Doctor Jacosta Joy is front and centre of a new title from DC, one which only peripherally refers to the Batman line of books: Arkham City, The Order Of The World #1.

Yes, of course, the Arkham Asylum is connected to Batman, but the first issue of this title is more concerned with outlining the various eccentric and dangerous criminals that have inhabited the establishment. Ya see, the Joker’s attack on the Asylum has blown its gates wide open, resulting in loads of missing offenders being on the run. Guards and staff have been killed, and it’s really really bad. Terrible, really.

On the ‘up’ side, the one remaining doctor, who just happened to miss the mass murder experience, is looking to round up the patients.

Writer Dan Watters and Artist Dani (colourist Dave Stewart) regale us with accounts of several of the miscreants; the bad things they have done, and their neurotic tendencies. Sort of like a review of active case studies. It’s a bit clinical, perhaps (and perhaps a bad pun to say so), when we wait for action instead of flashbacks and bad memories. Still, chilling and spooky.

Athens-Greece-born-Artist Dani performs a spectacular job in visuals. Her high-contrast drawings conjure up memories of Jim Steranko, Frank Miller, and other more ‘graphic design’ oriented illustrators. The faces are lit up in white and shadowed in black. This is a high contrast, highly atmospheric, impressionist take on horror, and it works so well. Dave Stewart fills in with heavy applications of colour, all the better to scare us with.

It’s a fun, entertaining tale to read, and hopefully, the smoldering prologue will catch fire soon, as we get further into the narrative in the next issue!

DC Comics, Arkham City, The Order Of The World #1, $3.99 for 24 pages of content. 13+

By Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!