Comic Review: Batman: Arkhman Origins (DC Entertainment/Madefire)

When I sat down to look at DC Entertainment/Madefire’s joint partnership on, Batman:  Arkham Origins “interactive graphic novel”, I really didn’t know what to expect, on so many levels.  Is […]

When I sat down to look at DC Entertainment/Madefire’s joint partnership on, Batman:  Arkham Origins “interactive graphic novel”, I really didn’t know what to expect, on so many levels.  Is it an app?  Is it a comic book?  Is it some sort of animated story akin to Shout! Factory’s work with Marvel on their animated movies?!?! What is it?!?!?!

Batman Arkham Origins

So many questions, only way to find out is by diving right in…

The DC2 MultiVerse graphic novel (as the technology is called) Batman:  Arkham Origins is the prequel of sorts to the game, Batman:  Arkham Origins.  Now, I’m not much of a gamer (at all), but I’m pretty familiar with the whole Arkham storyline.  And I have more than my fair share of Arkham based toys, that’s for sure!  So, I’m by no means an expert, but I’m familiar with the storyline(s).

Batman Arkham Origins

After you load the app on your device (sounds pretty wrong, doesn’t it?!?!?) the whole experience is kind of cool.  It’s pretty interactive.  After the first few page swipes (setting up the story), you can choose the path you want Batman to take, just like the old Choose Your Own Adventure books.  And who didn’t love those books, as a kid?!?!

from here...you choose your own adventure.

from here…you choose your own adventure.

The app/graphic novel is billed as having sound effects, as well.  Now, I don’t know if it’s the version I had available to me or it’s just that Batman:  Arkham Origins just wasn’t made with sound effects.  Which, in an odd way, took away from the experience (believe it or not).  From what I’ve read, Injustice:  Gods Among Us, another title available on this new platform, has been formatted with sound effects.  I’m curious how that adds (or takes away) from the overall experience.

Batman Arkham Origins

The story is split up into chapters.  You can pay up front and get the chapters as they become available (known as the “season pass”).  That’ll set you back $14.99.  Or you can download individual chapters as they become available.  The first chapter was $.99.  I believe the subsequent chapters (to be released every two weeks) were $1.99.

Batman Arkham Origins

The app runs a bit slow, at least for my liking.  Maybe “slow” isn’t the right word.  “Pacing”.  Maybe “pacing” is better.  The pacing of the panels loading is a bit off.  I have an iPad 2.  So, I don’t think it’s a hardware issue.  It may be just a personal preference, here.  If that’s the case, then it would be great if going forward, DC Entertainment/Madefire could put some controls in the app to adjust how fast the panels load.

Batman Arkham Origins

Then there’s the story, itself.  Let me preference this by saying, I know this is a tie in to the new game.  And it makes sense to offer this story on this kind of technology.  I also get who DC Entertainment/Madefire is appealing, too.  There really doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with the story (so far), either.  The thing is, DC already has an incredible re-telling of Batman’s origin going on over in Batman, courtesy of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo.  Now that story…that would be cool to see in this new format.

Batman Arkham Origins

Overall, it’s a pretty nice experience.  Is it the future of comics?  I don’t know.  I still like the comfort of a physical book.  Keep in mind, I do read a good portion of my books digitally.  I’m not sure the price point/value of it yet, either.  Not sure if it’s worth the money.  I will say it does seem priced pretty reasonable.  If nothing else, I give DC Entertainment/Madefire kudos for the effort.

 

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your friendly neighborhood jman - Feature Editor

About your friendly neighborhood jman - Feature Editor

catch more of your friendly neighborhood jman's hijinks over at yfnjman.com