Batman: Detective Comics (Vol. 3): Arkham Rising by Mariko Tamaki

Title: Batman: Detective Comics.
Volume: 3.
Story Arc
: Arkham Rising.
Universe: Infinite Frontier.
Writer(s): Mariko Tamaki, Stephane Phillips.
Artist(s): Dan Mora, David Lapham.
Colourist(s): Jordie Bellaire, Trish Mulvhll, Lee Loughridge.
Letterer(s): Ariana Maher, Rob Leigh.
Publisher: DC Comics.

Format: Single Issues.
Release Date: September 13th, 2022.
Pages: 128.
Genre(s): Comics, Superheroes, Science-Fiction.
ISBN13: 9781779518057.
My Overall Rating:

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Previously in Batman: Detective Comics (Infinite Frontier):
Batman: Detective Comics (Vol. 1): Neighborhood by Mariko Tamaki.
Batman: Detective Comics (Vol. 2): Fear State by Mariko Tamaki.


Here’s the thing about these Batman and Detective Comics comic book series: I collect and read them as single issues. While I don’t necessarily crack them open as soon as I’ve picked them up at my local comic book store, preferring to wait until they’ve officially announced what single issues are contained in the corresponding collected editions, there are plenty of upsides to it and I like the advantages that come with it (e.g. original cover art, ads reflecting a specific period in time, the ever-evolving value of the comic book, early access to the story unlike those who wait for them to be collected). But here we are with a significantly annoying DC Comics business model. This third volume in writer Mariko Tamaki’s Detective Comics comic book run collects issues #1044-1046 and Detective Comics 2021 Annual #1. However, the previous volume supposedly already collected issues #1040-1046. So what’s the deal? Well, apparently, volume 2 didn’t contain the unimpressive short stories and instead well all gathered into this volume for a short four-issue trade paperback…

What is Batman: Detective Comics (Vol. 3): Arkham Rising about? This volume contains three stories. The first one presents a tragedy surrounding the construction of Arkham Asylum and the madness that the institution creates as Batman desperately tries to prevent the destruction of the new Arkham Tower alongside Harley Quinn. The second story is the epilogue chapter of the previous story arc and focuses on Ana Vulsion’s shenanigans while Huntress and Batgirl step in to save the day. It also teases what’s to come with the construction of Arkham Tower and the key roles given to Dr. Meridian and her supposedly unique approach to therapy. The final story from the annual issue presents young Bruce Wayne’s father’s rule around whose life he should or shouldn’t save while current-day Batman is challenged by Nightwing in his stance around mental health cases amidst criminals.

“I don’t choose who I save. That’s not how it works. I save the victim in front of me.”

— Mariko Tamaki & Matthew Rosenberg

Let’s get it out of the way already, DC Comics really pulled off a sleazy move by separating the backup short stories and putting them into a separate volume. Not only are these featured short stories in single issues usually quite mediocre, sometimes just there to draw in new readers to some other ongoing or soon-to-come-out series, but they’re also relatively short, rarely ever having enough pages per issue to actually achieve much that could build on a character’s plight, emotional challenges, or background. Therefore, by putting them all together in their own trade paperback, their flaws are just much more conspicuous. Lacking in depth and barely any attempt at originality, the stories featured here only exist to set the table regarding the upcoming twelve-part event and present the core dilemma that will be at play around mental health and how Gotham City will need to handle criminals with those antecedents if they are to do better and achieve an ideal future for all of its citizens.

There’s nothing spectacular about the artwork in these, with most of it being completed by artist David Lapham. His artistic style focuses much less on the darkness and presents the characters and the action almost in the light, unfolding in a colour-popping scheme more often than not. The more violent and action-packed moments still take plan at night but fail to truly convey terror whenever it seems necessary. While the artwork isn’t bad, it isn’t particularly mind-boggling either, mostly forgettable, and feels toned down to prioritize the narrative. In fact, it did feel like the volume as a whole intentionally focused on the mental health conversations rather than sticking to a more traditional Batman/Detective Comics story. With these stories trying to desperately hype up the upcoming event and the whole story around the new Arkham Tower, I fear things aren’t looking too good for this comic book series. At least for a while…

Batman: Detective Comics (Vol. 3): Arkham Rising is a disappointing collection of uninspiring short stories serving as a prelude to an upcoming Gotham City self-contained event.



15 thoughts on “Batman: Detective Comics (Vol. 3): Arkham Rising by Mariko Tamaki

  1. Yeah, I don’t buy single issues. Haven’t since I was a kid. I just get the collections when they come out. This series doesn’t sound that great though anyway so I might skip it.

    You’ve been going heavy on Batman lately! Change things up with some Swamp Thing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I only do it with Batman because that’s mah boy! 😀 I definitely won’t be recommending this series highly to anyone that isn’t a huge fan of the universe too. There are better starting points than Mariko Tamaki’s run.

      Hahaha I’ll eventually bring out Swamp Thing but I just like to review everything and anything Batman on here. I don’t have enough time to put up a review for everything I’ve read but it would’ve probably shown way more diversity in terms of superheroes. 😀


  2. That’s disappointing. I hope the upcoming storyline gets off to a better start. I would be irritated by this too…

    Interesting about the numbering, on a separate issue. I’m not up on current comics very much but I was bummed when Marvel began their constatn reboots, such that the old legacy numbering went away. Maybe they’ve changed that, but seeing these comics in the 1,ooo’s makes me happy. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oof, two stars for your beloved Batman? Man, the only time I can remember that was worse was that infamous Miller’s Dark Knight Returns…

    A nasty cash-grabbing move from DC, I agree!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. More bad Batman… grrr… and cheap tactics to bring in more $$….

    But on a positive note, I do know what you mean about the appeal of collecting individual issues. These days I have moved on to trade paperbacks, but I miss the individual issues for the reasons you stated and also some less definable reason, there’s just something about that monthly feeling of flipping through their pages, of holding several of them in my hands. And speaking of one of the benefits, I do like the cover in the photo you shared of the bloody bat symbol under bandages on his back.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, quite frustrating but still not enough to stop me from being loyal to anything Batman-related hahah

      Absolutely and I’m glad you understand too! It’s totally different from reading from a trade/hardcover and it’s really something I just find joy in doing. Thankfully, I only do this for Batman/Detective Comics. And yes, that’s a pretty cool cover! One that conveys some ideas of the story too hahah


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s