Saturday, December 31, 2011

"The End" Week: Anarky #8!

In comics, sometimes the last issue is used to wrap up all the dangling plotlines and bring some closure to a story. And sometimes, it catches the creative team a bit more by surprise, and storylines are left unresolved. Today's book brought up a point that wasn't intended to be the last word on the hero but kind of was: Anarky #8, "The Sins of the Father" Written by Alan Grant, pencils by Norm Breyfogle, inks by Joe Rubinstein.

Lonnie Machin, the young hero known as Anarky, has tracked his birth-mother to an asylum. In case that wasn't troubling enough, she tells him his the Joker. Her mind damaged by Joker-gas, Anarky can't be sure if that's the truth, so he breaks into Arkham to get answers from the horse's mouth. This is a terrible idea, made either better or worse by Anarky leaving his weapons and computer linkup outside, since he can't risk the Joker getting them; before using his boom tube to teleport inside.

Where the Joker is already mid-escape. Quickly overpowered, Anarky questions the Joker, who may be lying or may be too insane to honestly answer. Joined by Two-Face, Killer Croc, and the Ventriloquist; they quickly take several guards hostage, keeping them alive only at Anarky's suggestion. He offers to boom tube them all out, but the Joker makes him swear on it; and Anarky's philosophy of "profound honesty" makes him hesitate. The Joker shotguns Anarky, but his kevlar costume saves him. Freeing the guards and ditching the weapons, the Joker's escape is foiled, but he tosses Anarky's boom tube device over a railing, leaving him to jump for it.

Outside the asylum, an understandably freaked out Anarky rides off, trying to tell himself "genes don't determine, they only predispose..." He really didn't have to worry that much, though: this plotline, suggested by Breyfogle, was opposed by then Batman-editor Denny O'Neil; but Grant convinced him they could do it and if needed, recant later. (Per Anarky's huge wikipedia page.) It also doesn't quite track unless the Joker had been around for over fifteen years or so. And I can't believe the rational mind of Anarky would put any faith in two madpeople--he probably would've done a DNA test before listening to a word out of either of their mouths. Still, I have to admit, he could've been rattled on that one.

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