Well, this mini-series only has one issue to go, and as much as it has been trying to make the Arkham inmates into more people who need help than anything else, it does seem as if they can’t all be that way, right?
So, who is the ghost of Amadeus Arkham?
Issue: Arkham City: The Order of the World #5, February 2022
Writer: Dan Watters
Artist: Dani Strips
The Plot: Dr. Joy finally puts together the pieces of the mystery, but it might be too late.
Commentary: OK, so, to sum up the mystery: the Arkham inmates that survived the Joker’s attack on the Asylum more or less scattered to the four winds, but all settling in places that, if the floor plan for Arkham was drawn over a city map, would show they all more or less settled in their regular rooms. They’ve been largely portrayed as more sick than actively dangerous, and even Dr. Joy, seeing things herself involving the ghost of Amadeus Arkham, may be losing her own tenuous grip on sanity, not helped by the fact she is the only surviving doctor of the Asylum attack by sheer dumb luck, a fact she needed Dr. Phosphorous and Nocturne to point out to her.
Besides, she’s acting a little strange herself. She may be well on her way to madness all on her own. I’d rather hope the final issue doesn’t put her there, but things can happen that could save her sanity yet.
As it is, she finally more or less figured out what’s going on. There was a patient at Arkham, a woman called No Face because she had, well, No Face. But she also had shapeshifting powers and was actually rather harmless. She was more helpful than anything else. But yeah, it is No Face posing as Arkham’s ghost, riling up and in this issue even rounding up the other patients that appeared in the earlier issues. She was also the one that set Azrael after everyone.
The thing is…No Face wouldn’t do something like this on her own. Dr. Joy believes she’s too pliable. But if another escaped inmate put some ideas in her head and acted as a guide as she went about her business, then it makes sense that someone else could be giving her the guidance and ideas to do…something.
That something seems to be revealed on the last page. If this series has been pushing the idea that the Arkham inmates are more sick than dangerous, and that even the dangerous ones might do better with the right treatments, well…there is one that hasn’t been seen since the first issue to cause some more trouble.
Overall, this mini-series remains good, but not as good as I would have liked. Then again, I don’t think that’s a particularly surprising development.