Batman: Arkham City Graphic Novel review

November 30, 2011 by  
Filed under Features, Novels, Reviews

For those wondering what happened between the ending of Arkham Asylum and the beginning of Arkham City, this graphic novel tells all and should certainly appeal to those who just can’t get enough of this story arc.

In the simply titled Batman: Arkham City graphic novel, you’ll find out some things that aren’t really explained in the game itself, such as more about why the titular Arkham City exists, and you’ll also get into the heads of the iconic heroes and villains. Paul Dini, the writer of both the game and this graphic novel, has done a fantastic job in making this a companion piece worth reading.

There’s plenty of additional story and enough action to please fans of the Dark Knight, and you’ll witness characters shifting into the positions that you’ll find them in in the game, with Hugo Strange proving to be a nasty adversary, and the Joker is meanwhile suffering from Titan poisoning, while Mayor Quincy Sharp is being manipulated. It fills in the blanks admirably well, and gives fans exactly what they would have wanted.

Carlos D’anda’s art is also exceptionally well done, with bold lines and shading giving the graphic novel a dark appearance which is very fitting of the Batman universe. Speaking of the Dark Knight himself, he is a well drawn and intimidating figure with huge muscles – someone you just wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley on a dark night if you’re a villain in Gotham City.

Also in this hardback book are the five digital chapters that were originally released online. These mini chapters (each eight pages in length) are themed around specific characters and the stories are connected nicely to the larger plot. Less positive is the artwork, which, while looking nice enough, just doesn’t match up to D’anda’s stunning drawings.

But overall, the Batman: Arkham City graphic novel does everything that it set out to do. The story bridges the gap very well, revealing information that the game lacks. In this way, then, the graphic novel is an excellent addition to Rocksteady’s games, which, thanks to the lovely artwork, also happens to look very slick as well.

9/10

Batman: Arkham City (published by Titan Books) is out now, with an RRP of £16.99.

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