By tbone1225 0 Comments
Spoiled: DC Universe Online (video game), DC Universe Online Legends #9 (comic book)
With a title like "Anarchy at Arkham," one would guess that DC Universe Online Legends #9 would be centered around Batman and his struggle to maintain the status quo in Gotham despite Luthor and Brainiac's devastating partnership. But this issue centers around Superman and explains some of the events that we see in the opening sequence to the video game DC Universe Online.
The issue begins with a dream in which Superman has brought Lois to the moon. In an astronaut suit, she jumps and feels like she is flying free. This is clearly a pun on the fact that Superman himself used to jump really high rather than fly, which was a pretty awesome shout-out to Superman fans of old. The dream ends by Lois's helmet cracking, resulting in her death.
When Superman awakes, we see that he is scruffy and troubled, much the same way he was at the beginning of DC Universe Online when Luthor wages a war with the other heroes in order to bring Superman back from his orbit around the sun. Because Luthor and Brainiac have abducted and bottled the Daily Planet building with all of Superman's best friends inside, Luthor sees, for the first time, what it is like when Superman loses his temper. But Luthor plays it like a chess game. Superman trashes Lexcorp (which prompts a fantastic dialogue; Superman: "Graves," Graves: "Mercy," Superman: "Not from me. Where's Luthor?"), so Lex Luthor enhances the already super-powered inmates of Arkham Asylum and sets them free, demanding Superman's attention. All of this is a ruse to steal Superman's power, and it appears to work like a charm.
In the end, Batman calls Superman back to Arkham to show him that Luthor and Brainiac have successfully drained Martian Manhunter of his powers. The "Anarchy at Arkham" proved to be the true test of Superman. And it seems like he has failed. I think Batman said it best: "You need to decide what's more important. Saving your friends or saving the world?"
I have to say that DC Universe Online Legends is written pretty fantastically considering that it is propaganda made to support the MMO DC Universe Online. Where Batman: Arkham City (the comic) appears to be some link between the first and second game, and by issue one it seems a pretty unnecessary link, DC Universe Online Legends seems to be one half of a tandem story-telling device. DC Universe Online tells the story with cinematic sequences, but mostly it sets up the world in which the story takes place. Everyone does their part to defeat Brainiac, but in the end, the real story is elsewhere. That elsewhere is called DC Universe Online Legends. It's not the best series I've ever read, but for what it is I've never seen anything better.