Batwing and Corrigan head deep into Arkham Asylum and find out just how bizarre things have become in the heart of the complex. Meanwhile, Red Robin and Harper meet a man with a monkey! It’s Batman Eternal #15!
Writers: Ray Fawkes
Consulting Writers: James Tynion IV, Scott Snyder, Tim Seeley and John Layman
Artist: Dustin Nguyen
INker: Derek Fridolfs
Colorist: John Kalisz
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Remember Arkham Asylum? Corrigan and Batwing are finally at the front gates, after presumably stopping for a quick hair cut on the way. As they walk in COrrigan quotes Dante’s Inferno, prompting Batwing to say “I thought you were Irish”. Well I mean, he does have bright red hair and a green jacket, but I don’t think we should just assume these things. Magpie is running the reception desk, which is the first sign things have gone very wrong, so Batwing shoots her with a tranq and then moves on. The main building itself is an absolute disaster, littered with bodies and magic circles and stuff. Corrigan remarks on how subtle magic can be, which isn’t exactly the word I’d use.
Elsewhere, Red Robin arrives at Tokyo, at which point he tells Harper he knows she’s in the hold. Turns out he decided to let her spend nine hours crouched at the back as a bit of punishment, heh. It’s quite a small plane though, so you also have to wonder what happened during that nine hour flight time. Do you think Tim watches TV? I bet he’s a fan of Castle or something. He tells her to stay in the plane while he goes to find “Sergei”, but she puts on her blue Grifter cosplay and follows him anyway.
At the Asylum Batwing says that they’re breathing in “human spinal fluid” as an aerosol, which, i don’t even know what that means but it sounds gross. They pass the Riddler’s cell, which is empty and has a code graffiti-ed onto the wall – a code I’m guessing nobody ever successfully decoded. Corrigan, like me, is too lazy to even bother, and dismisses the whole thing. They reach Scarecrow’s cell, where blood is rising up from the floor to the ceiling, also gross. Something called an “aetheric pylon” is causing it, which is proof that Ray Fawkes definitely wrote this issue.
Down the stairs they find Ten-Eyed Man, who handily tells us who he is because he sure doesn’t have any eyes on his fingers this time round. He tells them that there are three of them, but they don’t question it or even talk to him, perhaps aware that they shouldn’t waste their time with the D-Listers. They just keep walking on and leave him there, so I guess they’re just happy to get ambushed by whoever the third person is at the end of the issue. Next, they walk into something called “Hellwind”, which warps any soul it touches, whatever that means.
Turns out that the aetheric pylon was actually Scarecrow himself, who is strung up to the ceiling as his blood dissolves out his body and into the ceiling above. He says “dfe nwa sove m” which is apparently Haitian creole and means “Blackfire, save me”. They’re then swarmed by goons, however, which leads legendary Batman-chosen hero Batwing to yell “there’s too many of them” as four people attack him at once. C’mon, you should be able to handle that, Batwing! He asks Corrigan to turn into the Spectre, which is a bit much. Just punch them!
We stop for a quick detour in the Jason Bard storyline, as Batman shadows him once more. He’s been taking out as many gangs as possible, but Batman thinks he’s “making too much noise”. Translation: doing the job too well. Bard retorts that Batman’s interference is a problem more than anything else, and that he adds to their paperwork because they have to pretend they weren’t helped by a known vigilante. Then they, uh, shake hands. Machismo is a confusing thing.
Corrigan is still not able to turn into the Spectre, and that leads to Batwing getting dragged through the floor by these Kitty Pryde monsters. Corrigan then gets, um, punched, which is also a good way of stopping an opponent.
In Brazil, we also check in on Batgirl and Red Hood, who find out that Batwoman is also getting involved in this part of the subplot. She’s midway through beating up the guy that Batgirl wants to talk to, for reasons Batwoman waves off as being basically Crime Bible stuff, whatever, it’s not important, she’s here now. This part of the issue is incredibly tossed-off, especially considering Batwoman is meant to be a big deal, but fine, whatever, now she’s part of Batgirl’s team too.
Batwing wakes up under the Asylum – well, he falls 100 feet, smacks into the ground, and then wakes up – and finds Joker’s Daughter is waiting for him there. His Batwing suit then pulls off the move from the start of every Metroid game and completely malfunctions, so every part of his outfit stops working. Hopefully he’ll find his grapple function quickly, that’s the most important part!
In the basement, Corrigan is dragged off to meet whoever is in charge of this whole operation and it turns out to be… Mister Bygone. Who? I think he’s a new character created just for this storyline. He looks a bit like a zombified Scott Snyder, and I think is also the guy we saw back in issue #6 cutting everybody’s hands off. Yep, sounds like a DC writer alright!
37 more issues to go!
Steve Morris runs this site! Having previously written for sites including The Beat, ComicsAlliance, CBR and The MNT, he can be found on Twitter here. He’s a bunny.