Written by: Kevin Hunter, Special to CC2K
When I first saw “Batman Arkham Unhinged #1” on the shelf at my local comic book store, the first thing I thought was, “seriously!? Do we really another Batman title?” But after taking a closer look I realized how much of a sucker I am for anything Batman. And I was also attracted to the very good artwork by Mike S. Miller. Also, “Batman Arkham Unhinged #1” is based on the popular multi-platform video game, Batman: Arkham City released late last year. So I thought, ok, why not give it a read.
Batman Arkham Unhinged #1
Writer: Derek Fridolfs
Story: Marly Halpern-Graser, Paul Crocker and Sefton Hill
Art: Mike S. Miller
Letters: Travis Lanham
There have been several comics books based on games and vise versa that never really did it for me. I’m either going to be a fan of just the book or the game, but never both. But to my surprise that is not the case with “Batman Arkham Unhinged #1.”
Batman Arkham City is a game scripted by veteran comic book writer Paul Dini and directed by Sefton Hill. It’s about our favorite caped crusader as he is trapped in Arkham City, which was once Arkham Asylum, but had so many prisoners that it had to be turned into an entire city five times bigger than the original to keep even more of Batman’s lunatic enemies in.
In a story by Derek Fridolfs, “Batman Arkham Unhinged #1” centers around Catwoman and Two-Face and Dr. Hugo Strange, who as a matter of fact, really is strange. Dr. Strange is running things in Arkham City and wants Catwoman and Two-Face, but it’s a little obvious that his main goal is to capture old pointy-ears himself. Batman doesn’t appear until halfway through the book as he tries to help Catwoman escape and get her out of Gotham City and Arkham City before being killed. Apparently Batman is not really concerned about what happens to Two-Face.
There are some jewels belonging to Catwoman that were left in a vault in the old Arkham Asylum, which Dr. Strange has the blueprints too and Catwoman wants them back. She enlists the help of Two-Face and all this becomes a trap set up by Dr. Strange. Things go awry as both criminals turn on each other, as criminals often do, and both are finally captured and sent to the Arkham City. Dr. Strange gets what he wants, but misses out on his ultimate trophy, Batman. So two out of three ain’t bad, right? Not if you’re Dr. Strange and you’re going after one of the most elusive costumed characters in the entire DC Universe and all of comics.
Being somewhat of a video game junkie after spending years as a PR flack in the industry, I sort of leveled off of playing games in exchange of a life. I still have my X-Box 360, Nintendo Wii, DS and PlayStation Portable, and a ton of games, but they are primarily dominated by my young son and his brat pack of friends and relatives. But after reading “Batman Arkham Unhinged #1” and enjoying the story and artwork, it made me think about heading over to my local Game Stop and picking up a copy of the Batman: Arkham City. What’s even better (or worse for me), is that “Batman Arkham Unhinged #1” doesn’t come across as any old Batman title, and I enjoyed it so much that I wouldn’t mind reading it as a regular series.