Arkham Manor, Vol. 1 by Gerry Duggan came out during the reign of the New 52 and was a spinoff of Batman Eternal. For a time there were arguably too many Batman titles out there to choose from, and as a result of such a glut of Batman books, some were missed and fell by the wayside. Add onto it the fact that the other major Bat books were helmed by Scott Snyder and its easy to see why Arkham Manor missed gathering a strong following its first time out. That is too bad, with a great concept and well written story, Arkham Manor is a well deserved addition to the lore of the Dark Knight.
As a result of the events that took place in Batman Eternal #2, Arkham Asylum is destroyed and lay in ruins. Using the power of eminent domain, the city takes control of a private property that sits empty.
The inmates and staff of Arkham are relocated to Wayne Manor and it now becomes, Arkham Manor. During this transition, a dead, tortured body is found. Arkham Manor has a killer loose. Batman, whose Batcave is strategically situated underneath Arkham Manor, decides that he must go undercover. As Jack Shaw, Batman investigates the murders with the aid of his friend from Metropolis; Eric Border.
This collection, Arkham Manor 1-6, presents a different Batman. Something of a throwback to an earlier, grittier caped crusader. Having fallen on hard times as Bruce Wayne, there is a lot of bitterness and anger in this Batman. An anger he is allowed to release as Jack Shaw. Many of Batman’s normal allies are missing and he has to make do with the help of Victor Freeze and Eric Border. Eric who would later be revealed to be the Joker.
I agree, alongside some of the storylines that Scott Snyder was penning, Arkham Manor does not stack up. But over time this tale will be appreciated as its own stand alone. All of the Batman’s enemies, living in Wayne Manor. That is a storyline that should be carried on.