In my last write-up for this series, I wondered how it could keep going beyond the opening storyline. Then I noticed the cover for this issue said it was a six issue mini-series…which makes a lot more sense.
Anyway, here are my thoughts on issue #3.
Issue: Arkham City: The Order of the World #3, December 2021
Writer: Dan Watters
Artist: Dani Strips
The Plot: Dr. Joy starts to question her own mind when she follows the Ten-Eyed Man into the city.
Commentary: So, before I get into the main story, there’s a short subplot involving a young couple who don’t know that Dr. Phosphorus is living next door to their apartment with the vampire-ish Nocturne…who I coulda swore was on the Suicide Squad, but whatever. Anyway, apparently living next to Phosphorus isn’t healthy as the woman complains her hair seems to be coming out in clumps and the man is unhappy when he bites into an apple and looses “another tooth”.
Another tooth? Maybe this requires a bit more vigilance, ya know?
Regardless, the main thrust here is the Ten-Eyed Man seems to have insight on where the many missing Arkham inmates might be, largely because he seems to have drawn a map overlaying Arkham’s blueprints over the city, and wouldn’t you know it, the missing inmates are actually wherever in the city corresponds to their regular cells. That was how Ten-Eyed Man pointed Dr. Joy in the direction of Double-X. But could that be used to find other inmates, especially the more dangerous ones? Especially since all the inmates Dr. Joy has met so far have spoken of a ghost of some kind?
Yeah, there might be something to that ghost, but to the series’s general credit, Azrael is not that ghost. Yes, he’s stalking the inmates himself, and yes he sees Dr. Joy as being just as “guilty” as they are, thus just as deserving for punishment. Azrael has a lot of problems all on his own.
However, Ten-Eyed Man’s latest search sends him to find someone Dr. Joy often finds scary herself, namely Solomon Grundy. The narration describes Grundy as someone who is kept in a separate wing of Arkham, that he may not be insane so much as…something well beyond Dr. Joy’s understand on what and how to treat if treatment would even work. And yes, Ten-Eyed Man’s map continues to work.
The issue ends with a confrontation between Azrael and Dr. Joy’s group, done in a way that shows Dr. Joy questioning her own sanity while Azrael shows how much of a physical threat he can be. Whether or not the next issue opens with a continuation of this fight I don’t know since it may not be that sort of series, but I am really digging the overall look and tone to this series, even if it is only six issues.
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