Let’s put a smile on that face of yours.
Ever since the Anarky arc in Detective Comics ended, I’ve been wondering whether Manapul and Buccellato will bring up the setup they created at the end with Lonnie taking over the Anarky persona.
And while that does have pay-off in this tie-in (written solo by Buccellato), it’s done in a half-hearted way that really makes it feel redundant.
The artwork fluctuates heavily from mediocre to okay, but never rises over that.
We’re caught smack dab in between the Joker toxin epidemic as right and left infected people are running amuck killing each other. And Lonnie is trying to hide even as his mother frantically texts him.
Lonnie is almost shot by two cops, but is saved by a boy named Dax and his non-infected compatriots (who are sorting out an infected children fight) Dre and Riko. The trio learns of his hacking ability but decide there are more pressing matters.
With them leaving Lonnie to secure the computer room, he decides to hack into the security cameras of the strip club where his mother works – finding two things of interest, a garbage bin with four Anarky masks and that his mother is trapped along with other coworkers inside the club.
While Lonnie makes a break for it, the trio returns to find that the infected mob outside the strip club includes mafia goons. Somehow Lonnie makes it to the club with the help of Spoiler and the trio after running into Batwoman and Red Robin.
Deciding that they need to use brain over brawn, Lonnie uses the Anarky masks and draws Joker grins on them – sending panic into the infected hordes. With the horde dispersed, Lonnie is able to save his mom – with friends.
Lonnie becoming Anarky needed to be more than just a ruse of coincidence (he just happens to find exactly four Anarky masks sitting on top of the garbage outside the strip club?) and while I liked how he used them,
Then we come to the Anarky masks? The facial structure was a major plot point in the Anarky story arc and here it’s changed beyond recognization. While it doesn’t matter in the big picture, it’s still an annoyance considering that it’s prominently used here.
Using Spoiler for basically a role that seems to be more ‘oh-she-was-in-Eternal’ themed than serving any actual role in the issue. Same as Batwoman and Red Robin, whose quip is really poor.
While this was a feel-good story featuring Lonnie, I don’t think it’s done very well especially given the intriguing setup we had in Detective Comics #40.
The artwork is mediocre and really doesn’t serve the story well. Not to mention the space-filling but ultimately redundant cameos.
So, I give it 5.0 out of 10.
+Lonnie is fleshed out well
+An intriguing cast of new characters
-Shoe-horned in cameos of more popular characters
-A major act is done in a half-hearted manner