Review: Grim And Gritty ‘Arkham City’ #2

Dan Watters and Dani continue to expand the crackpots of Gotham City in Arkham City #2 with Doctor Jocasta Joy not the only one keeping a lunatic villain hidden away. Although she hasn’t got here escaped Arkham inmate locked up in chains and stuck in a cellar. 

In this second issue the focus moves to Doctor Double X, another hokey old-school Batman villain who you simply cannot help feeling sorry for in his current incarcerated condition. A local drug dealer having swapped selling on illegal high for an altogether more trippy experience. Watters and Dani injecting this particular opening scene  – through a combination of script and dark, shadow- soaked artwork – with a creepy sense of horror.

Having been a large part of 2000 AD for a good few years now, Dani has a keen eye for black and white composition, with a great mastery of negative space. This would work equally well in black and white, maybe even more so. But, that would be doing a disservice to colour artist, Dave Stewart, and what he brings to the issue. And the scene in which Azrael is introduced shows what a good eye for colour composition can bring to the party. The reds of his costume shout out against the dark background of a suitably gothic church.

Add to this the lettering work of award winning Aditya Bidikar, who captures the essence of a character through his skilled font choices and speech balloon designs, and it’s a potent mix.

And while I have already mentioned the inevitable comparisons to Frank Miller’s work on Sin City, there’s also a little bit of a feel of David Mazzucchelli’s  world on Batman: Year One too, intentional or otherwise. A mixture of gritty ‘70s kitchen-sink cop films with a spruce of horror too. All adding up to a psychological, somewhat supernatural feeling series that adds a further level of grim to an already grim Gotham. And out now from DC Comics.

Dan Watters and Dani continue to expand the crackpots of Gotham City in Arkham City #2 with Doctor Jocasta JoyCOMICONRead More

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