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Comic Book / Batman: Arkham Unhinged

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A digital exclusive comic series set in the Batman: Arkham Series, following various characters' actions both during and before the plot of Batman: Arkham City. It is written by Derek Fridolfs. Earlier arcs dealt with events alluded to in the Arkham City Stories database entries in Arkham City, but eventually this led to original stories which often contradicted the game, giving it Loose Canon status at best.

The comic is divided into several story arcs:

  1. Inside Job (Issues 1-3): This story arc follows Hugo Strange trying to capture Two-Face, Batman and Catwoman, and then send them to Arkham City. It also is a prologue to Catwoman's DLC in the game.
  2. Observations (Issues 4-6): Hugo Strange has captured Two-Face and Catwoman, and now is searching for Batman. Meanwhile, Commissioner Gordon searches for evidence to bring down Strange. Batman discovers a connection between Strange and Mayor Sharp.
  3. Ruffled Feathers (Issues 7-9): This story arc follows Joker, Penguin and inmates' stories.
  4. Surgeon's General (Issue 10): In this issue, some inmates with several broken bones, victims of Batman, are being "interviewed" by Hugo Strange.
  5. Separation Anxiety (Issues 11-13): The Abramovici Twins' ("Hammer" and "Sickle") past and their presence in Arkham City is explained.
  6. Theatre of Violence (Issues 14-16): Robin enters Penguin's Iceberg Lounge disguised, in search of an underground fight club.
  7. Arkham City Sirens (Issues 17-19): Tells the story of how Catwoman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn worked together. When Batman arrives, his presence splits the team.
  8. Crocodile Tears (Issues 20-22): Killer Croc's origin story, explaining where he came from and how he ended up in Arkham City.
  9. Vicki in Wonderland (Issues 23-25): The Mad Hatter's throwing a party...a search party, for his "Alice!" Unfortunately for her, his first invitee is Vicki Vale, still in Arkham City after the helicopter crash. Once she's intercepted by Tweedledee and Tweedledum, will she be able to RSVP "NO" or is her fate sealed? And who else unlucky enough to be on his guest list?!
  10. Operation: Kill Joker (Issues 26-28): When Penguin's assassin fails to kill Joker, the bird is looking for someone to finish the job. Deadshot is ready to fill that position...
  11. Clown Court (Issues 29-31): The streets of Arkham City are empty, silent. What will happen when Batman learns everyone's flocked to the courthouse to witness a very peculiar court case... presided over by none other than Harvey Dent, and a jury of some of the greatest villains in Gotham history?
  12. Repentance (Issues 32-34): In a place like Arkham City, a church may be little more than just another abandoned building. Nevertheless, for a group of innocents, Gotham police, and one very guilty Mayor Sharp, it's where they've come for sanctuary. A gathering mob doesn't feel that way, but a mysterious protector will show them otherwise.
  13. Eviction Notice (Issues 35-37): This Story Arc explores Black Mask's transformation from Roman Sionis to a vicious criminal, captured behind the walls of Arkham City...with some of his least favorite fellow convicts!
  14. Beloved (Issues 38-40): Batman flashes back to an early encounter with Talia al Ghul, and her father, Ra's al Ghul. When she and her father save Batman's life, will the three be able to forge a partnership to save the world? And what happened that night in Metropolis between Talia and her beloved?
  15. Uninvited Guests (Issues 41-43): Wayne Manor is under siege by Tyger Soldiers, as Robin and Nightwing try to fend off the attack. With their mentor in Arkham City, is there any way they can stop Hugo Strange's last-ditch effort to destroy Batman's world?

This Comic Series provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Killer Croc's aunt was a physically abusive drunkard that treated him like a rabid animal. One day he snaps and she ends up being the first person he devours.
  • All There in the Manual: This series is the manual. Most of the stories are based off of the Arkham City Stories that are unlocked in the main game by scanning parts of the environment that are part of Riddler's challenges. Some, however, are separate, including events Batman took part in during the events of the game itself (though not shown in gameplay) and post-game content. Several characters, including the Wonderland Gang (March Harriet, the Unicorn, the Walrus, and the Lion) and Tweedledee and Tweedledum are also shown only in this comic, though some of their influence is implied for the main game by proxy.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: We find out that part of Protocol Ten was Strange sending a squad of TYGER guards to invade Wayne Manor. With Batman occupied in Arkham City, it's up to Robin, Nightwing and Alfred to kick them out.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Azrael saving the Riddler, Sharp, Vicki Vale, and the other GCPD cops from Bane in the church in "Repentance".
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: All of Hatter's captives in the third issue of "Vicki in Wonderland", including Vicki Vale, Catwoman, the Carpenter, and Poison Ivy.
  • Broad Strokes: Some of the stories don't fit very well with the game's chronology. In particular when "Arkham City Sirens" takes place Joker should be long dead, but he makes a brief appearance. There are other smaller oddities, such as the fact that in the original prequel comic even Batman has trouble getting in and out of Arkham City, while in the story arcs he and his allies are able to come and go as they please. Furthermore, "Vicki in Wonderland" appears to take place during the events of the game itself, but is not present in gameplay.
  • Childhood Brain Damage: Black Mask was dropped on his head as a baby, with his self-absorbed parents none the wiser. This was just the beginning of a long, painful life for him.
  • Circus of Fear: Waylon starts working in one as an adult, and for the first few years, he's actually treated kindly and considers them a Family of Choice. But then the ownership of the circus changed hands and they started treating him and the others merely as The Freakshow where they were bullied and mistreated as their only purpose was to scare or gross out the audience.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • While most of the Wonderland Gang (barring the Unicorn) is no problem for Batman, March Harriet gets taken out without him even bothering to look in her direction.
    • Azrael doesn't have the slightest bit of problem fighting Bane, simply slicing open his Venom tubes with his swords.
  • Danger Room Cold Open: "Uninvited Guests" opens with a group of commandos lurking through the Bat Cave, being picked off one by one by Robin. Eventually it's revealed that it was a holographic training sequence set up for the cave. Then the real hired guns show up.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: We see the pasts of Black Mask, Killer Croc and Deadshot, and what drove them to evil.
  • Go-Go Enslavement: Downplayed Trope. The women Mad Hatter catches are dressed in dresses and mind control-inclusive bows.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: "Eviction Notice" begins with Black Masks's rise to power in his Origin Story... and then shifts to his trip to Arkham City, where he is almost completely alone and forced to run away from Bud and Lou when Harley and the Joker sic them on him. While it brings up another rise as he and Firefly escape with some other inmates, Firefly abandons him at the train and he is summarily trounced by Batman without much effort, followed by a beatdown by TYGER guards when trying to defend himself with a chair upon reentry.
  • Instant Sedation: Vicky Vale drops like a rock the second a Mad Hatter thug had a rag with chloroform on her face.
  • Joker Jury: Prior to the events of the game, the supervillains capture Joker and force him to face a trial in Two-Face's court house. Joker is charged for being responsible for the current situation, because without his rampage in the first game, Arkham City would have never been created.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Depending on how you look at it. Issue 10 deals with Strange having to deal with all of the inmates that Batman has left injured. All of them have a different description of Batman, with accompanying pictures. All of them are alternate costumes that are unlocked in game. So perhaps all of the inmates descriptions are true.
  • Live Mink Coat: The Fashionista villain Fervor wears a living white fox around her neck, that doubles as a guard dog.
  • Modesty Bedsheet: Talia and Bruce are shown under one both times that they sleep together.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Michael Lane is implied to have gone through this in "Repentance"'s flashback, when he killed the previous Azrael, assuming he was the kidnapper he was sent to find, when the truth was that Azrael had just killed that same kidnapper, and was in fact innocent. As a result, Lane went on to become the next Azrael.
  • Mysterious Protector: The term is even outright stated in the solicit for "Repentance". It's Azrael.
  • Old Flame Fizzle: Bruce and Talia's reunion in issue #40 oozes with this. It culminates in the two sleeping together. The next morning the heart-warming moment is broken when Talia goes Knight Templar mode and suggests Bruce killing her father and sends her assassins after him when he refuses.
  • Operation: [Blank]: Aside from Protocol 10 and Protocol 11, we have Protocol 9, which takes up the plot of the "Uninvited Guests" arc, with passcode "Manor".
  • Origin Story: "Operation: Kill Joker" depicts Deadshot's. "Crocodile Tears" depicts Killer Croc's. "Eviction Notice" includes Black Mask's. "Repentance" shows that of the current Azrael, as well as, to a degree, Aaron Cash.
  • Orphaned Series: Due to some severe Schedule Slip, there is one arc of Unhinged that remains incomplete - "Slough of Despair," which takes place shortly after Arkham City opens and well before Batman is inside. It ran for 15 issues, and has not been finished.
  • Psycho Serum: Mad Hatter, aside from his normal Mind Control toxins, was given access to Scarecrow's fear toxin in his absence.
  • The Siege: After the events of the game, the people you rescued are holed up in the church. Every remaining inmate, including Bane (who had been manipulated into believing the church held more Titan), attack the building in an attempt to get to Sharp.
  • Shout-Out: In Surgeon's General, the stories told by the inmates include appearances by Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Batman, Batman Beyond Batman, 70s Batman, and Animated Batman.
  • Something Only They Would Say: In the main story in "Repentance", Cash is able to tell who Azrael is when he calls him "Rookie".
  • Strapped to an Operating Table: Happens often with characters that find themselves in Hugo's Strange custody. In one sequence we find he also keeps their eyes plied open while undergoing his Brainwashing therapies.
  • Toplessness from the Back: We see a shot of Talia's bare back when she undresses to seduce Bruce during a flashback.
  • Undressing the Unconscious:
    • After being sedated by Mad Hatter henchmen, Vicky Vale awakens to find she's now wearing an Alice in Wonderland costume, and Mad Hatter is quick to let her know he personally dressed her up, much to her disgust.
    • While fighting alongside Talia, Bruce gets fatally poisoned and blacks out. When he next wakes up, he finds himself undressed in a bed with Talia and Ra next to him, which is the In-Universe reason how they both known his Secret Identity.
  • Valley Girl: Fervor, the Arc Villain of the "Arkham City Sirens" story, talks like this, including shooting "WTF" when caught by Poison Ivy.
  • Villain Decay: As depicted in "Repentance", Bane seems to have suffered from an extreme competency breakdown. Whereas he is heavily implied to be as smart as he was in Knightfall at his peak, and it is mentioned In-Universe in the bios of him, he has gone from a Genius Bruiser who is fully capable of bringing about Batman's defeat and back-breaking to a nearly mindless Dumb Muscle who can be manipulated by common mooks with the slightest hint that Titan might be where he is wanted to go. The mooks even seem to ridicule him behind his back for being able to do so. While his plot in the main "City" game wasn't particularly complicated, it was at least somewhat thought out, unlike this post-"City" incarnation who is also able to be defeated very easily by a bladed weapon (albeit a possibly magical one). That said, this could be a Justified Trope owing to his dependency on Titan (and the comparative strength increase higher than Venom) leading to a converse intelligence decrease.
  • Villain Has a Point: When reminded of all the husbands and fathers he killed on Arkham Island, the Joker points out how "no one ever remembers the dead singles and divorcees".