of Kara’s jacket, shown with the classic Super-logo on the back, are incredibly vivid and great to look at. Batman’s design really stands out and he looks very reminiscent of the Knightmare Batman from Batman v Superman. Batman also has the most detail drawn into his design, especially in his first appearance in a half page panel.
So, is there anything you’d say is wrong with this?
The artwork is extremely simplistic and lacks any real detail. Characters’ eyes are rarely properly shown outside of Kara’s, with most characters squinting and having eyes drawn as straight lines. The only characters whose eyes you can see are a child in the first panel, a civilian whose conditioning is malfunctioning, Kara’s during the issue and Lex Luthor’s in a single panel — everyone else is given a squinting look. The character who has the most detail is Batman, but he only appears for two pages.
Being a first issue, the story is primarily setup for the series, but it advances quite quickly, with characters such as James Gordon and Batman appearing very briefly. The appearance of the Gotham City Garage group appears very suddenly after Kara breaches the dome and it isn’t explained how they got there so quickly except for a line about how they got the signal from the dome being breached.
Overall, Gotham City Garage is a series with as much potential as DC Bombshells has, however the art style holds it back from being as good as it could be.