Spoiler Alert: Batman: Arkham City #3

Spoiled: Batman: Arkham City #1, 3 (comic books), Batman: Arkham Asylum (video game), Batman: Arkham City (video game)
 
Batman: Arkham City #3, titled "Choosing Sides," tells the story of a "crook named Lester Kurtz" in Arkham City who is trying to choose sides between the two villains who are trying to rule Arkham City, The Joker and The Penguin. Joker's initiation process is rigorous, and while he survives the gauntlet he decides not to join Joker's mob. Penguin doesn't even have a process to weed out the bad seeds. He merely sends all of his new recruits to get a shipment of guns from the Arkham City Security. After Kurtz blows up the weapons in order to save The Penguin's men, The Penguin sends Kurtz to lead a raid against The Joker's crew. Kurtz is revealed to be Batman, who was gathering information regarding the tension between the two organizations. While he ponders who is pulling Mayor Sharp's strings, it is revealed that the sinister Strange has been watching Batman the entire time. 
 
This is by far the best story to date for the Batman: Arkham City comic line. But that's not saying much. All it means is that there is actually a clear story that is remotely interesting. The issue features an interesting survey of what gamers will face in the upcoming Batman: Arkham City video game. I was left wondering a couple of things, which means that my interest was piqued. First of all, who is "the man downstairs" that the Penguin had his traitor sent to? As a call out to Batman: Arkham Asylum and the somewhat terrifying journeys through the sewers, my first guess is that the man downstairs is none other than Killer Croc. However, it is entirely likely that this is a way of introducing a villain who wasn't in the first game, someone like Solomon Grundy. Second, I was left wondering whether the use of disguises will be part of the gameplay of Batman: Arkham City. 
 
Unfortunately, "Choosing Sides" was an incredibly transparent story. As soon as two or three pages had gone by without an appearance of Batman, two things were clear: 1. Lester Kurtz was going to be the protagonist of this story, and 2. Lester Kurtz was simply a disguise used by Bruce Wayne/Batman to gather information. If that wasn't clear enough, then the destruction of the weapons cache should have said everything. I must say at this juncture, however, that despite this completely predictable twist, this was still the best entry into the Batman: Arkham City storyline. 
 
While the story itself is not the most interesting thing going on, I think the main question of the limited series Batman: Arkham City is whether or not the things we are witnessing provide spoilers for gameplay modes and events that will occur in the video game. It has already been hinted that the city will be divided between The Joker, The Penguin AND Two-Face on twitter and elsewhere, and we saw Two-Face attaining some Titan Serum in issue #1. And we won't know how much is in the game until the game comes out. This is me waiting until October 18.

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