Batman: Arkham Unhinged #1-2
Story by Derek Fridolfs and Art by Brian Ching
Taking place during RockSteady’s phenomenal video game, Batman: Arkham City, the first issue focuses on the tension between Harvey Dent and Selina Kyle. I’m gonna start right off and say the art sucks. Selina is not in proportion and looks downright Asian at times…certainly not the Catwoman I know and love. Cliched one liners and mannerisms also take away from the character, making her extremely one dimensional. As she escapes the clutches of Tyger guards, she is knocked unconscious by Batman who is intent on getting her out of danger’s (and Strange’s) way. She refuses this help and escapes Batman’s clutches (wearing ridiculously high heels instead of the functional combat boots of her own title) and goes to the old Arkham mansion for blueprints of Strange’s vault. Her and Harvey bump heads, and much like we see in the game, she is captured. We also see an inexplicable iris change from purple to her trademark green. Issue #1 ends with both Selina and Harvey captured and then dumped into Arkham City, with Strange very sure that Bruce will follow. Second issue has a change of artist (thank God), but no Catwoman. Those unfamiliar with crazy scientist, Hugo Strange, enjoy a bit of a backstory as told by Commissioner Gordon to Batman. Batman even wonders what connection Sharpe and Strange have and it’s interesting to see the depth of Strange’s obsession with Batman. It’s a veritable mental chess game but Batman of course gets the checkmate. The second issue ends with a nice inside look at some members of the Bat family.
I think this is great for the hardcore Arkham City fan as it definitely caters to that demographic. Even in the second issue, the art isn’t phenomenal but it’s significantly better than the first issue.
Fury Max #1-2
Story by Garth Ennis and Art by Goran Parlov
An R rated Nick Fury comic? Yes, please!! The comic opens with rare “white” Fury speaking into a tape recorder, swearing like a sailor about all he does for our country and wryly remarking that “liquor helps.” The story in #1 takes place in ’54 and Fury is wondering if taking part in both the Korean War or WWII meant anything to anyone, be it the country or the government. We’re also introduced to sultry brunette Shirley, who can certainly handle herself in a bar full of leering men, violently I might add, before Fury comes to her “aid” (I use aid for lack of better word as she needs NO HELP). Anyway, Nick Fury has to attend a party for a senator and Shirley fills in Fury’s associate (a forgettable chap named Hatherly) about Fury’s deeds during the wars. Issue 1 ended on a bland note, with Nick taking a tour of a foreign military post in Indochina. Issue 2 starts with Fury banging the shit out of Shirley with complimentary lines like “you fucking incredible bitch” ringing through the page. The issue itself deals with the many problems of Son Chau (the French military post) and it comes to light that the sargeant is a former Nazi, who had killed thousands of Jews and showed no remorse. This doesn’t sit well with either Hatherly or Fury, but it rolls off Fury’s back with some effort on his part; sometimes orders are orders and sometimes you have to disobey them. Hatherly is unable to control himself and later attempts to confront the monstrously sized German. The contingent is attacked by the Asian locals and suddenly their petty issues don’t matter. It was a greatly told story and issue 3 might just make it better.
The constant swearing and nudity might take some getting used to if you’re not acquainted with a MAX title, but I feel it adds to the story. Some characters just aren’t done justice when they’re in a PG setting and I feel Nick Fury is one of them.