Set after the events of Arkham Asylum (the computer game), the Mayor of Gotham, Quincy Sharp, makes the baffling choice of segregating a part of Gotham City exclusively for the use of the inmates of Blackgate Prison and Arkham Asylum in an effort to better rehabilitate the prisoners (?).
If the premise sounds barmy, it's because the Mayor is being controlled by the mad Doctor Hugo Strange who wants to defeat the Batman by luring him into his nefarious schemes. As a comic book the story is very weak but remembering that this is a comic book to set up the video game Arkham City, it allows players of the game a vast array of options and an enticing playground where they can play as Batman, Robin, or Catwoman.
Anybody looking too deeply into the story will find flaws but allowing Gotham to be introduced means the player can control Batman in a cityscape, and introduces the supervillains of the Batman universe free reign to develop gangs and get more opportunities to go crazy. All to the good of anyone playing this game.
As a comic book, it's not bad. It's interesting to see how Paul Dini explains how the villains of the last game returned for this sequel and gives the reader a glimpse of what's going to be available in this game. We get to see Riddler play more of a role, Penguin, Catwoman, and Two Face are introduced, Poison Ivy, Bane, Zasz, and of course the Clown Prince of Crime, Joker, all return. All in all, it looks like an awesome game that I can't wait to play in 2 weeks time (the PC version that is, I don't have a PS3 or Xbox).
Not the best Batman comic book but a nice lead in and that's the point. Fans wanting more background on Arkham City the game will want to read this, Paul Dini provides a decent script, and there is some decent art throughout - but the book is really for fans only.