Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Arkham Manor #1 Review and *SPOILERS*

Written By: Gerry Duggan
Art By: Shawn Crystal
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: October 22, 2014

Home Is Where The Insane Asylum Is.

Welcome to Arkham Manor, a strange new idea about where to put the crazies after Arkham is destroyed from a earthquake in Batman Eternal, that may or may not have happened yet.  Give me a break, I don't review that book.  This being the first issue, I don't have a lot to say before the story other than, man is this a weird idea for a story.  If you would of asked me the chances of Wayne Manor becoming the new Arkham ten years ago, I'd have told you, you were crazy.  Crazy as an Arkham inmate.  Let's check out this story and see if it will be something we'll talk about for years to come or if it's relegated to whispered talks in back alleys at the dead of night.

Explain It!:

Our story begins with Arkham crashing down and the city trying desperately to relocate all the patients.  First it was regular hospitals, then they moved them to the Gotham Stadium, where people complain about it being cruel and unusual punishment even though it looks like they got way better treatment than people at the Astro Dome, but finally two guys who apparently were put in charge of the relocation deem Wayne Manor the best place to house the nuts.  Now I don't want you to think that they thought of a billionaires house right away, no it was put on the list as a joke and they just ran with it because of it's size and location.  Now I don't really get this part because while one of the guys is talking about Bruce Wayne he says that he's an idiot that lost the family fortune, but when the hell did that happen?  As far as I know Bruce is still quite the stellar business man and his fortune is perfectly safe.  It's not like he's Oliver Queen or something.  Also I left the guys who picked the manor quite vague, because honestly I don't know who the city would pick for such a job.  Politics and the inner workings of cities are not in my wheelhouse of knowledge.  Hell they said that they'd have to use "eminent domain" as a way to take over the mansion and the only reason I know what that is, is because I heard them talk about it in Tremors 3.  So yeah, not to bright on things dealing with reality or being an adult.

So even though they make it sound at first that Wayne Manor is empty due to Bruce's incompetence, we find out from Bruce himself, that he gave up the mansion without a fight because at least the inmates would be housed and you know not easily escaping a regular hospital or a football stadium.  After a little renovation from the city, Wayne Manor is transformed into Arkham Manor and our hero, just to make sure the cave is safe, cements up the stairwell to the mansion.  

But we find out that even though this Arkham Manor thing is only temporary until they build the new Asylum and that Bruce will get his families home back eventually, it might not be the same as when he left it.  Batman responds to a call from the Manor and we find out that there's been a double murder.  As I can tell you from growing up in a house that was once the scene of a double murder, you aren't getting those blood stains off the floor boards.  No, I'm serious it was creepy as hell when we removed the carpets and I can understand how Bruce feels when seeing that his father's home will never be completely the same.  



Okay so there's a double murder.  What do you think Batman does to get to the bottom of this?  Well if you picked find a homeless man's body in the morgue and erase his information from the database so that Batman can use the man's identity to infiltrate Arkham Manor as a patient.......... Well damn that was some good guessing on your part....... Some kind of goddamn wizard.........  Batman is now undercover as Jack Shaw and this is definitely a new direction that I didn't expect the book to go.

That's it for this first issue of Arkham Manor and while I'm not completely sold on it yet, I'll keep an open mind and hopefully I'll become a big fan in the future.  Some things I didn't talk about during the story that I found really cool about this book is that when Batman enters Arkham Manor there is a cool duality from what Bruce saw in the Manor from when he was a child growing up and what he sees now in what his family home has become.  Really cool scene and the creators really pulled it off well.  Make sure you're back next month as we tread deeper into insanity and see what this Arkham is all about.  See you then.

Bits and Pieces:

Now I can't say that I'm really a fan of this art style, but for the most part I can get beyond it and have a good time.  Only real thing I can't get behind is the way Batman looks.  Hopefully that won't be a problem in the future because I really don't like not liking the way Batman looks.  Does that make sense?  For the most part though this story actually grabbed me and I'm intrigued to see where it goes.  Not a shabby first issue, I just would of liked a little more background for the beginning of the story.  Go check it out and have fun wrapping your mind around something that sounds as ludicrous as Arkham Manor.


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