Batman: Shadow Of The Bat #1
DC Comics (June, 1992; posted to comiXology August, 2011)
“The Last Arkham” part 1
WRITER: Alan Grant
ARTIST: Norm Breyfogle
COLORIST: Adrienne Roy
LETTERER: Todd Klein
ASSISTANT EDITOR: Scott Peterson
EDITOR: Dennis O’Neil
Jeremiah Arkham didn’t plan to take over the family asylum but after a chance encounter he devoted his life to trying to cure madness. He even rebuilds Arkham Asylum from the ground up in the hopes of stopping the revolving door and maybe curing one or two of the inmates. Novel idea, I know. However, his methods may themselves be insane and certainly drastic. It certainly isn’t helping his case that he has Batman among his residents.
What they got right: This marks the first appearance of Victor Zsasz, although he’s just a guy locked in a special cell. We don’t see him but we do learn about him. We also learn Jeremiah’s backstory. It doesn’t make him sympathetic (especially after having guys beat up Batman and pledge to “cure” him) but I don’t think it’s supposed to. It’s just his origin.
What they got wrong: The comiXology version has no credits and if there’s a title page that’s missing as well. I had to go to comics.org to find them. On the comic’s side I’m worried this is going to be another “Batman is crazy because he runs around in a bat suit fighting crime” bit of nonsense and I’m tired of that. I could be wrong and I hope I am, but I don’t have the next three issues to find out. Also, for some reason Batman, Robin (Tim), and Nightwing are too thin. And maybe this is explained in an earlier or later comic but when and how did they snag Batman?
Recommendation: For all I know this turns out to be a classic tale but I just wasn’t interested in continuing. Maybe it’s because 90s Batman doesn’t interest me very often to begin with but I can’t give a solid recommendation based on this issue.