Sunday, February 22, 2015

Detective Comics #39 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

Curiouser and curiouser.  (Sorry, I just had to start that way.)  We've got two, maybe three, legs of the stool, but we don't yet have a seat.  If I had to guess (though I don't necessarily think that I'm right), Anarky was raised at the same orphanage where Jervis was the groundskeeper and he had some connection to the Alice that Jervis murdered.

However, this theory has some flaws.  First, I say that Jervis was the groundskeeper because he's holding a rake in the group photo.  However, it doesn't make a ton of sense to me that a technology wizard like Jervis would be a simple groundskeeper at an orphanage.  Second, Jervis initially calls Anarky "Alice" when he meets him; he also later comments that he's surrounded by "Alices" when Anarky and his masked cronies escort him to a vehicle to take him somewhere so that he can be made "accountable for what [he] did."  The mask clearly makes Jervis think of Alice, so I'm less clear that "Alice" is a specific person.  I'm pretty sure in issue #37 that Batman said that Jervis killed "Alice," leading me to believe that she was an actual person.  But, it's possible that Jervis did terrible things to all the children of the orphanage (including Anarky) and he made them wear these masks while doing it.  I guess we'll see.

Manallato makes it clear that they're continuing threads of the story that they first sewed into the "Icarus" arc.  It requires you to be really paying attention.  I had to re-read issues #33 and #38 to be reminded that Lester first fingered Young as an accomplice in issue #3 and that the photos that Harvey showed Young in issue #38 came from the suitcase that he found in Lester's office.  One question I do have, though, is why would Harvey withhold the photos from the evidence box?  I mean, it wound up being a correct hunch, given that the suitcase that Young gave Lester went missing from it.  But, if he already had the hunch to keep the photos, then why didn't he keep the suitcase from the box as well?  Also, I feel like we're dealing with different time frames of the disappearances.  The bodies that Batman found in the river had decomposed to skeletons, but it feels like Bullock, at least initially, believed the kids might still be alive.  At any rate, we still don't know who these kids are.

Young is also still a mystery.  We've got some hints that he may be Anarky; after all, we know from issue #38 that he was raised in the foster-care system.  In fact, in the first draft of this post, I said as much.  But, I'm not so sure.  If he were Anarky, why would he leave behind the suitcase that seemed to confirm Bullock's suspicion of him?  He would've known that Lester had it, since he's the one that gave it to him.  It still leaves open Young's connection to the case.  The photos seem to prove a connection, to Batman's mind, that Jervis and Lester are connected, but we still don't know where Young fits into that picture.

The only weak part of this story was Batman miraculous finding "Blue House" based on its appearance in the background of photos taken of the victims.  I mean, really, how did he find it?  Does he have some sort of "creepy houses" database arrange by color?  (He probably totally has that.)

*** (three of five stars)

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