Friday, November 14, 2008

Ecocomics Crisis Watch

Evidently, the economic crisis has hit the DC universe and is causing a ripple effect of pandemonium. Even Arkham Asylum (considered perhaps the most dangerous rehabilitation center for the criminally insane -- housing such known villains as the Joker, Two-Face and the rest of Batman's deadly rogues gallery) is forced to cut back on its public sector employment. I'm sure Smith is trying to be funny here, but why would the executives of Arkham (what executives?) pocket the savings from these cutbacks as year-end bonuses?

The book actually proceeds in the following pages to tell the story of two lolely front-gate security guards who lost their jobs during the cutbacks. One slipped into poverty after his unemployment benefits ran dry, while the other (and more industrious) posted some ads in the local Gotham classifieds, offering his thirty years of expertise securing Arkham from break-in. Of course, the second guard got lucky when he was able to covertly sell secret Arkham security access codes, floor plans, keys, etc. to Deadshot, who had intentions of breaking in and assassinating the Joker. He made a grand total of $30,000 and moved to Baja, Mexico.

1) $30,000 earns a new life? Great!
2) You would think that the guard would have to turn in such highly classified information like floor plans, keys, etc. Not to mention I'm sure that an institution like Arkham would have to frequently change its access codes to prevent something like this from happening.
3) I noticed that the Joker was encased in some sort of hard, unbreakable glass prison cell (as opposed to the standard bars). It was mentioned how the Joker had been sitting in there for a while, so perhaps these new cells work? I wonder if Arkham would be able to invest in some more of these for its prisoners and lay off some more workers as a cost saving measure.

In any case, kudos on the reference, Mr. Smith. The Marvel universe is usually best at incorporating real world events into its stories, so I'm glad to such real-world references (albeit little ones) are being made in the DCU.