Batman: Streets of Gotham Vol. 2: Leviathan Hardcover – Nov 2 2010
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The Highlights: Incredible writing. Incredible art. Very dark and moody. Both writing and art are top notch! It's great to have a little more variety in the types of stories and viewpoints than the average Batman stories. I also especially love the story of Damian and Colin. Damian has had a challenging life since leaving his mother and losing his father. It's great for him to find another you person he can actually be friends with.
Things to Consider: This collection does contain some more adult content and issues. There is some language, Batman helps a prostitute (who appears in her underwear), and Robin's battle with Zsasz has a lot of blood. I didn't think these elements were over the top or gratuitous, but this book is not ideal for younger readers.
I could go on and on about how impressive this volume is, but the best thing you can do is get your hands on a copy and find out for yourself!
The "Streets of Gotham" series is a collection of short stories by a variety of writers showcasing the mini-disasters that happened when Batman left Gotham. And surprisingly, there are no duds in the stories here, they're all brilliant.
Chris Yost writes the title story, Leviathan, and does a fantastic job of turning expectations on their head. Huntress is after Man Bat who seems to have gone crazy - but has he?
Mike Benson writes "Hardcore Nights" where a seedy sex club has been building up a body count - Batman puts aside the cowl and decides to solve this mystery as Dick Grayson.
Paul Dini writes the other three stories starting with "In the Bleak Midwinter" and tells the sad tale of street children disappearing and an underground death club run by one Victor Zsasz. 12 year olds Damian and an orphan called Colin (with quite the secret) wind up in this club and must fight their way out.
What I like about these stories are that they're obviously Batman-themed but the Dark Knight plays a minimal role in all of them. Huntress and a priest are the heroes of the first story, Dick Grayson plays a bigger role than the Batman in his story, and Paul Dini's stories have Batman show up in the final couple of pages when the story is over - Damian and Colin are the heroes. And it's a credit to the writers that despite this lack of Batman that they're still gripping reads.
This book is a fantastic look at the heroes of Gotham who won't get entire books written about them but get a moment in the spotlight here nonetheless. "Leviathan" is a fine addition to the overarching Batman storyline and a must read for Batfans everywhere.