DC explores more missing pieces of the Arkham City saga.
Video game-based comics are rarely very good, except apparently when those comics are based on a game that was based on a comic to start with. DC published Batman: Arkham City last year, which served as a bridging story between the Arkham Asylum and Arkham City games. It was a surprisingly enjoyable read that did a solid job of capturing the look and feel of the games rather than just playing out like any old Batman book.With Arkham Unhinged, DC continues exploring the time period between the two games. Each short story arc focuses on a different batch of characters. Over two dozen "issues" have been published as digital-exclusive releases. The Arkham Unhinged print comic merely collects several of those issues in one book, as with similar releases like Batman Beyond Unlimited.Arkham Unhinged: Continuing the Arkham City Saga.The questions readers will have to ask themselves is whether they actually care about the story being told in this first issue. Arkham City the game was released six months ago at this point. Is there anything to be accomplished by further exploring the time period between the games? Not really, if issue 1 is any indication. Derek Fridolfs weaves a perfectly competent story that spotlights Catwoman and Two-Face, but it lacks any real sense of drama or excitement.Arkham City the comic had the benefit of being scripted by Paul Dini who, aside from being well-versed with the Batman franchise in multiple mediums, was responsible for the story in the games too. The result was a comic that felt authentic and properly captured the voice of the games. Unhinged 1 reads more like standard fare Batman material. None of the characters particularly stand out. Both Two-Face and Hugo Strange come across as boring villains with only a faint sense of underlying motivation. The plot never captures the reader's attention, as it seems merely intent on answering a question no one really cared about in the first place. Does it matter exactly how Two-Face and Catwoman came to be imprisoned within Strange's prison? The main charm in this issue is the Catwoman/Batman interplay, as the two partake in their usual antagonistic games.Mike Miller aims to capture the distinctive art style of the games in the same way Carlos D'Anda did in the Arkham City mini-series. He succeeds to an extent, with plenty of clean, stylized characters and energetic panels. However, characters like Batman lack the sheer mass they have in the games, and at times it's really only the costume design that denotes this as being in the same universe. The facial work also suffers quite a bit at times, particularly when it comes to Catwoman.For those wondering whether the digital or print version is the way to go, the former is the better option. In terms of price, it's merely a question of paying $.99 for three digital chapters or $2.99 for a print comic. However, digital offers the option of buying one chapter to gauge your interest in the story. Also, the pages were designed with a widescreen layout in mind, and condensing and stacking them on top of each other only leads to a more cluttered reading experience in print.Unhinged does little to expand the Arkham mythology. An actual sequel to Arkham City would have been preferable, if not necessarily feasible at this point. However, as the series shifts to other characters who were less prevalent in the games, there should be far more potential for writers to to work with.
Source : IGN.