Arkham City: The Order of the World #3 – Dan Watters, Writer; Dani, Artist; Dave Stewart, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: Dr. Jacosta Joy heads deeper into the underbelly of Gotham in this third issue, as the Ten-Eyed Man’s bizarre foresight uncovers long-buried secrets. One of the most fascinating parts of this comic has been the way it shows us Arkham and its associated people and facilities through the eyes of “madmen” for the first time and makes the case that maybe Arkham was just as much of an evil to the city as the people it contained. Dr. Joy may have been trying to help the people within, but not everyone involved was part of that. The GCPD doesn’t understand, the vigilantes of Gotham don’t understand—especially not the zealous Azrael, who is hunting many of the escapees—and the asylum’s worst sins are buried deep, some literally. Dani’s art continues to make this book far more creepy than it would be with more standard art, especially when it comes to a surprise guest from Arkham’s past.
That would be Solomon Grundy, who’s usually portrayed as more of a generic bruiser for heroes to fight. Here he’s no less dangerous, but with the Ten-Eyed Man able to understand him somewhat, it becomes clear he’s actually a portal to Arkham’s past. Having died and been reborn countless times in Arkham, he’s witnessed some of the worst things in the city’s history. In a series of stunning pages tinted in red, we see the history of Arkham brought to life and the tragedies that began the asylum’s twisted legacy. This series has a very deliberate pace, with certain characters being teased issues ago and only rearing their faces now. That’s because this is more of a mood piece than anything else, showing how the madness of Arkham slowly infects and corrupts Gotham. It’s part of the main line, but to a degree it feels more like an experimental Black Label book—well-suited for this creative team.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.