Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Arkham Manor #3 Review and *SPOILERS*

Written By: Gerry Duggan
Art By: Shawn Crystal, Dave McCaig
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: December 24, 2014

Wayne Manor Is Nuts

Let's get crazy as we jump back into another issue of Arkham Manor, where we lock ourselves away with the scum of Gotham and hope that we'll get out soon because Arkahm isn't a place for normal folks like you and me........  Maybe it is, I don't really know you and you don't really know me so maybe we all are bat shit and this is the perfect title to wrap our heads around.  This review is coming in a bit late and I apologize for that, it somehow fell through the cracks during the holidays where I was terribly sick......... but I'm catching up.  Last issue of Arkham Manor we saw Bruce Wayne in disguise as a patient of Arkham on the hunt for a killer he believed was an escaped Zsasz but after seeing the killer drill a hole into his victims head and sporing a headlamp to blind his victims and to conceal his identity.............Yeah, I'm going with it not being Zsasz.  When we left the issue the killer got away and Bruce was knocked out when the guards came to see what the commotion in the room was and man does it look like Bruce just killed a dude because when the guards searched, all they found was Bruce and no headlamp killer.  So let's check out this issue and see if the killer reveals himself or if Bruce is totally framed for the murder or attempted murder.........It seems you can live after have a long ass drill put in your head and the world just got creepier to me.  Let's check it out.

Explain It!:

Our issue begins with me being shocked at how wishy washy the staff of Arkham are when it comes to possible murderers.  I mean last issue Bruce was knocked in the back of the head by the guards on duty, giving him a concussion and then when they checked Wickham's room for the killer Bruce claimed was there..........They found nothing.  So here we are with Bruce disguised as someone who they believe deserves to be institutionalized at Arkham and they just let a doctor look at his head wound all by his lonesome?  From the way things ended in the last issue I half expected Bruce to be confined like Hannibal Lecter when I flipped this issue open.  Instead, I guess they took the word of a supposed crazy person and went and got him medical attention after the guards beat him abouts the face........... you know, after he broke out of his room, beat them up and entered a room with a guy who was attacked...........None of this makes sense to me.  Oh and it looks like Wickham survived his drill to the head and he's going to be taken out of Arkham Manor so that he can get some proper care.........and you know not have to worry about someone coming back and finishing the job.  But we'll get to that in a bit.  Like the majority of this paragraph is getting at, Bruce is left alone with a doctor as he tries to determine the severity of Bruce's concussion and Bruce takes the opportunity to knock the doctor out and steal his clothes so that he can then steal Jeremiah Arkham's keys and go back to the scene of the crime and hopefully find the killer.  

Since I brought it up before, I'll tell you about Mr. Wichham and his infinite bad luck.  Not only does his parents have him committed to an asylum that falls into the earth, then he's moved to stately Wayne Manor where some maniac drills into his head.  Now get this, when he's being moved to the hospital his stretcher's wheels slip in the snow and Mr. Wickham goes tumbling down into a cavern that opened up beneath him and has rats gnawing at his face.  Poor poor Mr. Wickham.  With the amount of rats under Wayne Manor I really assume that it was a fifty fifty shot of Bruce becoming Ratman, it's just damn lucky that a bat flew through the window when it did......... or that Bruce activated the bat holograms he recorded......... It all depends on your Year One. 

Back in Arkham though, Bruce is doing some investigating and finds a false wall put in place of a vent where the killer hid his escape.  Once inside he finds the killer but after a small scuffle, our driller killer........or driller attempted killer gets away and Bruce is left with what looks like the dead body of Zsasz.  I can't tell you how excited/scared I was when I thought that Zsasz was dead here.  I really thought it was a ballsy move to kill Zsasz off in this manner............Then he speaks and all the thoughts I had on the subject were immediately shut down and I simply went on with the story.

In the end, I guess Wickham has had enough of the city's care and murdered the ambulance drivers and made his way into the city.  Zsasz was put on Jeremiah Arkham's desk so that he might get the care he needs and we have the big reveal that we've already had in Batman and Batman Eternal of Eric Border: the mild mannered Arkham orderly being the Joker.  Not only that though, we also get the reveal of the John Doe that came into the Asylum last issue.........  You know, the one that Bruce was so afraid of, well as it turns out he's really a amnesiac Clayface and after a little playtime akin to play doh, the Joker remakes Clayface into a terrifying clay clown..........that he calls Clownface.  Arkham Manor is getting weird..............weirder.

That's it for this issue of Arkham Manor and like last issue I'm really digging it.  In the beginning I really didn't know where this story could go but now that I know it's cancelled and will only amount to a mini, it seems to have really upped the story for me.  If searching for a killer wasn't enough now our hero will have to deal with a deranged Clayface as well........... I know it's Batman we're talking about but shit doesn't look good for our Caped Crusader.  On the art front, I can't help but laugh at myself because originally I wasn't really a fan of the style here but after only three issues........ I'm really digging it.  So good story, good art, a good time.

Bits and Pieces:

This series is strange to me because from the get go I never saw how it could be an ongoing, but after hearing it was cancelled and knowing it was only going to be a mini, it really became a lot bigger in my mind and this issue really does a good job at solidifying that thought.  It's Batman locked in with the worst of the worst and things just keep going sideways for our hero.  I can't wait to see how this series closes and what it will mean for Wayne Manor.  Go check it out and add a great companion piece to your Batman and Batman Eternal collections.

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  1. I haven't been upto date on this title but I will buy the trades as this sounds like an awesome miniseries

    1. Yeah, I think this will be a pretty cool trade when it's all said and done.


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