Nightmare Fuel: Anarky
As a relatively little used character, Anarky hasn't seen enough publication history to rack up a huge list of stories. However, being related to the Batman-family of books, which is known for its dark portrayals of crime, and being written by Alan Grant to tackle weighty issues of injustice, cruelty and corruption, there's still been plenty of terrifying moments. Heavy spoilers for several stories below.
- Batman: The Shadow of the Bat No.18, "The God of Fear" (part 3) (1993)
- When the Scarecrow, Batman's fear-gimmick foe, attacks victims with his fear toxin, you can normally expect the characters to respond with terrifying delusions of visceral, yet common phobias. Reactions to spiders and insects that aren't there, terrible heights, or recalled childhood trauma. So what did Anarky see when he was hit by the gas? A sudden collapse of the weight of a dying world on top of him. He begins to see the destruction of the entire world. "The world's dying! Poisoned seas — can't breath the air! The politicians — the bankers — the criminals — they're sacrificing us all on the altar of their greed! Please... please don't kill our planet...!" The terrifying aspect of this is that, if you agree with his sentiments, he's not afraid of anything that isn't happening. Ripped from the Headlines of the news, his terror is something more real than any phobia involving spiders and heights.
- Anarky No.2 Vol. 1, "The Economics of the Madhouse" (1997)
- On the hellhole prison-planet of Apocalypse, three prisoners escape the slave labor dungeons of the lower levels, seeking freedom. The planet is composed of industrial pollution, metallic artificial landscapes, paranoid architecture, and dark, oppressive weather. When they reach the surface of the planet for the first time, they reveal the depths of their isolation and deprivation, when one is so moved he says "It's beautiful."
- A resistance movement is building in the shadows of the planet. The planet-wide dictator, Darkseid, is aware of it. He encourages it, as it will give his slaves just enough hope for him to take away when he brutally snuffs it out, furthering his psychological domination of his subjects.
- Darkseid allows Anarky to leave the planet and live with the knowledge of what the little freedom fighter has seen: the complete, abject hopelessness of resisting tyranny. As a final show of his victory over Anarky, he reveals the fate of the three prisoners who escaped at the beginning of the story: All three have been promoted for killing their former guard. They have now become proud, gloating, willing guards over their former fellow slaves.
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