Robin & Supergirl take on Arkham Asylum

Gotham City supervillains have no idea how good they have it.  I hate to admit it, but Batman doesn’t really hold a candle to Superman.  Sure, you could give Batman a few days to figure out a way to inject nanite kryptonite into the croutons Clark Kent puts in his soup, but intelligence and tactics can’t always beat god-like strength and speed.  Today, Batman’s rogue gallery learns the hard way about how lucky they are to have Batman patrol their city instead of the more brightly clad alternative.

In Superman/Batman #62, written by Michael Green & Mike Johnson drawn by Rafael Albuquerque, the two title characters have to go take care of some Justice League nonsense — world-destroying threats in the DC universe seem to occur far more often than in real life.  Robin and Supergirl get tasked with keeping Gotham safe for the night.

The difference between Gotham and Metropolis, you ask?  This’ll sum it up:

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As usual, something goes drastically wrong when the bosses are out of the office.

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So the prisoners of Arkham Asylum released themselves and turned it into a sort of bloody haunted house.  Commissioner Gordon gets to sits back while two teenagers bring out the supervillains one-by-one.

First up, Joker:

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Lately, female superhero costumes get brought up more and more in conversations about comics sexism.  And the accusers aren’t totally wrong.  Let’s be fair, comics have traditionally been a teenage male fantasy, and Supergirl dressed like a promiscuous high school cheerleader doesn’t help the stereotype.  While female superhero costumes should probably cover more than 40% of their bodies, the Superman family doesn’t really need costumes anyway.  If they can shrug off asteroid crashes and lava blasts, a costume would only be needed to cover up private parts.  Maybe that’s why Superman wears a thin layer of spandex while Batman dons a hundred pounds of kevlar.

Next up, the Arkham tea party:

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Tim Drake definitely learned more than martial arts from the Dark Knight.

Normally, fighting Killer Croc and Poison Ivy takes a brilliant combination of strategy and timing. Either one of them could snap a normal man in half.  Unless you’re Supergirl.  Then plans just seem like a waste of time.

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Wimpier villains aside, there’s a good reason Gotham City has to be Batman’s turf instead of Superman’s.  Look, the Man of Steel and his superfamily get insanely powerful baddies like Lex Luthor, Braniac, Mongul, etc.  They can destroy whole cities, go toe-to-toe with the mightiest superheroes in the DC universe, and ooze evil out of every pore.  So what makes Batman’s baddies so exciting?  Well, they’re scary.  Even with no superpowers.  And the last Arkham holdout proves my point beautifully.

Here’s Victor Zsasz:

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The Superman family may have super strength, heat rays, freeze breath, and super speed, but just not the stomach for this class of villain.

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The day’s saved.  Mission complete.  Welcome to Gotham, the city that’s a never-ending feeling of trying to hold back tears.

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4 Comments on “Robin & Supergirl take on Arkham Asylum”

  1. A great issue with a fantastic cover as well! I miss this Supergirl. The New 52 one isn’t anywhere close to being in her league…

  2. Jason says:

    I think I’ve made my observations on non-super villains before.

    Superman has a problem inasmuch as it’s hard to provide a challenge to someone who can solve most problems by flying straight ahead without stopping.

  3. Reblogged this on Twilit Dreams Circle and commented:
    Batman’s enemies are those who make you stay up late at night in fear. Superman’s are more world-breakers. Injustice proved that you shouldn’t mix the two.

  4. Azathoth says:

    Here’s the thing, physically most of Batman’s foes aren’t intimidating. When it comes down to punching time, most of them don’t take much to go down (with a few exceptions such as Croc, Bane, or Amygdala). That’s why mass break outs in Arkham don’t present the same problems for Batman when they happen. His villains work best when they’ve had time to make plans, they deal more on a psychological level. That’s why Joker has been able to cause problems for even Superman when he’s gone to Metropolis. Without their schemes and mental issues most of the Batman rogue gallery can be taken down very simply. Which is why issues like this aren’t good representations of what makes them one of the strongest group of Rogues in comics today.


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