Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Batman: Arkham Manor [2014-2015] by Gerry Duggan | Shawn Crystal

Continuing the 75th Anniversary of Batman, the new Batman series Arkham Manor takes place after Batman Eternal #30 which will be released next week. After the destruction of Arkham Asylum, Wayne Manor now becomes the temporary home for the Arkham inmates. Now Batman ends up solving a murder at the former Wayne Manor. Now Bruce Wayne has to go undercover within Arkham Manor as Jack Shaw to solve a murder. Overall the first issue is a great start to the series which would probably end shortly once the storyline runs its course or due to poor sales. 

Arkham Manor #2 continues as Bruce Wayne disguised as Jack Shaw finds out who has been committing the murders. Bruce works with Eric Border who was revealed as the Joker in Batman: Endgame. He fights with an unknown assailant to later disappears within the Manor. The series reads like a classic Legends of the Dark Knight issue from the 90s which gives it a different flavor than the other Batman titles. 

Bruce Wayne disguised as Jack Shaw searches for a killer within his own home in Arkham Manor #3Bruce finds him within the walls of the manor however he escapes while Zsasz was revealed to be his prisoner. Eric Border reveals himself to be the Joker and infects Clayface with this Joker toxin so he becomes Clownface. These Arkham Manor issues a classics as the mystery deepens and the threat increases as the series progresses.

The Joker disguised as Eric Border unleashes Clownface (A Joker-toxin filled Clayface) upon Arkham Asylum #4. Bruce Wayne disguised as Jack Shaw releases Mr. Freeze so he will help him with Clownface. Using liquid nitrogen Clownface is secured in Mr. Freeze’s cell. Shaw changes to Batman and returns to Arkham Asylum chasing the killer within the walls of the Manor.  The mini-series is gaining momentum as we reach the conclusion with two more issues. 

Arkham Manor #5 sees Batman fighting the mysterious assailant hiding in the walls. Batman finally confronts him and asks him who he is. He responds by biting his tongue off. Now Batman tracks down a missing inmate by the name of Seth Wickham who heads home but Batman maybe too late. This issue nearly concludes the mystery of Arkham Manor however we still do not know the identity of the assailant. Next issue is the final issue and I am hopefully for a wrap that includes the identity of the assailant as well as a memorable legacy to the final issue of the series after enjoying the last four issues. 

The final issue Arkham Manor is titled “Sacrifice” where we see the status quo remains the same following Batman Eternal where Wayne Manor is sacrificed to become the temporary Arkham Asylum as a new one is built. Scarecrow believes the ground under the Manor is hollow and encourages the other inmates to tunnel beneath it as Batman spies and asks him to “Try it.” The series wraps up before the Convergence events take place in April 2015. Overall the series which spun off from the events of Batman Eternal was like the Legends of the Dark Knight arcs from the nineties and it was a welcomed read.