I’ve already discussed some aspects of Detective Comics 2, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention another important event in that issue – an Arkham Asylum breakout! Although we don’t get to actually see it happen, we learn from Batman’s inner monologue that sometime between issues 1 and 2 Joker has escaped from Arkham. Here’s the title page to Detective Comics 2:
As you can see, it’s a two-page spread. I love the Bat-cycle and how the cape on the left balances the bike’s headlight on the right, that works really well in the wider image format that two pages allows. What we see of the subsequent investigation focuses on the police work, which makes sense since Detective Comics intends to focus on the detective work and on Batman’s relationship with Jim Gordon.
Shortly before the relaunch there was a storyline where Dr Arkham was an evil villain, so of course I don’t trust him now although he seems to be running the Asylum again (I guess we could say he’s committed to it, but in a different way). Harvey Bullock shows up to continue the investigation (anyone know what his title is? Is he a detective?), I’ve always had a soft spot for him.
Batman and Gordon discuss the case, and that’s about it for this Arkham Asylum breakout. The other thing that I wondered was if the same breakout was being used for storylines in various comics, making it a bit more plausible (one breakout in a month makes more sense than three), although of course it’s still unclear how the timing fits together. In any case, the breakout in Batman 1 was actually a rogue guard who opened the doors, and in Batman: Dark Knight 1 it centred on Two-Face and went down pretty differently, so I think it must have been a separate situation. For a maximum-security insane asylum, they really don’t do a very good job of keeping inmates secured!
Arkham Asylum Breakout Score:
Batman – 1
Batman: The Dark Knight – 1
Detective Comics – 1