Story by: Scott Snyder and Marguerite Bennett
Written by: Marguerite Bennett
Pencils: Wes Craig
Colors: Ian Hannin
Publisher: DC Comics
A few things have become synonymous with Batman over the years, Gotham, darkness, the rogues; none of these things epitomizes The Bat quite like the house to all the madness, Arkham Asylum.
Batman’s second annual introduces us to a new orderly in Arkaham, Eric. Unlike the natives of Gotham (Eric is from Metropolis) he has a genuinely optimistic view towards Arkham’s longer-tenured residents; he believes everyone can be saved. We’re also introduced to a new character in the Batman mythos, Arkham’s very first patient, The Anchoress. She proves to be a challenge unlike one The Dark Knight has ever faced!
In the monthly series, we’re a few issues into Zero Year. Thankfully this issue doesn’t abandon that completely, taking place in present-day Gotham, but with a nice shout out to Batman’s work before he actually became The Bat. Though it’s pretty light on action, it’s heavy on what most die-hard Bat-fans love too, the psychology of The Dark Knight. Anyone halfway familiar with Batman knows the man isn’t well, but he’s always used his curses to help with the ongoing battle against injustice. This issue does a FANTASTIC job picking his brain and showing you that not all is well upstairs, but it also shows you that even with all of that negativity, Batman continues to fight the good fight!
I was a little disappointed when I saw Greg Capullo wasn’t the artist on this book, he and Snyder have done a WONDERFUL job with their work on Batman since they took over, but the stand-in artists did an above average job filling in. The colors aren’t very bright, but that’s not a bad thing. In the darkest place in the already-dark Bat-universe, they did a great job conveying just how bleak things are for the inmates of the asylum.
This book just screams the same kind of tone that Grant Morrison’s famous Arkham Asylum graphic novel had, albeit it isn’t nearly as dark! If you haven’t been reading Batman since the New 52, you should be! Scott Snyder is one of the best storytellers in comics, not to mention, he was born to tell the story of Batman. The only reason this isn’t a 5 out of 5 is the art, while good, it isn’t even close to Greg Capullo’s. Snyder has done a great job putting his stamp on the DC mythos and that doesn’t change here. Buy this book!
4 out of 5 nerds