Why did it take so long to get back to the only un-finished sub-story? Why are there so many scene changes? Why did Swiss Chalet take their butter chicken off the menu? And most importantly, why am I asking you? As always we begin with the cover, Batwing is being man-handled by savage bald men. About time we got back to this part of the story with Batwing and James Corrigan. This cover reminds me of a zombie movie poster.
We begin this chapter watching Alfred hallucinating in Arkham asylum. In Alfred’s hallucination, it looks like he is seeing the hero Swamp Thing. This is interesting because I don’t know if Swamp Thing is going to appear or not in this series. I don’t really see any reason why he would. We also see Alfred outside of his hallucination being cared for by the corrupt Arkham staff. When did Alfred get sent to Arkham? I don’t remember it happening last issue.
We cut to a different scene as we return to James Corrigan’s fight with Blackfire from who knows how many issues ago. I was beginning to think they had forgotten about this sub-story. It has the same feeling of creepiness that we were left with. Ladies and Gentlemen, please forgive me if I’m sounding awkward. We haven’t seen James Corrigan for a couple of issues and going back after so long is very hard for me. We cut again to find the Joker’s daughter holding someone hostage making the hostage beg for their life. I will say this, the Joker’s daughter is definitely growing on me. She is someone who instills fear into the reader’s heart.
The Joker’s daughter looks at a note while she is scouting out the surrounding area. She looks at a store as we see what’s inside the store with a scene transition. Inside the store we see Hush setting up a bomb and other deadly objects. I wonder if the Joker’s daughter and Hush are going to meet up in this issue. The technology that Hush has almost looks like it was stolen from Batman. This is quite possible. It could have happened in the storyline with Hush which I have not read yet.
Below Arkham we see Batwing floating in water as a creature comes to attack him. Who would remember the reason why Batwing is floating in water? It’s been a couple of issues since that happened. The fight scene is nothing special but we do get the sense that Batwing is in trouble. As more and more creatures come at him, Batwing manages to get out of the water and tries to fight back. Batwing also gets in contact with Batman to fill him in on what’s been happening. This is very realistic. When a soldier gets out of trouble they should contact their superiors. Batwing tries to escape as Mat-bats chase after him. Or at least I think they are Man-bats. We return to the main asylum as the corrupt staff do more dirty work. We also get a look at Bane but he doesn’t say anything. I hope it’s Bane because the last person I called Bane turned out it wasn’t him.
In another part of town, the GCPD is violently trying to stop a riot. By violently is mean using missiles. Who would use a missile to stop a riot? That’s overkill. We actually learn that it’s Batman throwing a smoke bomb at one of the helicopters trying to take it down. While I know it’s just a smoke bomb, it’s very easy to assume that it could be a missile from the GCPD due to the way it is drawn. This scene is a bit confusing because everything goes by fast. You’re not sure what is coming from where. Batman steals one of the helicopters while talking to Julia about what Batwing has found. We still don’t why Batman stole the helicopter and not just making sure that it lands without getting people hurt. This is a little clearer than the last two pages but still a bit confusing.
We return to the Joker’s daughter talking to herself while beating up a monster that came out of nowhere. I assume the Joker’s daughter is in the sewers but I can’t tell you how and why she is there. We cut back to Blackfire beating up James Corrigan to make James Corrigan into the Spectre. We learn that James Corrigan can only turn into the Spectre when he is close to dying. I don’t know if this is the same way it happen before the reboot of September 2011. The start of James Corrigan’s transformation is drawn really well.
Just when we think we will see the Spectre, we cut to see what Batwing and the Joker’s daughter are doing. We mainly get to see Batwing putting heavier armour. The panels of him putting heavier armor on resembles scenes from Ironman. I’m not sure if this is deliberate or not. We finally get to see James Corrigan next stage of transformation as Blackfire does some chanting. This is agonizing. Could we please see the transformation on one page? We don’t need to see it dragged on for pages.
Batwing runs to a cliff up above James Corrigan and leaps down to try to save him. While this is happening, Julia is decoding a Riddler message but I can’t understand it. Looking at the way Julia’s panel is set up, it’s like the writers want you to see the message but it is too complicated with all the ‘x’s to understand. Batwing is unsuccessful as the whole asylum illuminates in a green light. This is probably the disaster that destroyed Arkham Asylum in Arkham Manor issue 1. We don’t know if any of our heroes are surviving this disaster and we probably won’t know in this issue.
We end this chapter seeing Arkham Asylum blowing up in a green light as Julia tries to contact Batwing with no success. A very creepy and depressing way to end the story. This issue was a bit confusing to read due to the fact that minor art mistakes and character that we have not seen in a couple of issues.