New Reviews of Old Comics
I’ve often heard the argument that Batman is the better character than Superman because he’s more believable, more realistic. Superman is nearly omnipotent, except for that li’l ol’ Kryptonite thing; you dropping an atomic bomb on him? No worries. He’s brushing off the dust and kicking your ass. Batman on the other hand is a mere man; whatever can kill you, gunshot, aneurysm, rabies, can kill Batman. I call bullshit on that. Bruce Wayne has an endless basket of cash allowing him to acquire gadgets and toys most people can’t even dream about. How in heaven’s name that more realistic? He might as well be omnipotent like Superman. That said, who doesn’t enjoy a good Batman story every now and then?
Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle teamed up to bring us “Anarky In Gotham City, Part One: Letters to the Editor” which starts off with Batman hanging around a Gotham nightclub that has an inordinate amount of drug users, and where there are users, there are sellers. Batman isn’t a huge fan of pushers, especially in the 80s, so he busts up some kids in the alley and then brings the ruckus to the band playing in the club, who also happen to drug smugglers. One of the smugglers makes his escape from the Dark Knight and into an alley where he meets Anarky, someone who looks a heck of a lot like that dude from V for Vendetta, which doesn’t work out so well for said smuggler. Now Gotham has another vigilante on its hands, and the original fellow wasn’t really looking for back-up help so he goes out looking for the new guy. This leads to a nifty couple of pages where we get Bruce Wayne juxtaposed with someone we can assume is Anarky. We also get loyal Alfred chiding Bruce about being a hypocrite not liking the idea of Gotham having a vigilante going around. Apparently Anakry is too tough, too violent for Batman’s taste. Really? Anyway, that’s pretty much the total of part one. It’s anyone’s guess if I ever read part two.
At first I didn’t think this would be any good. I figured generic superhero story with a couple pages of fight scenes. Apart from the corny anti-drug dialogue and the even more bizarre lyrics of the heavy metal band at the night club, this was a decent start to a longer storyline. The art wasn’t exactly to my taste, but I think the style was reflective of the time. At first pass I didn’t like the cover very much, but looking at it just now it’s pretty good and reflective of the story, which I appreciate. Batman on the top, Anarky at the bottom with their symbols overlapping across one of Gotham’s skyscrapers; nicely done.