Originally Published: May 25, 2011, on Comicvine.com

After a brief respite for the Judgment of Gotham crossover, Gotham City Sirens comes back with a bang as Selina struggles with loyalty issues and Harley is seen helping the Joker turn Arkham into something similar to the Arkham Asylum video game, but gets resistance from an unusual suspect in the new Black Mask, Jeremiah Arkham!

The Good

This marks the beginning of a new story arc for Gotham City Sirens and as previous issues seemed to be spiraling into a valley, this issue looks to be pulling us back towards a peak again. Tons of action and chaos as Harley and Joker survey the carnage they’ve caused around them while torturing the Arkham guards unfortunate enough to cross their path. Throw in some cameos by Clayface and Mr. Zsasz and you’ll have flashback to the Arkham Asylum video game.

The key to this issue though is conflict. Catwoman versus herself as she weighs whether or not she should help Harley out over in Arkham. Ivy versus Harley as the two friends confront each other as Ivy has had it with her love sick puppy spells she goes into when she’s near the Joker. Joker versus Jeremiah Arkham as Arkham has been slowly buying or twisting many of the prison guards to his means and the Joker’s rampage is undoing the plans he put in motion months ago. And, of course, the set up for Batman (Bruce Wayne) versus them all as he lets Catwoman know that cases involving the Joker are his personal responsibility and are not to be handled by Dick. This is a great build up for a new story arc as we’ll see the effects of the previous ones finally play out here in one of Gotham’s grandest stages.

The Bad

The only real negative that seems to come from this comic is the lack of originality. Will every major arc that guides its way through Arkham Asylum and the Joker deal with a giant breakout that causes chaos and riots in the Asylum and force Batman to come inside the haunted padded walls to quell the threat? It just sounds a bit too much like this arc is already getting ready to help build up some more hype for Arkham City along with the five-issue mini-series that is being released as well.

The Verdict

What I thought of as a lack of originality aside, this comic features a lot of action between many different characters and sets the stage for what looks to be a mighty test for both Catwoman and Batman in the future issues. If you haven’t been reading this comic, you might be a little lost since even though it’s technically a new arc, you’re really jumping into a continuation of the last one, but you should be able to catch on quickly enough to still enjoy it.

4.5/5 Stars

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