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Gotham City: Year One #3 (of 6)

Comicscore Index
Generally favorable ratings

Based on 13 critic ratings.

Slam Bradley has been one step behind the kidnappers the entire time… can he turn the tables in time to save the infant heiress to the Wayne fortune?

Is this hardened private investigator prepared to deal with a dark, deadly twist that will define Gotham City for generations to come?

Publication Date
Kindle Edition
Print Lenght
33 pages
Amazon ASIN

13 Critic Ratings & Reviews from:
  • 100

    Batman on Film

    Gotham City: Year One has already risen to one of the top DC books of 2022 for me! Make sure you don’t miss it!
  • 99

    The Comicbook Dispatch

    “A mother knows.” Readers, it’s that line that just might haunt you all week after reading Gotham City: Year One #3. And furthermore, it’s the emotion raging through these characters that will make it hard to sleep tonight. King, Hester, and this team absolutely nailed it! The only problem with this issue is that you won’t truly feel the anger and pain released in this issue unless you’ve been following along since jump street. So, I highly recommend giving this series a shot by going back to the beginning. And as for how I began the review of Gotham City: Year One #3, please understand that I truly do respect King as a writer, and I know he puts forth a ton of effort into all he does. Lately, his items just haven’t been hitting nor do I think he delivers on his characters well. But this issue is entirely different. Again, this is not only the best issue of the week BUT the best issue I’ve read by anyone at any company for quite some time. I just warn you to be prepared to truly feel the supercharged, raw emotions that will literally leap off the page this week as you read it. What an outstanding job by everyone involved.
  • 98

    Comic Watch

    Gotham City Year One #3 is almost as near-perfect as the first two issues. I didnt even get to the usage of SLAM as a sound effect in that opening flashback. But King really steps on his own ending, and its too bad. I honestly was surprised there was that extra page at the end of the bookI thought the issue was over. Now is this arguably a nit pick? Yes. But the choice ruined what could have been a much more powerful moment.
  • 94

    The Super Powered Fancast

    The Story: A brilliantly taut noir thriller that delivers not only great atmosphere, but fantastic characters. I love the world being crafted in this series and King is brilliant at getting the reader involved in the story, its characters and their layers of good and bad. I love the compelling mystery at the heart of this series and cannot wait to see where it goes next. The Art: Hester beautifully illustrates the dark and dangerous world of Gotham City and every page and panels makes you feel like you’re watching a classic detective movie. Beautifully illustrated throughout.
  • 90


    Gotham City: Year One #3 is an excellent example of detective noir done right. Slam Bradley's gritty detective work is matched only by Hester's moody, atmospheric art. That said, the depiction of the Wayne family's moral flaws is gratuitous, unnecessary, and off-putting, holding back a very good comic from being a great comic.
  • 90

    Geek Dad

    This might be the most pitch-black of King’s works so far, but it’s also excellent.
  • 85


    Gotham City: Year One #3 is a gripping detective story that explores the characters of its titular city in a meaningful way. Slam’s investigative work is captivating and keeps you guessing without ever feeling like it’s just pulling answers to mysteries out of nowhere. Both the main characters and the residents of Gotham who only appear for a page are fleshed out such that the entire city comes alive as the story digs deeper into its hidden depths. Every issue reveals a new facet to this complex mystery and I’m excited to read what comes next.
  • 80

    All of this investment in the setting and Slam's journey below its surface allows the final few pages to land with desperate intensity that's bound to leave readers shaken. It also makes clear that the myth of Gotham City having once been a grand place for all of its citizens was always just that, and that's where Gotham City: Year One promises to grow far more interesting in its second half.
  • 80

    Weird Science DC Comics

    Gotham City: Year One #3 is an excellent example of detective noir done right. Slam Bradley's gritty detective work is matched only by Hester's moody, atmospheric art. That said, the depiction of the Wayne family's moral flaws is gratuitous, unnecessary, and off-putting, holding back a very good comic from being a great comic.
  • 80

    Lyles Movie Files

    The payoff to the mystery is somewhat disappointing as King seems to lean into the stereotypes he actively wrote against through the first half of the story. Of course, there might be more to this reveal. Regardless, King and the rest of the creative team have established an engaging mystery. Hopefully he can nail the ending.
  • 70

    Dark Knight News

    Gotham City: Year One #3 is at its best when it is a vehicle for Slam Bradley to act and react to the startling situations he finds himself in. He’s a protagonist who’s likable, and this is the key to Year One #3 being successful so far. Unfortunately, the unfolding mystery of the Waynes offers only drips of information, which could make it easy for readers to disengage from it. Slam as the main lead, as well as Phil Hester’s wonderful gritty art. are make this issue a worthwhile read.
  • 60

    The Batman Universe

    Tom King and Phil Hester have produced the best issue of the series yet artistically, though the characterization still feels too tied to tropes without much energy or variation other than the stellar artwork.
  • 50

    Women Write About Comics - WWAC

More From Gotham City: Year One (2022)

About the Author: Tom King

Tom King (born July 15, 1978) is an American author, comic book writer, and ex-CIA officer. He is best known for writing the novel A Once Crowded Sky, The Vision for Marvel Comics, The Sheriff of Babylon for the DC Comics imprint Vertigo, and Batman and Mister Miracle for DC Comics.

Early life

King primarily grew up in Southern California. His mother worked for the film industry which inspired his love of storytelling. He interned at both DC and Marvel Comics during the late 1990s. He studied both philosophy and history at Columbia University, graduating in 2000. He identifies as “half-Jewish, half-midwestern”.


King interned both at DC Comics and Marvel Comics, where he was an assistant to X-Men writer Chris Claremont, before joining the CIA counterterrorism unit after 9/11. King spent seven years as a counterterrorism operations officer for the CIA before quitting to write his debut novel, A Once Crowded Sky, after the birth of his first child.

A Once Crowded Sky, King’s debut superhero novel with comics pages illustrated by Tom Fowler, was published on July 10, 2012 by Touchstone, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, to positive reception.

In 2014, King was chosen to co-write Grayson for DC Comics, along with Tim Seeley and Mikel Janin on art. After penning Nightwing #30, King, Seeley, and Janin launched Grayson in May 2014, featuring Dick Grayson leaving behind his Nightwing persona at age 22 to become Agent 37, a Spyral spy. King and Seeley plotted the series together and traded issues to script separately, with King providing additional authenticity through his background with the CIA.

A relaunch of classic DC Comics series The Omega Men was published in June 2015 by King and debut artist Barnaby Bagenda, as part of the publisher’s relaunch DC You. The series follows a group of rebels fighting an oppressive galactic empire, and feature White Lantern Kyle Rayner. The Omega Men, created in 1981, are DC’s cosmic equivalent to Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, though significantly more obscure. King’s and Bagenda’s use of the nine-panel grid, popularized by Alan Moore‘s and Dave Gibbons‘ Watchmen, has been praised by reviewers.

In San Diego Comic-Con 2015, Vertigo revealed a new creator-owned project written by King with art by Mitch Gerads titled The Sheriff of Baghdad. The project, a crime series in the vein of Vertigo titles like Preacher and Scalped, was set to launch in late 2015, and was inspired by King’s time in Iraq as part of the CIA. Initially an eight-issue miniseries, it was later re-titled The Sheriff of Babylon and expanded into an ongoing series. The first issue launched in December 2015 to critical acclaim, with reviewers praising its “deeply personal” storytelling and the “intriguing” and “captivating” personalities of its characters. That same year, DC announced “Robin War”, a crossover storyline set for December that would run for five weeks through titles Grayson, Detective Comics, We Are Robin, and Robin: Son of Batman; King was set to orchestrate the crossover’s story-line and pen two one-shots to open and close the series.

As part of Marvel Comics’ All-New, All-Different relaunch, King was announced as the writer of The Vision, a new ongoing following the titular character and his newly created family, with artist Gabriel Hernández Walta, colorist Jordie Bellaire, and covers by Mike del Mundo, launching in November 2015. The Vision has been well received by the public, with reviewers calling the series one of Marvel’s “biggest surprises” and praising the narration, art, and colors.

In September 2015, DC cancelled King’s The Omega Men, along with four other titles, with the series ending with issue seven. After negative fan response to the cancellation, Jim Lee, DC’s co-publisher, announced that they would be bringing back The Omega Men through at least issue 12. Lee described the decision to cancel the series as “a bit hasty,” crediting the book’s critical acclaim and fan social media reactions as the reason the title would go on for the planned 12-issue run.

King penned a Green Lantern one-shot that ties into the “Darkseid War” Justice League storyline, titled “Will You Be My God?”, which James Whitbrook of io9 praised as “one of the best” Green Lantern stories.

King and co-writer Tim Seeley announced they would leave Grayson after issue #18, with King clarifying on Twitter that they were working on something “big and cool” and needed time. King and Seeley officially left the series in February with issue #17, with Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly taking over for its last three issues with issue #18 in March.

DC Comics announced in February 2016 that King had signed an exclusivity deal with the publisher, which would see him writing exclusively for DC and Vertigo. King revealed via his Twitter account that he would stay on The Vision as writer through issue 12, finishing the story arc he had planned from the beginning.

In March 2016, it was announced that King would be writing the main bi-weekly Batman series beginning with a new #1, replacing long-time writer Scott Snyder, as part of DC’s Rebirth relaunch that June. King has stated that his run would be 100 issues total, with the entirety being released twice-monthly, though this was later curtailed to 85 issues and 3 annuals, with a 12 issue followup maxiseries Batman/Catwoman to finish the story.

In August 2017, King and regular collaborator Mitch Gerads launched the first issue of their Mister Miracle series, with a planned total run of twelve issues. In June 2018 DC Comics announced King would be writing Heroes in Crisis, a limited series centering around a concept he introduced in Batman.

In July 2018, he received the Eisner Award for Best Writer, shared with Marjorie Liu.

In May and June 2019, King, DC Co-Publisher Jim Lee, and CW series actresses Nafessa Williams, Candice Patton, and Danielle Panabaker toured five U.S. military bases in Kuwait with the United Service Organizations (USO), where they visited the approximately 12,000 U.S. military personnel stationed in that country as part of DC’s 80th anniversary of Batman celebration.

In September 2020, DC Comics announced that King would be among the creators of a revived Batman: Black and White anthology series to debut on December 8, 2020. From 2021 to 2022, King was the writer on the eight-issue miniseries Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow with artist Bilquis Evely. Susana Polo, for Polygon, wrote that “with the final issue of Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow I can definitively say this book slaps front to back. […] The best thing Tom King’s done since Mister Miracle”. David Harth, for CBR, commented that since The Omega Men, “King has mostly stayed away from sci-fi, going for a more psychological take on superheroes instead”. Harth highlighted that Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow “is very much a sci-fi epic” and that the series is “even more imaginative than Omega Men’s sci-fi, as it has King flexing his muscles in different ways”.

Personal life

King lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife and three children.

[Latest Update: May 23, 2022]

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