Wednesday, October 22, 2014

SPOILERS: Arkham Manor #1

Who needs Batman Eternal #30? Arkham blows up when this book says it blows up! Next week be damned!

The Spoilers:

So, due to the spookiness that's going down at Arkham in Batman Eternal, the asylum blows up and the city needs a new place to put the loonies. With the power of eminent domain, the city decides that Wayne Manor is the most suitable place, and it's a decision Bruce Wayne eventually agrees with... The alternative was to blow the fucking place sky high, but Bruce believes keeping the inmates away from the city is best.

Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like keeping the inmates in Wayne Manor is the best for them, because one of them's already been killed, tortured to death, and Batman can't seem to figure out why, so it's time to go undercover, adopting the name of a recently deceased homeless man (whose records were erased) and Bruce gets himself checked into the Asylum under the name Jack Shaw.


The Review:

Short write-up, huh? Well, yeah. This was a super set-up heavy issue, that almost felt as if it should have been a #0 issue. Better yet, remember how Batman #28 was sorta-kinda an issue of Batman Eternal? This story could have easily been Batman #33, the issue Gerry Duggan co-wrote with Snyder, which is actually referenced a bit in here.

All that being said, I love the concept, it's a little silly on paper, but it makes sense when you start to think about it. Bruce giving up the home to house the inmates makes perfect sense from a Batman perspective, while the Matches Malone approach he's taking to the situation is going to make sure that this just isn't some other standard Batman book, like say Batman: The Dark Knight was. This issue was a definite proof of concept issue, and I'm really looking forward to the concept getting fleshed out more.

On the writer/artist side of things, I said this last month, or August... whenever Batman #33 came out, but Gerry Duggan seems to have a real strong grasp on Batman already. There's a bit in there where Bruce is just on patrol and tells a lady who was getting mugged to call an ambulance. She says she's not that hurt, but Bruce corrects her, saying it's not for her, then we see her running out of the alley screaming for the ambulance, while it's left to assume Bruce is just beating the shit out of the thugs. That's just great Batman humor, and it makes me really interested to see what Duggan does with the Jack Shaw angle and how he defines that "character." On the art side, I don't think I knew who Shawn Crystal was before... In fact, let me look that up.


Yep. Aside from him drawing a section of Deadlpool #27, I have never read anything he's illustrated before. As a reader who likes me some unique styles when it comes to artists, I think I'm going to enjoy Crystal's work. The best way I can describe the style is a sort of cross between Sean Murphy and Andrew Robinson... with maybe a little Rafael Albuquerque thrown in? But that last one might just be colorist Dave McCaig's influence. Regardless, the book looks good and definitely differentiates itself from Batman and Detective Comics, so it's all good in my book.

Ultimately, while I felt this book was more of a prelude, #0 issue, set-up, whatever, it definitely did its job and whet my appetite for more. It'll be an interesting concept to see develop and it'll be equally interesting to see how it maintains the concept in the long haul. Definitely another book worth checking out, unique from anything else DC is publishing right now.  

1 comment :

  1. What I enjoyed is that while I was looking forward to some zany villain stories, thus was actually very grounded which I think will help in its favor.