Testing the Asylum
I enjoy Batman recently I find that it doesn’t deserve the almost universe praise its getting I mean it’s good, but it’s not the best book on the stands, and there are better books out at the minute. I did however decide to buy this annual, to keep the collection complete, and I was intrigued by the story, and I had some spare cash unlike sometimes.
A new employee comes to Arkham Asylum, but his first day is greeted, by being asked to lock Batman up in a cell, but it turns out Batman is only here to test how good the systems are in the asylum.
This was a good annual not really a necessary story, it added an interesting villain, but I doubt somehow she’ll be back for more, but it’s a good done in one story that’s worth if you have extra cash buying, but the normal Batman is better in my opinion. What interested me though was that this is written by a female writer Marguerite Bennett, and I believe this is the first time a female writer has written the main Batman title or at least something close to it, and she does a really good job Snyder is involved, but the majority is Bennett, and most of my problems with the issue aren’t her doing, but she really has made a great entrance to the comic world.
- · Jock is a great cover artist, and this is no different with a really shadowy take on Batman which doesn’t really have anything to do with the story, but it’s still good.
- The beginning of the issue is really shocking, and while it may seem a little there running out of ideas, it works out in the end, and it makes perfect sense.
- · This story for the first half focuses on a new employee at Arkham Asylum Eric Border, but later it goes over to Batman for a bit, but he is the focus of the book, and while I doubt he’ll come back up again he’s an interesting character with a fish out of water type thing going on with him. What I mean is Eric is from Metropolis where everything is apparently pretty optimistic, but in Gotham everything’s a bit more dark, and grim, so he’s a fish out of water type thing where he has to learn how tough Gotham could be, and how not to trust people, so it’s really a whole character arc in one issue which is pretty clever.
- · The testing of the Arkham Asylum security systems is a clever idea, and Batman trying it out due to different villains, and their power sets it’s a clever idea if not for one major flaw, which I will discuss later.
- · The Anchoress is an interesting villain her origin isn’t that original, but her motivation for hating Batman is just truly understandable, and I in a way have to agree with what she was saying, and her powers are interesting if they’ve already been used by other people, but the creepy voice that Eric hears is interesting, but the effect gets slightly taken away when you see her.
- · Probaby the most touching scene of this issue is Batman being tortured, and put through the mill by Anchoress, and he basically gets put on the guilt trip, about all of his dead family members like obviously his parents his son, and most interestingly his brother now I won’t spoil much else, but it’s a touching moment especially the Damian moment.
- · The arts pretty good altogether it got some great expression, and emotion on characters, and Anchoress’s origin, and the Bruce guilt trip has a fantastic layout. The action is pretty good as well, and quite fluid the design of Anchoress is interesting as well.
- · While I believe the analysis of Arkham Asylum due to the Bat villains is clever I feel like Batman was missing a crucial point which is the only way Batman could escape the cells, and the villains could as well was if they all had the powers of each other, so if there was a super villain with all the powers of each villain combined it could work, but Batman judges it on one villain at different points so it’s not for sure that each villain would make it to that point anyway.
- · Anchoress’s origin isn’t the most original with the obvious dead parents which is overused.
- · The art doesn’t fit a bat book a cartoonier book maybe, but Batman? No it needs to be shadowy, and dark, and some of the faces do not look grim enough, and Anchoress doesn’t look as creepy as she could be.
I’m drifting towards a three with this, but I think its worthy of a solid 4 because it’s a well written story with a great premise, and it’s a good done in one Bat story even though I do not think elements of this will be re-shown anywhere else unless Bennett comes back for another story maybe, but still try to enjoy it, it’s a fun read.