THIS WEEK: Arkham City: The Order of the World #4 and Detective Comics #1047 take different looks at the mental health struggles of Gotham City.
Note: the reviews below contain spoilers. If you want a quick, spoiler-free buy/pass recommendation on the comics in question, check out the bottom of the article for our final verdicts.
Arkham City: The Order of the World #4
Writers: Dan Watters
Colors: Dave Stewart
Letterer: Aditya Bidikar
Cover: Sam Wolfe Connelly
Before I get into the bigger release of the week, I wanted to touch on how Arkham City: The Order of the World compliments the themes that get examined in the weekly Detective Comics arc that also started this week.
Arkham City has been all about the systematic failures of Arkham Asylum and the damage that those have done to the city over time, leaving an entire city struggling with mental health.
With the collapse of the Asylum, you have various Batman rogues loose in the city, and not your more deadly ones like Two-Face and Joker, but ones that are more seriously in need of the help that a stable environment (or as stable as Arkham Asylum could be anyway), provided. The resulting instability has dire ramifications as patients like Dr. Sartorius (Dr. Phosphorus) and Natalia Knight (Nocturna) try to reacclimate to society without a support net, and those results are disastrous, both for them and for the people around them. As bad as it was, at least Arkham Asylum had a support system.
Arkham City has been a wonderfully intriguing story, coupled with incredible art from Dani that just has the feel of gritty noir that made Tim Sale drawn Batman books so popular. While I’m not a huge fan of Azrael, this book has quietly become one of my favorites every month.
Detective Comics #1047
Writers: Mariko Tamaki and Matthew Rosenberg
Artists: Ivan Reis, Danny Miki and Fernando Blanco
Colors: Brad Anderson and Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: Ariana Maher and Rob Leigh
Cover: Irvin Rodriguez
If Arkham City looked at the systemic failures of Arkham Asylum, the two stories in this week’s Detective Comics #1047 looked at them from two different angles. The first, in Tamaki and Reis’s main story, is how hard it is to rebuild structure after a collapse of the magnitude of the one the city saw during A-Day.
And what we see is a very optimistic beginning, though not without ominous overtones. Arkham Tower is an Arkham more focused on treatment than on isolation, and in a vacuum, this is a good thing. Many of the individuals in Arkham could benefit greatly from such methodology. But, this being a comic book, things can’t be that easy. If you treat the Arkham patients to a point where …….