Wednesday, November 26, 2014

SPOILERS: Arkham Manor #2

Hmm... I don't think we're dealing with Mr. Zsasz, here.

The Spoilers:

Batman, acting as Jack Shaw, had intended for his work in the new Arkham facility to only last no longer than his lunch break, but here he is, in the middle of a group therapy session with some of his most deadly enemies. Though the mystery at hand is taking longer than he'd expect, Bruce actually enjoys the Shaw persona, because similar to Matches Malone allowing him to get a good grasp on mob mentality, Shaw allows him to see his enemies in a different light.

While he's doing "work therapy," Bruce sees Dr. Border (HAH) wheel in an elderly mute man, who Bruce seems to recognize as a very dangerous threat and needs to alert the staff while keeping his cover. Once Border leaves, Bruce tells the man he knows who he is, and slips away, looking for a phone. While traveling the grounds, he questions whether or not if he basically turned his home into a powder keg, waiting for a spark... What kind of spark, well, there's this woman named Calamity whose in a coma... if she woke up, well then, there'd be a problem... Oh, by the way, Gotham Academy readers should know that Calamity's real name is Sybil Silverlock, sooooo, there's that. Anyways, Bruce gets to a phone, warns Border as Batman, and Border wheels the guy away. 

After that's said and done, Bruce heads back to his cell. Looking out the window, he sees a fellow inmate getting attacked in their cell, so he breaks out to help. Did I mention Zsasz was missing? No? Well, he is, and Bruce thinks the attacker is Zsasz.

Well, it's not! Well, I don't think so... Zsasz doesn't lurk in the shadows with some sort of night vision helmet. Bruce tries to fight off the assailant, but when the guards arrive and give him a concussion, Bruce wakes up to find Border saying there's no one else in the room. SPOOKY.


The Review:

I liked the first issue, but if I remember correctly, I thought it felt very thin and was more of a #0 issue with nothing but set up, this month, things clicked for me. The part where Bruce thinks to himself how much he likes being Jack Shaw because he gets a new perspective is exactly why I liked this issue, because of that new perspective. We hardly get to see the villains being treated. It's "You're going to Arkham" and that's it until they break out. Sure, we've seen some more stuff through out the years here and there, but no look-in as detailed as this book is giving. Then there's the shared sense of continuity, which I hope these new books really make use of... The Sybil Silverlock reveal is actually pretty big in terms of Gotham Academy, and potentially explains the last page of this month's issue. Or at least starts to, so that was cool.

A couple negatives... The old guy, I hate when books sort of do that thing where the character knows something but the reader doesn't... I guess hate is a strong word, but it's just annoying. In regards to storytelling techniques, it does its job at getting me interested in learning more (hopefully) next issue. Speaking of characters/readers knowing something the other doesn't, Dr. Border. So, we know Dr. Border is the Joker, and I think if they're going to use Border in this book, with it set before Endgame, then they really should lean heavily into it and hint some more. Give Border some ticks or mannerisms that allow us to see behind the facade, really utilize the dramatic irony. 

So, yeah, for negatives, nothing I really had a problem with was really a big deal. Like I said above, while I thought the first issue was an interesting proof of concept, it was a little light on the content, but this is definitely the issue where things get kicked into gear and start to come together in what's turning out to be a very unique read.

1 comment :

  1. The cameo was a nice surprise and I agree that hopefully it leads to more in between the new titles and directions.