Today sees the release of the first issue devoted to Marvel’s version of Arkham Asylum. We covered Ruins of Ravencroft, the original series of one-shots leading up to Ravencroft #1 a few weeks ago, and you can check that here. In that series, we were given a large back story to the Institute for the Criminally Insane. Today, we hit the present. Big time.
Writer: Frank Tierri
Artist: Angel Unzueta
Following in the immediate aftermath of Absolute Carnage, we’re taken deep into the bowels of the now restored Ravencroft Institute for the Criminally Insane. On staff is Misty Knight, acting as a counsellor of sorts to the villains incarcerated who seem willing to change. John Jameson aka Man-Wolf has also joined the staff, looking to make amends for his actions during the Absolute Carnage saga. Unfortunately, with Mayor Wilson Fisk hovering over proceedings and the oft-maniacal Norman Osborn thrown into the mix, it’s clear Ravencroft isn’t going to be a house of redemption.
As with the previous lead-up issues, Frank Tieri has crafted a strong and appealing story about a location in the Marvel Universe that isn’t typically on the minds of fans. While the Ruins of Ravencroft books definitely veered close to horror storytelling, this first issue veers closer to superhero storytelling (especially with its surprise ending, which was well done). That’s not a knock, mind you. Both the writing and art are excellent and I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I simply would have preferred the tone to be closer to that horror element. Of course, it may return over the course of the series’ remaining four issues, and this may simply be a build-up. The good thing is, the story and the intrigue are so interesting, I’ll be sticking around to see how the Ravencroft turns out.