Friday, September 3, 2010

Batman's Arkham Reborn

I have to admit that I don't read a lot of comics or graphic novels. I have always, always loved the way that they capture a new world and environment and go forward with it in pictures. The artwork has always been a joy to consume - but I never got into the habit of getting comics, or following along with the characters. And I almost feel like I've been left out seeing how many comics are turning into movies (esp. knowing that The Watchmen - a successful movie by my standards) was such a complete story in comic form before the film. I had no idea.

Anyhow David Hine has written a new chapter to the Batman series, focusing on the asylum of Gotham City.

In a recent interview with Comic Book Resources, David Hine said: “I have a natural affinity for crazy people. If you look at my work, particularly [my Image graphic novel] ‘Strange Embrace,’ you’ll see I’m more interested in twisted psychological thrillers than action stories. I’ve learned to write action scenes because that’s so much a part of the American mainstream comics scene, but those scenes are always less important than the psychological stuff. The trick is to externalize the psychosis so that you can make it work dramatically.”

If he was looking for psychosis, he came to the right place with Arkham Reborn.

The book picks up where Hine left off in his Battle For The Cowl: Arkham Asylum one-shot (collected in Batman: Battle For The Cowl Companion). The asylum has been rebuilt after it’s destruction at the hands of the mysterious new Black Mask. Under Dr. Jerimiah Arkham’s guidance, it now looks more like a temple of healing than a prison for the criminally insane. But Arkham’s honeymoon is short-lived, as strange things start happening to the inmates, pushing the doctor himself to the brink of sanity. The story then jumps forward to shortly after the events of Batman: Life After Death. Black Mask is now an inmate, and Jerimiah Arkham must ask himself if he’s the one truly running the asylum. Or for that matter, if he’s ever been the one.

The premise sounds like an exciting blend of a psychological thriller as well as a demented taste of action and insanity. Of course Hine needn't create his own characters or environment what with borrowing it all from DC comics and decades of commercial success in the franchise (Except Batman Forever).

Tomb of the Undead

I've been taking my edits and rewrites and reconfigurations and ideas and applying them to the existing script I drafted out last month. So far, I've managed to get through the first two acts and I'm quite happy with how it's going. I'm eager to get started on the artwork and production, so I don't know how much longer I'll take to carefully ensure that every little detail is exactly what it should be before I get to production.

Will you find plot holes and inconsistencies when you read it? ... my guess is that you will. I've never been to France, an airport in Pennsylvania, a curator's office, an archaeological dig, Cyprus or Greece, the Mediterranean Sea, in a plane crash, in a slaughterhouse or the European countryside, for example. So even my scenery will be a bit flawed, let alone ever held a position as an archaeologist, priest, rabbi, prophet or assassin. So this is definitely going to a genuine work of fiction, despite the historical research involved - I didn't conduct any interviews with professionals on my subject matter. If I were to move in a more professional direction with this - I'm sure that I would.

Anyhow - the script is around 31,000 words and 115 pages (1.5 spacing) right now - which is a large body of work. I'm excited to get more work done on it. It's really come together as a cohesive unit where the characters all have some input on the plot and development of protagonists, which are good signs that I've done lots of work on the script. I'm happy with it.

I hope everyone will enjoy as it move along.


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Hey there, I am glad you have taken the time to leave a comment. Thanks - I am looking forward to reading it.