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Written By: Gerry Duggan Art By: Shawn Crystal, Dave McCaig Cover Price: $2.99 Release Date: February 25, 2015
Washing The Spider Out
*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
In the last issue of Arkham Manor, Batman had to put his hunt for the killer in the walls on hold while he took care of the Clownface problem. What is Clownface you ask, well it's a part of Clayface that had broken off and appeared to take the form of a catatonic man, that is before the Joker somehow jokerized it and it began a rampage through the halls of Arkham Manor. Eventually with the help of Mr. Freeze, Batman was able to subdue the monster and put it on ice and as the issue closed Batman abandoned his disguise of Jack Shaw and suited up to go back inside the walls of his home to hunt out the killer plaguing Arkham. Let's see if our hero can finally put an end to this People Under The Stairs like killer and finally stop the blood from spilling in his family's home. Let's check it out.
Our issue begins with Batman straight up getting angry and taking his frustrations out on The Spider and I'm not exaggerating. He beats the ever loving hell out of this murderer and even declares that he's going to make an example of him...... at that part I got a little scared, you know with Batman crossing his line and all that but the example was him throwing The Spider through the brick wall of Arkham Manor and having him fall two floors down into the snow below. Apparently though, The Spider is a G and when Batman asks him who he is, he replies by biting his own tongue off. This is some messed up shit going on and that's saying something after we just saw a joker mud monster.
After The Spider is brought back into Arkham and restrained, Dr. Arkham tells us that he recognizes this villain and that he was one of the workers who converted Wayne Manor into Arkham and then simply didn't show up one day........... but as we all know now, he never left. It seems that Arkham doesn't hire Union workers though because this was just a drifter day laborer and since he's burned off his fingerprints, finding out who he is might be a problem. Lousy scabs.
In the end, Batman is told that Seth Wickham never made it to the hospital and with everything else that always goes on in Gotham, it doesn't seem like he's a high priority for the police and that's a little unsettling because when Batman goes back to Wickham's family's home, he finds Wickham's parents murdered. I've been waiting for that the whole series actually because from what we saw in the first issue it looked like Seth was just a little fucked up and could just use some counselling but instead his parents had him institutionalized and he wound up in Arkham where a bunch of terrible things happened to him, completely pushing him into the realm of insanity. I hate to say it but if I was Seth Wickham, I think I'd go after my parents as well because man did they fuck him over.
That's it for this issue of Arkham Manor and while it finished off the mystery of the killer in Arkham, it really comes off anticlimactic. Batman simply found him and beat the hell out of him.......The End. Yeah, Arkham Manor is only six issues long but I thought there would be a bigger story to it and now it just comes off as another wacky thing in Arkham each issue and the true point of the story was about Seth Wickham falling deeper into his psychosis. I don't know, maybe I just expected more but with only one issue left, I don't think that people will look back on Arkham Manor fondly, just that strange time when they turned Wayne Manor into Arkham and then it ended abruptly. My biggest complaint on the art throughout the series has been how Shawn Crystal draws Batman and luckily we haven't had to worry about that in this series because Bruce has spent the majority of it in disguise, but here we have a full out Batman issue and for the most part I didn't mind the way he looked........ So yeah, that's awesome. See you next month where we find out the fate of Seth Wickham and see if Batman's home remains a nut house.
Bits and Pieces:
While the hunt for The Spider comes to a close, Batman goes after what should have been the focus of this series all along with the deteriorating mind of Seth Wickham........ Which I'm all about. For this issue though, the conclusion of the killer in Arkham comes off a bit anticlimactic and I just hope that in the final issue next month we find out more about The Spider because as it's been left, it comes off unneeded and really just a filler to get Wickham to be the main focus of the story. Even with my complaints though, Arkham Manor still manages to be entertaining and if you've been reading so far, there's no reason to stop now.