The second I opened this I knew I was looking at the best drawn issue of Arkham Unhinged yet. A great thing about this series is that we get to see a new artist (or artists) interpretation of Batman and the world of Arkham City each month. Good or bad, Arkham Unhinged always looks different. this month, Juan Ryp definitely raises the bar with a style that’s reminiscent of Moebius or Frank Quitely. He only slips up occasionally with some awkward faces on Batman or Nightwing, but everything else looks stunning. No other issue of this series has been given such rich detail.
And the art is really what it’s all about here. I loved looking at this issue, but I found myself bored reading it.
It’s all about the Abramovici Twins, Hammer and Sickle. These were two of the coolest henchmen in the video game and the story was that the two brothers were brought to America by the Joker, who had them separated. But their true separation happened when the brothers had an unexplained falling out. Hammer stayed with Joker while Sickle joined Penguin’s crew. This comic book adds nothing to that story. Everything that was mentioned in the game is merely illustrated here. And the falling out? Well that’s been changed. The brothers in the comic never have a falling out, instead the Joker just tosses one of these hulking twins on Penguin’s doorstep. There wasn’t any reason for him to give up on Sickle and there definitely wasn’t any reason for him to give such a good henchman to his gang rival. Worst of all, the brothers are never even given a line. Not one line. They’re on the cover, the story is about their origin, and they are never given the chance to speak. And they do speak. They talk in the video game quite often, especially if you track them down inside the steel mill after beating the game.
So basically, this is a well drawn issue that tells a story we already know and takes a lot longer to tell it (it’s a lengthy comic. You get bang for your buck when it comes to page count). If you haven’t played the video game, you might find this issue entertaining but I have played it and I was bored as a result. Issue #5 is worth checking out for the artwork, but the story went nowhere.