DCAU #108: Anarky

IN THIS ONE... Anarky makes his animated-style debut.

CREDITS: Written by Alan Grant; art by Dev Madan and Rick Burchett.

REVIEW: Alan Grant brings his Anarky to the Batman Adventures and the DCAU, and while I'm happy to see characters migrate from the mainstream DCU to the DCAU even if it's not in animation, I do feel Grant could have written this story for the mainstream DCU directly with nary a change. And that's disappointing. Each universe should have its tone and flavor, but also feel free to play with the details. So though this is technically Anarky's first appearance, Robin is soon calling him by his real name as if it's a return engagement. Anarky spouts a lot of political and philosophical dialog, which doesn't quite feel all-ages either. The DCAU-ness of it perhaps resides in the non-lethal paint bombs he was going to use on Bruce Wayne and other billionaires, but we don't forget the real bomb he left with a weapons merchant, even if the story seems to.

The public reaction to Anarky is actually the more interesting aspect of the story. Some cheer him on, others are charmed by his "truth to power" approach, others still recognize him as a dangerous lunatic. There's a TV news director who only thinks of ratings while his crew beg him to pull the plug on the station's pirated antenna, and really should end up on Anarky's list some day.

And then there are the heroes. Bruce Wayne's defense of himself and the other rich men he associates with is in line with the show's odd glorification of big business, but these men at least seem to be, like him, driven to humanitarianism by personal tragedy (how likely is that, though?). His words fall on deaf ears, and anyway, they were in no real danger. Robin takes care of business, but is left with a bad taste in his mouth. He seems to think Anarky was right. It's not clear why, exactly. More of that manufactured conflict between Dick and Bruce? I don't see it, and it can't be followed up on in the context of this series, so... Pft.
IN THE MAINSTREAM COMICS: Alan Grant created Anarky for the comics with Norm Breyfogle in Detective Comics #608 (1989) and eventually graduated him to his own short-lived series. He was exactly as seen here. He would not appear in actual animation until Beware the Batman in 2013. It surely can't be a coincidence that in a Robin-centric story, the villain would use a 1-900 number to let people decide if a character should die, though this Robin is neither the target nor Jason Todd.

REREADABILITY: Medium - It's a good action story featuring a character we haven't yet seen in the DCAU, but I can't believe Robin's coda, nor does Alan Grant ADAPT his character enough.


LondonKdS said...

I thought the implication was that the bomb used at the beginning was only powerful enough to send its banner flying, not to injure anyone.

It may be an error introduced into the TPB, but the third millionaire threatened with Bruce seems to be differently named in his introduction and when Bruce defends him.

Also, it's not as bad as DC Rebirth, but maybe that has sensitised me - Anarky's costume here looks VERY suspiciously similar to V's in V For Vendetta.


Blog Archive


5 Things to Like Activities Advice Alien Nation Aliens Say the Darndest Things Alpha Flight Amalgam Ambush Bug Animal Man anime Aquaman Archetypes Archie Heroes Arrowed Asterix Atom Avengers Awards Babylon 5 Batman Battle Shovel Battlestar Galactica Black Canary BnB 2-in1 Books Booster Gold Buffy Canada Captain America Captain Marvel Cat CCGs Charlton Circles of Hell Class Comics Comics Code Approved Conan Contest Cooking Crisis Daredevil Dating Kara Zor-El Dating Lois Lane Dating Lucy Lane Dating Princess Diana DCAU Deadman Dial H Dice Dinosaur Island Dinosaurs Director Profiles Doctor Who Doom Patrol Down the Rabbit Hole Dr. Strange Encyclopedia Fantastic Four Fashion Nightmares Fiasco Films Within Films Flash Flushpoint Foldees French Friday Night Fights Fun with Covers FW Team-Up Galleries Game design Gaming Geekly roundup Geeks Anonymous Geekwear Gimme That Star Trek Godzilla Golden Age Grant Morrison Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction Green Arrow Green Lantern Hawkman Hero Points Podcast Holidays House of Mystery Hulk Human Target Improv Inspiration Intersect Invasion Invasion Podcast Iron Man Jack Kirby Jimmy Olsen JLA JSA Judge Dredd K9 the Series Kirby Motivationals Krypto Kung Fu Learning to Fly Legion Letters pages Liveblog Lonely Hearts Podcast Lord of the Rings Machine Man Motivationals Man-Thing Marquee Masters of the Universe Memes Memorable Moments Metal Men Metamorpho Micronauts Millennium Mini-Comics Monday Morning Macking Movies Mr. Terrific Music Nelvana of the Northern Lights Nightmare Fuel Number Ones Obituaries oHOTmu OR NOT? Old52 One Panel Outsiders Panels from Sheena Paper Dolls Play Podcast Polls Questionable Fridays Radio Rants Reaganocomics Recollected Red Bee Red Tornado Reign Retro-Comics Reviews Rom RPGs Sandman Sapphire & Steel Sarah Jane Adventures Saturday Morning Cartoons SBG for Girls Seasons of DWAITAS Secret Origins Podcast Secret Wars SF Shut Up Star Boy Silver Age Siskoid as Editor Siskoid's Mailbox Space 1999 Spectre Spider-Man Spring Cleaning ST non-fiction ST novels: DS9 ST novels: S.C.E. ST novels: The Shat ST novels: TNG ST novels: TOS Star Trek Streaky Suicide Squad Supergirl Superman Supershill Swamp Thing Tales from Earth-Prime Team Horrible Teen Titans That Franchise I Never Talk About The Orville The Prisoner The Thing Then and Now Theory Thor Thursdays of Two Worlds Time Capsule Timeslip Tintin Torchwood Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms Toys Turnarounds TV V Waking Life Warehouse 13 Websites What If? Who's This? Whoniverse-B Wikileaked Wonder Woman X-Files X-Men Zero Hour Strikes Zine