Yeah, I read that wiki article, but I figured I would double check.
Paul, I read it the same way. I figured I would just read an issue, to see what the deal was, and before you knew it I was at the end of the book. I don't usually read trades in one sitting, but I was captivated. There was so much good about the book, but the most amazing thing was how they were able to get across how scary James Jr. was without having him fall into the trope of a typical bat-villain. No need to have a Hush-esque alter-ego or anything. Here is just a scary ass dude who looks like John Lennon that shops at Target.
I agree that Francavilla was the star of the book. His art was a cross of Cliff Chiang and Mazzuchelli. That page with the outline of Barbara's head, with Gordon drawn inside? AMAZING.
I can't believe it took someone this long to do something with James Jr., though, as with anything great, part of it is the choosing of some old forgotten nugget.
That's a great comparison with Francavilla's art, it's all of that, via the retro-art-deco-design sense that Darwyn Cooke favors. I don't know if you read the back matter, but Francavilla's sketches in there are incredible, including a little strip he did as an "audition piece".