Tag Archives: stefano raffaele

Preview: GCPD: Blue Wall #4 (of 6)

GCPD: Blue Wall #4 (of 6)

(W) John Ridley (A) Stefano Raffaele
In Shops: Jan 17, 2023
SRP: $3.99

Officer Danny Ortega was always at the top of his class at the academy – but nothing could have prepared him for what it actually takes to be a cop in Gotham City. Ortega is ready to make a dramatic choice about his future with the blue wall…until one traumatic incident on the streets of Gotham changes everything.

GCPD: Blue Wall #4 (of 6)

GCPD: The Blue Wall #4 delivers a breaking point

GCPD: The Blue Wall #4

When a project has John Ridley‘s name on it, you know you’re going to be challenged. Movies, television, and comics, have all pushed envelopes by educating and delivering a “truth” that the world, history, life is messy. It’s full of shameful moments and there’s a lot of gray. GCPD: The Blue Wall #4 continues Ridley’s exploration of policing focusing on the Gotham PD and the challenges of being a police officer in today’s world.

The series has told the tale of three rookie police officers as well as the Police Commissioner Renee Montoya. Each has experienced massive bumps in their time, each seeing their optimism and hope slowly crushed by the system. Ridley has focused that there are people who want to do good but the system protects those that do bad, a literal blue wall resisting change.

One by one, our rookies have been worn down by the system realizing that there’s little way for them to really do good and deliver the Pollyannaish policing we all wish existed but know it does not. Each individual has been beaten down by a system that prevents them from doing anything good as the rigid system demands you conform no matter how incorrect that conformity might be. GCPD: The Blue Wall #4 goes a step further, showing that even when you do give in to the boys club that is the Gotham PD, you’re still treated as an outsider, you’ve shown weakness that only encourages more issues.

GCPD: The Blue Wall #4 makes an argument that if reform can’t be made from within, maybe it then needs to be made from outside, no matter how extreme. That anyone part of the system is a cog in that system perpetuating its flaws. It’s also an issue that has the series sliding closer to a traditional “Batman” title with the twist of a villain.

The art by Stefano Raffaele continues to impress with a style that feels like a balance between a somewhat grounded look and the fantastical world of Gotham. With Brad Anderson on color and lettering by Ariana Maher, there’s a gritty look to it all that could be a noir story or fit right into a Batman comic. Things are kept focused on the characters, their body language, and facial expressions, all of which add to the emotional toll each is experiencing.

GCPD: The Blue Wall #4 is a pretty big shift as to where the series is going. It’s gone from beating these characters down to action being taken, a more traditional action we’d expect in a Batman comic. Where the team takes it all should be interesting but this issue’s ending definitely delivered a surprise.

Story: John Ridley Art: Stefano Raffaele
Color: Brad Anderson Letterer: Ariana Maher
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: Zeus ComicscomiXology/Kindle

Preview: GCPD: Blue Wall #4 (of 6)

GCPD: Blue Wall #4 (of 6)

(W) John Ridley (A) Stefano Raffaele
In Shops: Jan 17, 2023
SRP: $3.99

Officer Danny Ortega was always at the top of his class at the academy – but nothing could have prepared him for what it actually takes to be a cop in Gotham City. Ortega is ready to make a dramatic choice about his future with the blue wall…until one traumatic incident on the streets of Gotham changes everything.

GCPD: Blue Wall #4 (of 6)

Preview: GCPD: The Blue Wall #3 (of 6)

GCPD: The Blue Wall #3 (of 6)

Written by: John Ridley
Art by: Stefano Raffaele
Price: $3.99

A high-profile criminal operation is foiled by the GCPD, and in the eyes of Commissioner Renee Montoya, there’s only one suspect worth investigating: the murderous gangster known as Two-Face. But every report appears to show that Harvey is back on the straight and narrow. Is the duplicitous former villain once again leading a double life? Or are ghosts from Renee’s past influencing her objective judgment?

GCPD: The Blue Wall #3 (of 6)

Review: GCPD: The Blue Wall #3

GCPD: The Blue Wall #3

I’m generally a fan of cop shows. Not, the action focused ones. I’m more interested in the ones that really focus on the characters, NYPD Blue, Hill Street Blues, as two examples. I’m also a fan of shows that make me question things, presented the world in a muddled way. That’s what drew me initially to the works of John Ridley whose American Crime I hold up as one of the most underrated shows in history. Lucky me, GCPD: The Blue Wall brings together Ridley’s brilliance and the cop genre into the muddled mess I’d expect and GCPD: The Blue Wall #3 is a prime example of that.

Written by Ridley, GCPD: The Blue Wall #3 continues to follow three new recruits to the Gotham police force as well as Commissioner Montoya. For the first two issues, Ridley has set up what a mess the department is. Racism within the force, apathy where it shouldn’t exist, corruption all around, and a Commissioner who is questioning her own every move and focused on the past. One rookie has been made out to be a hero only for the truth to come out. One rookie has a death “on their hands”. And the final rookie is dealing with racism within the force. Mantoya is focused on Two-Face, convinced the villain is up to something.

Ridley delivers the mess of everything. GCPD: The Blue Wall #3 particularly focuses on the racism aspect with HR doing what HR does, not helping at all. It’s a particularly brutally realistic portrayal of the workplace and the pressure to not shake things up and “go to battle” with co-workers. In reality, it’s sweeping up abhorrent behavior. Montoya is presented as a traumatized and obsessed person with an almost Ahab like focus on Two-Face. While she herself is attempting to turn the GCPD around, this storyline continues to show she’s not as clean as presented and has many of the same problems as the previous leadership and the department as a whole.

The art by Stefano Raffaele is nice, with color by Brad Anderson and lettering by Ariana Maher. There’s a grounded aspect to it all that balances the comic between its tights inspiration and the crime/police stories it is. The team does an excellent job of grounding it all creating visuals that are more in line with dramas you’d see on television than the over the top exaggerated visuals often found in comics, especially superhero ones. This is one where the focus on body language or a face are key to telling the story and situation.

GCPD: The Blue Wall #3 is John Ridley at his best for storytelling. It delivers a complicated, character driven story, that is full of uneasy answers. It isn’t afraid to delve into issues that are realistic and dealt with every day, spotlighting the dirt of society. It’s a fantastic adult take on the superhero universe showing Ridley continues to be a voice comics needs.

Story: John Ridley Art: Stefano Raffaele
Color: Brad Anderson Letterer: Ariana Maher
Story: 9.0 Art: 8.25 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: TFAWZeus ComicscomiXology/Kindle

Preview: GCPD: The Blue Wall #3 (of 6)

GCPD: The Blue Wall #3 (of 6)

Written by: John Ridley
Art by: Stefano Raffaele
Price: $3.99

A high-profile criminal operation is foiled by the GCPD, and in the eyes of Commissioner Renee Montoya, there’s only one suspect worth investigating: the murderous gangster known as Two-Face. But every report appears to show that Harvey is back on the straight and narrow. Is the duplicitous former villain once again leading a double life? Or are ghosts from Renee’s past influencing her objective judgment?

GCPD: The Blue Wall #3 (of 6)

Preview: GCPD: The Blue Wall #2 (of 6)

GCPD: The Blue Wall #2 (of 6)

(W) John Ridley (A) Stefano Raffaele (CA) Reiko Murakami
In Shops: Nov 15, 2022
SRP: $3.99

GCPD Commissioner Renee Montoya makes an unpleasant discovery about one of her newest recruits that spirals out further and further, making upholding the law in a city like Gotham even harder than it usually is. Meanwhile Officer Wells tries to give stability and security to his parolees…but things seem destined not to work out for the heavily burdened parole officer.

GCPD: The Blue Wall #2 (of 6)

Review: GCPD: The Blue Wall #2

GCPD: The Blue Wall #2

John Ridley is a master storyteller. Through movies, television, comics, and more, he not only entertains but educates. He isn’t afraid to take on difficult topics and challenge the viewer no matter what your personal views are. When you wrap up something of his, you’ll often be challenged to think about what you just watched, thinking of your own beliefs. GCPD: The Blue Wall #2 continues that Ridley excellence with an issue that has a little right and wrong and a whole lot of gray.

Some of Ridley’s entertainment has featured multiple storylines eventually coming together. GCPD: The Blue Wall #2 is an example of that as the various stories that began in the debut issue begin to crossover and converge. At the center of the series is three rookie cops, each on their own beat, and their attempt to do good in a corrupt system. At the head of the police is Renee Montoya who has had struggles in her past but also wants to reform the police department. The issue brings a lot together as two of the rookies must deal with the impact of their action and inaction and the third must deal with racism within the force. All three are idealistic in their own way and four weeks into their jobs, realizing that that idealism is being beaten down by reality. It captures the mess that is our modern police force.

The art by Stefano Raffaele is solid. With color by Brad Anderson and lettering by Ariana Maher, the art and color perfectly captures that slightly beat down reality these characters live in. This isn’t a Gotham that’s completely dark, dank, and foreboding. It’s a city that reflects these characters instead. It all good tip towards light and dark at any moment, balancing on a knife’s edge. The comic isn’t full of action, instead emotion is front and center and the team nails it all with a focus on the body language of each character to bring home how much it all weighs on each of them.

GCPD: The Blue Wall #2 is another fantastic issue by Ridley and the team. This entry highlights what he does best as a creator delivering a challenging and tragic issue.

Story: John Ridley Art: Stefano Raffaele
Color: Brad Anderson Letterer: Ariana Maher
Story: 10 Art: 8.5 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: TFAWZeus ComicscomiXology/Kindle

Preview: GCPD: The Blue Wall #2 (of 6)

GCPD: The Blue Wall #2 (of 6)

(W) John Ridley (A) Stefano Raffaele (CA) Reiko Murakami
In Shops: Nov 15, 2022
SRP: $3.99

GCPD Commissioner Renee Montoya makes an unpleasant discovery about one of her newest recruits that spirals out further and further, making upholding the law in a city like Gotham even harder than it usually is. Meanwhile Officer Wells tries to give stability and security to his parolees…but things seem destined not to work out for the heavily burdened parole officer.

GCPD: The Blue Wall #2 (of 6)

Preview: GCPD: The Blue Wall #1 (of 6)

GCPD: The Blue Wall #1 (of 6)

(W) John Ridley (A) Stefano Raffaele (CA) Reiko Murakami
In Shops: Oct 18, 2022
SRP: $3.99

Still relatively early in her tenure as GCPD commissioner, Renee Montoya sets out to rebuild her department and restore public faith in the historically troubled PD during some of the worst conditions it’s ever seen. But Renee can’t do it alone-in order for her plan to work, everyone from the topmost officials all the way down to the most fresh-faced new officers must contend with the harsh realities of being a symbol of law and order in a city of super-powered saviors and superhuman lawlessness. DC is proud to present GCPD: The Blue Wall by the stellar team of Academy Award-winning writer John Ridley and artist Stefano Raffaele. This six-part miniseries is a thought-provoking and riveting story of everyday people trying to do good in the midst of a flawed system. No one said protecting a city like Gotham would be easy.

GCPD: The Blue Wall #1 (of 6)
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