Review: Batman/The Maxx: Arkham Dreams
When it comes to who is the most fascinating character in all of comic books, no one comes close to Batman. Bruce Wayne is a modern-day case in childhood trauma. He somehow manifested the death of his parents into a lifelong crusade against evil. As many fans who have read the comic books know, he is much darker than the cartoon version.
Many of us who grew up reading him know the dark recesses of this conflicted hero. This is why we are drawn to him and are attracted to heroes similar to him such as Moon Knight. His crossover adventures with other heroes are legendary, and it helps if his partners are a bit like him. In Batman/The Maxx: Arkham Dreams, we find him with another complicated protagonist, as they hunt down an incessant evil.
We are taken to Gotham City, where Maxx’s delusions have led him to be amongst the homeless, which draws the attention of Batman, who thinks he belongs in Arkham Asylum. As Maxx gets admitted into Arkham, Batman soon unleashes chaos as the world Maxx sees and Gotham merges because of the experiments conducted by an unconventional doctor at Arkham, Dr.Disparu, leading Batman to take drastic measures. He and the doctor must use the evil minds, some of which are Batman’s rogues, to find a solution to stop the worlds from converging. Eventually, Batman searches out Julie Winters, to enter a dimension hole, where they meet an alternate version of Harley Quinn while Disparu continues his experiments on the Joker, The Penguin, and Harley, which causes unsettling effects on Maxx. By book’s end, Disparu’s secret is revealed and our heroes fight one last stand against the deadliest versions of Batman’s rogues to protect the Outback, in a glorious victory.
Overall, Batman/The Maxx: Arkham Dreams is a true mind-bending journey with the Dark Knight and one of Image Comics’ most complex protagonists. The story by Keith is fun. The art by the creative team is gorgeous. Altogether, an adventure that takes the reader on a bunch of twists and turns, an adventure that will have readers revisiting to see what they missed.
Story: Sam Keith Art: Sam Keith, Ronda Pattison, and Shawn Lee
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy
IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review