bloodwolfassassin's Arkham Asylum: Living Hell #6 - Chapter 6: Rhyme & Reason review

An epic finale, and it's in rhyme

And so we've reached the end of this mini-series. We start with Warren slowly freezing to death inside Mr. Freeze's cell. It's so cold in there that he actually loses his hair, nose and a few fingers, making him vaguely resemble a shark, more on that later. Etrigan has engaged the Skarva and Doodlebug all while narrarating in rhyme. We learn that the tongues from last issue belonged to the Skarva who take them, restoring their long lost ability to speak. The goal of Doodlebug and the demons is to summon forth a powerful demon called Cthugha, the same demon who had been Bug's muse this whole time. As Etrigan is subdued and Bug begins the ritual, the Skarva try to gather the inmates as sacrifices. They do so by summoning the ghosts of their past victims, including White's wormy assistant who he screwed over a few issues ago. He finds Warren and threatens to personally drag him to hell. Warren however having finally cracked is actually not frightened at all by the ghost of his former co-worker and instead berates him for having been weak and only killed himself because he was a coward. Then he decapitates him, yeah he decapitates a ghost. I guess his he has ghostly fingers and thumbs now or something, it's weird but who cares. Meanwhile, Batman stops the Joker from killing some guy named Allen Evenella. Yeah, Batman's still in this. Back to the cool part of the story, White encounters Jane Doe in the Warren White suit. He comments on how he's no longer that person, Jane is still the fish while the real Warren has become the Shark. SYMBOLISM! Anyway, the scene is cut short when Jane was to run from a whole army of her past victims, among them, Anne Carver who suddenly senses that she's needed elsewhere. White saves Humpty from the ghost of his grandmother who is shocked to see Warren so disfigured. He says that he should put him back together but Warren says sometimes to fix things you have to take them apart. Warren and Humpty make their way to the ritual chamber to see what all the fuss is about just as Doodlebug finishes summoning Cthugha, at the cost of his own life. Etrigan and myself both have a good laugh. The Skarva have summoned him in order to return to their positions as the torture lords of hell. Appartently the giant lovecraftian monstrosity that is Cthugha has a unique gimmick. Like Etrigan, he only speaks in rhyme but in turn can only understand others if they also speak in rhyme. Fortunately, Etrigan has cursed the Skarva's tongues so they would be unable to speak in rhyme. Warren, seeing a business opportunity agrees to use Humpty to help negotiate for them as Humpty speaks good rhyme to English. Cash makes his way into the room via the air vents. He sees what he's up against and thinks that he can't handle it and they should call Superman... or a priest. However, the ghost of Dr. Carver appears and assures him that he'll do just fine and Cash suddenly has a ghostly hand where his hook used to be. Cash charges in but the Skarva are ready and transform the remaining inmates into powerful monsters. Cash has no problem kicking their asses however. Etrigan gets free and helps Cash in the fight. So to recap, we have a badass prison guard and a Demon from hell fighting an army of Uber Batman Villains. This is awesome. The Skarva summon an Ultra powerful Killer Croc but Cash has gotten over his fear and tears off a piece of his skin with his bare hands. Meanwhile, Cthuga announces that he and White have struck a deal. So he leaves, taking the Skarva with him. Afterwards, White explains to Etrigan that part of the deal was that the Skarva would indeed become the torture lords of hell once again, but would be forced to torture each other. In exchange, when Warren gets to hell, he'll be sticking it to all the people who have made his life hell in Arkham. As the chaos subsides Jane Doe tries to escape, only to get punched in the face by Batman. Batman theorizes that the things they saw were a result of Scarecrow's fear gas so Doc Arkham decides to put his ass in the hole for three months. And so the series ends with Warren having re-established himself as a business man within Arkham using his connections to do favors for the inmates as well as having several guards in his employ. Warren sees a guy similar to what he used to be get off the prison bus and proclaims "Who's the new fish?" Oh and by the way, Cash apparently made a Wallet out of that piece of Killer Croc he tore off, nice.

What Works:

Wow... just wow. When I first read this I was not expecting it to get this balls out insane, but damn this really is an awesome finale. I love Cash and how badass he is fighting the monsters. I love that Etrigan gets spotlighted. This series overall is essentially a characters study of a sane man who was driven insane by being in Arkham. It's done very well and I highly recommend this series.

What Doesn't:

Nothing comes to mind. This really was an epic end to a great story.



Any of you who have read this retrospective, thank you. Now the only question is filling the time between now and the time school starts again when I have easier access to my local comic store.

Posted by Red_Jack

Nice reviewing, dude. Couldn't have put it better myself. I read all 6 of your reviews too.

I thoroughly enjoyed this 6 parter. It's up in my top 10 list of Batman novels. Every single Batman villain were impeccably written.

Admittedly, I was quite relieved to see Doodlebug, Junkyard Dog and Lunkhead killed off. Thought they were weak characters and Batman has already got about 100 different villains in his rogues gallery.

For me, special mentions would be the surprise appearance of Magpie. She was a regular villainness in the old Batman comics and one of my favourites.

Another special mention is the part where Ventriloquist tricks Lunkhead into being a sacrifice. That was a friggin' genius moment. He's done something similar before in another comic I own.

The only thing I didn't like was the addition of Jane Doe. I wouldn't mind her but she has a similar identity forming ability to Cornelius Stirk. If they would just kill him off I'd be satisfied.

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