REVIEW: ‘Arkham City: The Order of the World,’ Issue #2

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Arkham City The Order of the World #2 - But Why Tho

Arkham City: The Order of the World #2 is horror comic published by DC Comics. Written by Dan Watters. The artist is DaNi and the colour artist is Dave Stewart. Letters are by Aditya Bidikar. 

The Joker blew up Arkham Asylum, and those that survived escaped. There are now dangerous, frightened and unpredictable inmates littering the streets of Gotham. The Mad Hatter is committing heinous acts of violence against innocent victims, skinning and maiming them. Dr. Jacosta Joy is tasked with finding the patients, trying to bring them in peacefully. Detective Stone and the police are more focused on protecting the general public. Dr. Joy may have ulterior motives however as the Ten-Eyed Man lives in her apartment.

In this issue, Dr. Joy struggles to keep the Ten-Eyed Man inside. Still working on tracking the other Arkhamites. When her new roommate does escape, she is forced to question her morals and her true objective. He appears to be able to track them but may leave a trail of pain in his wake. In other parts of the city, Stone deals with Mad Hatter’s destruction as more inmates make themselves known. And someone else is hunting the missing people, a figure who may be more dangerous than all of them.

The second issue continues the extraordinary plot. The movement of the story is unlike most DC books, acting like a thriller instead of any kind of superhero comic. It is slow and methodical, four different threads enacting simultaneously. Dr. Joy, Stone, the mysterious figure, and an Arkham patient all have separate parts to play in this chapter. But Watters superbly entwines each of these separate threads so they impact and overlap each other. What Joy and the Ten-Eyed Man do in this issue seems to control the other players on the board. There is constant confusion, the creepiness of the comic being a crucial part of that. Already taken in a direction that wasn’t seen coming, the end of the issue clarifies that the writer is unafraid of doing harm to anyone in Gotham.

An interesting factor of Arkham City: The Order of the World #2 is that it discussesFear State without necessarily tying into the event. The suggestion of fear gas in the water, adding much anxiety to the other citizens. Scarecrow is also mentioned. The story influencing the mood this comic exists in is a clever technique by Watters But a knowledge of the events in the crossover is not necessary to enjoy this series.

The characters are exceptional. No one can be trusted, and all of them have the potential to be terrifying. The utilisation of the Arkham inmates is absolutely gorgeous. Each one brings with them a slightly different motivation. They aren’t all there to commit murder, some are afraid. But when they are introduced, the mind wonders as to what will happen next. Established characters are fascinating to see, but it is the lesser-known and new additions that shine. The Ten-Eyed Man may be one of the most sinister characters DC has at their disposal. We haven’t actually seen him do much, but his very presence causes the skin to crawl. Joy’s desire to help her patients puts a different spin on what could have just been a hunt for those lost, adding suspense to her actions.

The art is jaw-dropping. DaNi’s style is entirely new and stands out from any other artist currently on a mainstream title. Each figure, whether good or bad, looks unnatural and makes the reader uncomfortable. The implementation of details is incredible. The emotions on the faces of characters are so precise that what they are feeling is instantly clear. From when a face scrunches up in worry, or opens in fear, this increases the tension on the page. All of the designs are awesome and horrifying. Perhaps one of the greatest of the year comes in the form of the Ten-Eyed Man, who appears to be the central villain of the series. Thin, contorting, and faceless, he sees through eyes on all of his fingers. He is like something and out of a Guillermo Del Toro movie. That is an aspect that could be leveled at many of the escapees included in the last two issues; they seem more at home in a horror comic than a traditional superhero book.

The colours are pivotal to the storytelling and the visual depictions inside Arkham City: The Order of the World #2. The colours form many of the shapes in the panel, whether it be a character’s face or items in the background. There are guiding lines added by DaNi, but Stewart can be seen dictating the action and the horror purely through shades and tones. 

The lettering is brilliant. Joy’s former patients often have custom word balloons and fonts that give them all an individual voice even when written down.

Arkham City: The Order of the World #2 is an atmospheric, uncomfortable read. And that is the biggest compliment that can be given to it. The nerves that everyone in Gotham seems to have is palpable, radiating off the page into the reader. An immersive plot that permanently lives in suspense is being told with clever techniques, presented on the page by a remarkable artist. This is a comic that exists out of the consequences of other series and events, but it absolutely stands on its own.

Arkham City:  The Order of The World #2 is available where comics. 


Arkham City: The Order of the World #2
5

TL;DR

Arkham City: The Order of the World #2 is an atmospheric, uncomfortable read. And that is the biggest compliment that can be given to it. The nerves that everyone in Gotham seems to have is palpable, radiating off the page into the reader. An immersive plot that permanently lives in suspense is being told with clever techniques, presented on the page by a remarkable artist. This is a comic that exists out of the consequences of other series and events, but it absolutely stands on its own.