Anarky is back, and who knows what that could mean for Gotham... Well, considering it is Gotham, it just means bad stuff... The end-ish!
Hey, remember that Wayne Enterprises employee who was involved some sort of human trafficking ring a couple issues back? Well, Anarky is paying him a visit dealing out his form of justice (or is it a her? I thought I read somewhere that the writers were using a female version of the character? Oh well, moving on). While corrupt Wayne Enterprise workers are being set on fire and shoved out their window, Batman is breaking up Mad Hatter's latest bit of Lunacy, and is met with a "It's Christmas, maybe you shouldn't always be Batman" talk at home from Alfred.
Meanwhile, despite it being Christmas Eve, Bullock continues to work on the Arnarky case (as of now, all they've got is the symbol) with Detective Yip, and eventually gets the call about the murder at Wayne Enterprises. Bullock and Yip go down to speak with Lucius Fox, and when they find the victim's computer, they notice a countdown. What does it mean? Well, Batman knows. There's a bomb... Well, not necessarily a bomb, but some tech that can turn anything with a heated system into an explosion, so they've got to evacuate the building.
Buuuut, because of the hack, the safety doors are locked, and a giant string of explosions goes off, burning the Anarky symbol into the side of Wayne Tower.
I made it pretty clear I thought this creative team's first arc was pretty underwhelming, but nevertheless, I had high hopes for this arc, mainly because more established characters were being used, and then, of course there's the art... So let's get that out of the way, yes, Francis Manapul is back, and the art is astounding, especially the scenes that take place in the snow. Good? Now let's talk about the story.
Pretty simple Batman set up, Arnarky is making a name for himself (herself?) and Batman's got a new foe to deal with. There you go, that's pretty much it so far. Simplicity isn't necessarily a bad thing though, and I think some interesting things could be done with a character who hasn't really been relevant for quite some time within the Bat books, so we'll see.
I continue to have problems with how some aspects are portrayed in this book, first of which is Bullock. I've got no problem with the writers focusing on Bullock, depending on who you ask, he's pretty under utilized, so some interesting things could be done with him, the problem I'm running into is how he's portrayed with Batman. Bullock so fucking trigger happy with Batman, literally pulling out his gun and pointing it Batman's head any chance he gets... Yet go to Bullock in any other book, and he's the grizzled vet who tells other people questioning Batman to just deal with it. There's just a certain tone deaf element to the continuity here that really bugs me... then shit like Wayne Manor being dressed up for Christmas with Bruce and Alfred there, while it's supposed to be Arkham Asylum at the moment, happens, and I get bugged even more. This book used to be really good at reflecting the shared Gotham universe, but now it just seems to ignore it, which I find unfortunate.