Mind's Eye Comics Pick!! -- GCPD: The Blue Wall #1

GCPD: The Blue Wall #1, DC Comics

Written By: John Ridley

Art By: Stefano Raffaele

Warning: As a note on the first panel suggests, this comic contains language of a racially offensive nature, and may not be suitable for all age groups, or for readers for whom such language could be triggering or hurtful.

Writer John Ridley is no stranger to writing comics that are commenting on difficult situations and topics within society. Using comics to comment on the way things are on in the world, on the streets, or between racial groups isn't unique or original, it just highlights the power and the voice of the medium of comics, and its ability to transcend its own art form and use fictional characters and events to comment on real life issues in a meaningful way. With the GCPD (Gotham City Police Department), Ridley sets the stage with a small cast of characters, within the GCPD, and uses real world tensions between the public and the police, to add a weight of uncertainty and tension as rookie Police officers take to the streets for the first time.

After Commissioner Renee Montoya gives an inspiring speech at the graduation of a new class of Police cadets, she quickly begins to doubt herself and her new role. She sees hope, however, in the new class of cadets, and Ridley's story focuses on three friends as they are assigned to different beats within Gotham City. Filled with optimism and energy, each of the new officers quickly run into bitter, jaded and rundown officers within the system. As they begin to use their training to bring a new sense of hope to Gotham, they are instead knocked back by a broken system of bureaucracy and outdated rules. After one of the new officers is hailed as a hero, for not shooting a suspect on the street, Montoya is encouraged to use her as an example of the Police finally doing the right thing, in a real world parallel of the climate of mistrust by the public towards the GCPD. The truth is more complex and chilling, setting the stage for a disastrous encounter in the final pages.