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Written By: Gerry Duggan Art By: Shawn Crystal, Dave McCaig Cover Price: $2.99 Release Date: March 25, 2015
Wrap It Up!
*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
In the last issue of Arkham Manor we saw Batman finally confront and takeout Arkham's killer within the walls: The Spider........ I don't know how he got the name "The Spider" but solicits began saying it and Batman decided to call the villain by that name, so I guess we'll go with it. Anyway, Batman overcame the killer and then went out into Gotham to search for Seth Wickham, who never made it to the hospital after "The Spider" drilled into his head and as the issue closed we saw that Seth's psychosis has gotten the better of him as Batman discovered that the young man had murdered his parents. Let's check out this finale to this very strange and short series and see if all is put right in the world and Bruce Wayne can get his family home back. Let's check it out.
Our issue begins with Detective Bullock getting the lowdown about what's been going on from Dr. Arkham and that there are three escaped patients out on the loose including Sybil Silverlock (expect to see her show up in Gotham Academy), Seth Wickham and Jack Shaw...... don't worry about Jack though because that's the persona that Batman put on to infiltrate the asylum, in case you forgot. So what does that tell us? Why, the hunt is on for Seth Wickham; especially after we saw that he killed his parents last issue. Not really much to say about this whole bit because Batman immediately tracks him down to Seth's old high school and puts the kid down.
So even though this whole series felt like it should have been about Seth Wickham, he's recaptured and put back on his medication that allows him to realize that he isn't in fact dead, like he thought he was throughout this series run.......... and he blames Batman for bringing him back to life...... Yeah, another villain is born due to Batman. It looks like everything is back to normal as much as it can be at Arkham. Clownface is getting taken to STAR Labs, Mr. Freeze is making igloos..... You know, normal......... but for whatever reason Dr. Arkham is telling the police that he's been getting calls from Jack Shaw and since we all know that Batman isn't calling him under this persona, it looks like the good Doctor is an attention whore or he's really got a screw loose after working in the asylum for all this time.
In the end, we see that Bruce pulled some strings to get the real Jack Shaw buried in a veterans cemetery as a way to pay his respects for using the man's name and honor him for serving his country...... So that's nice and all but kind of weird to have that here. Maybe it's just to get Bruce in the car so that he can see the paperwork that Alfred has left for him so he can reacquire the Manor....... If so then it's no use because Bruce has decided to let the city have his home until it's prepared to build a new asylum and as we leave this issue, we see Dr. Crane talking to the rest of the patients about pulling a Shawshank Redemption and tunneling underneath the Manor. The last page has Batman watching the conversation and telling Crane to "Try It".
That's it for the Arkham Manor series and while it's been a fun departure from the normal kind of Batman stories, I have to wonder what the point was now that we're at the end of this run.......... Especially after reading this issue because it seemed really disjointed how it went about telling the story. Just back and forth between Batman and Arkham and most of the time it didn't really do anything to add something new, it just felt like filler and for a six issue series, nothing should be filler, especially the finale. Just a really anticlimactic end and even though I've gotten used to Shawn Crystal's artwork throughout this series, here it came off like it was the first time I ever saw it and it didn't work for me at all. I hate to be a Negative Nancy but this just wasn't the ending that the series needed to make it memorable or something that people might want to check out down the line.
Bits and Pieces:
This was a very anticlimactic ending to a very strange and short series. I don't know if this series had always planned on being six issues but for as abruptly as this ended........ I kind of hope not. This has been a decently fun series throughout, I just wish this ending brought a little bit more to the table.