Batman: The Last Arkham

batman the last arkham cover trade paperback
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 8/10

Decent art, ok story

Pretty typical '90s Batman

 
Comic Info

Comic Name:  Batman:  Shadow of the Bat

Publisher:  DC Comics

Writer:  Alan Grant

Artist:  Norm Breyfogle

# of Issues:  4

Release Date:   1995

batman shadow of the bat #1 cover

Batman: Shadow of the Bat #1

Reprints Batman:  Shadow of the Bat #1-4 (June 1992-September 1992).  A killer is loose in Gotham City and all evidence points to Zsasz.  The problem is Zsasz is locked up in the newly remodeled Arkham Asylum and the new supervisor Jeremiah Arkham tells Gordon and Batman that there is no possible way to escape.  When Batman decides he has to find how Zsasz is getting out, he must be thrown in Arkham, but infiltrating Arkham might be harder than he expected.

Written by Alan Grant and illustrated by Norm Breyfogle, Batman:  The Last Arkham was the kick-off storyline for the new Batman:  Shadow of the Bat series by DC which ran for ninety plus issues.  The story also marks the first appearance of Zsasz and Jeremiah Arkham in Batman:  Shadow of the Bat #1.  The issues were also collected in Batman:  Shadow of the Bat—Volume 1.

The series is pretty typical ’90s Batman.  It is dark and gritty and has a lot of death.  Instead of simply being a beat-’em-up story however, it does have a fair amount of detective work by Batman and Nightwing which I always enjoy more than the brute force Batman.  It is a pretty good start to the series which also seemed to focus on more rounded storylines.

batman-shadow-of-the-bat-#3

Batman: Shadow of the Bat #3

I enjoy Breyfogle’s art.  It has a lot of O’Neil style to it but still has a darkness that doesn’t always get picked up by artists.  Occasionally it suffers from a lack of detail that could make it even better like when Batman is overwhelmed by his enemies in Arkham Asylum.  There were a lot of opportunities for it to really highlight his talent and draw some characters that might not always be available to him.  Regardless of who’s drawing it, no one can make Nightwing’s “armor” look cool.

Zsasz is an interesting edition to Batman’s rogue gallery.  As indicated in the story, Batman’s already had run-ins with him, but this is his first appearance (otherwise he wouldn’t have had all the cool scarring).  I like him more as a straight out psychopath than a plotting and cunning character.

Batman:  The Last Arkham isn’t the best Batman story you will read or the worst, but it is solid and pretty classic Batman.  If you can find it, check it out or just pick up the four issue storyline since today Batman:  Shadow of the Bat prices have fallen to the dollar bin from what was once a lofty height.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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