Warning! Spoilers ahead for Gotham City: Year One #4The city of Gotham has suffered for years, and it seems that may be because of DC’s very first hero. Gotham City: Year One #4 reveals how hardboiled detective Slam Bradley inadvertently put Batman’s beloved city on a road to hell.
There are few locations in the DC Universe that are as miserable as Gotham. The city is not only overrun with crime, it’s also home to some of the most sinister villains to ever put on a costume. The city’s only saving grace from the evil forces that haunt it are the city’s Dark Knight and the Bat-Family, though even they can only do so much against rogues like Joker and Two-Face. But the problems Gotham face go back to even before Batman was on the scene, with organized crime putting fear into every good-natured citizen unfortunate enough to live in the dark metropolis.
And as awful as it sounds, the fate of Gotham may have been sealed by the first hero to ever appear in the DC Universe. In Gotham City: Year One #4 by Tom King and Phil Hester, detective Slam Bradley is viciously beaten by Commissioner Huff of the Gotham City Police Department. The Wayne family has just lost their baby daughter, Helen, and Slam is being blamed for the entire ordeal. After being charged with lying to the police, Slam makes bail several days later. However, he doesn’t take the event lying down and tracks the commissioner down a narrow passageway. Slam viciously beats Commissioner Huff with a baseball bad badly enough that the man is forced to retire from his job. Though Bradley admits he wasn’t a good person, he was good at his job. After Huff’s retirement, Slam notes that crime reached heights “never before seen in Gotham“.
Slam Bradley Ruined Gotham Forever
Some fans may not know about Slam Bradley. While Batman is the star of Detective Comics, he didn’t show up until the series 27th issue. Long before the Caped Crusader, the series was an anthology title that featured detectives like Slam Bradley solving cases while beating up anyone unfortunate enough to cross his path. Essentially, he was the hero that helped pave the way for Batman. But as of Gotham City: Year One #4, Slam’s also responsible for destroying Bruce’s city.
To Slam’s credit, the pervasive evil that haunts Gotham may not fall squarely on his shoulders. People have pointed to the ills that Gotham faces being rooted in corrupt, systemic issues, massive criminal conspiracies, and in some cases, devil worship. That said, Bradley is telling this story from his perspective, and in his eyes, Gotham only got worse after he bludgeoned Commissioner Huff with a bat. While he may not be the reason for Gotham’s crime problem, Slam certainly did exacerbate it by nearly killing someone who was handling the issue well. Fans can decide if DC’s first hero is guilty or not by reading a copy of Gotham City: Year One #4, on sale now.
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