Most helpful critical review
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Well enough but nothing special
on October 10, 2001
When I first started reading the presented story in this collection (it collects 'Batman: Shadow of the Bat #1-4') my interest was sparked. It all started off rather promising and seemed to be something more than your average Batman tale. Jeremiah Arkham is an interesting character and Arkham Asylum is a scene with great potential for psycho-thriller storylines (take for example "Arkham Asylum" by Grant Morisson). It's too bad that when the story was half done, in a good way, it seemed to shift over as if on automatic pilot. It then evolved into a cliche Batman-knows-all-and-hunts-down-the-crook story of which we have so many already.
A short intro to know what it's about a little:
In Arkham Asylum, Gotham City's nutthouse for the criminally insane, we find a rather unexpected inhabitant, Batman. He was put there because he went berserk and lethally attacked an officer. This because of his frustrations about not knowing what to do in the multiple-murdercase he's trying to figure out. All the clues lead to only one person, Zsasz, but he is already in Arkham Asylum and has been there all the while the murders took place. Batman is puzzled and him being locked up doesn't seem to help too.
Like I said, it all starts off rather promising and intriguing. But it lacks an evenly interesting conclussion and instead just hops over on an already paved path. The art is not spectacularly good either, but it's sufficient. It's only painfully obvious that the artist mostly concentrated on making Batman look good, and hurried a little doing the rest of the panel. Fans of Nightwing will not appreciate how he looks here. And a thing I don't mind easy is something which bugs me more than a little in this book: the coloring is .. let's just say "not good". It looks a little like the colorist really wanted to do it with other colors but that they weren't there right then, and than just opted for the next best thing.
All in all it isn't exactly the worst Batman story imaginable, but it isn't good or bringing something new to the character neither. If you're looking for a good Batman story than you could get it if you have most of all the other modern day Batman stories already. If you don't you'd rather get something like 'Prey','Faces','Knightfall (collected in two trades)','Joker: Devil's Advocate' or one of the more obvious choices like 'Long Halloween', 'Year One' or 'Return of the Dark Knight' which are all superior to this.