Arkham City: The Order of the World #4 – Dan Watters, Writer; Dani, Artist; Dave Stewart, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: We spend so much time in Gotham that we get used to its lingering gothic creepiness. But the city has never been so eerie and unwelcoming as it is in Dan Watters and Dani’s post-Arkham horror mystery. As Dr. Joy delves deeper into the world of the escaped Arkham inmates, it’s easy to wonder if she’s falling into the same trap as Dr. Quinzel did years ago. She’s not in love with the Ten-Eyed Man, sure, but she seems to have enmeshed with him in a way that’s all too common. With the city possibly haunted by the ghost of Amadeus Arkham and Azrael on their tails, Joy is forced to leave the Ten-Eyed Man to him and take what might be Arkham’s skull on the run—hoping to banish the curse once and for all. But while she may have had a rapport with some of the villains who escaped from Gotham, others are much further gone—and are wreaking havoc away from the public eye.
I’ve always been a fan of villainous couples—less Harley and Joker and more Croc and Orca—but few are as creepy as this issue’s pairing of Dr. Phosphorous and Nocturna. They’re two of Arkham’s most dangerous villains and two of its most tragic, and they’ve decided to settle down and live a normal life—in the middle of a crowded apartment building where the bad doctor’s radiation is poisoning the residents of the nearby apartments. The dichotomy of the two of them playing house and the poor women in the next apartment literally falling apart is chilling. Making it worse, when Dr. Joy eventually finds them, she’s torn between getting the victims’ help—and maintaining her relationship with the two dangerous escapees. Her ruse is starting to unravel, as a major player finds out a shocking secret, and the mystery of the Ghost of Arkham deepens. It’s a compelling slow-burn horror mystery that’s only getting better.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.