This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take Francis Manapul's pill -- the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take Brian Buccellato's pill -- you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes. So say's DC Comics, in March, 2015.

To QUOTE Muhammad Ali: 'I'll beat him so bad he'll need a shoehorn to put his hat on'.

Now with the forces of Anarchy rampaging in the street, Harvey Bullock bleeding by his feet, and Jervis Tetch looking pretty much like dead meat, the question remains, can he do it? Can Batman successfully team up with the aforementioned bleeding cop, and together, with some additional help from Penny-One, save the city from a giant orangutan named Mildred?

No! Wait up! That ain't right! The crux of this story isn't about monkey-Mildred! It's about someone wanting to get his revenge on someone else. With that particular someone else being that big nosed twat who sold me this hat I'm currently wearing, which is really starting to mess about with my brain.

Well, I think it's the hat? Wink-Wink!

OK. So what do we have here? Great moody artwork provided by Frances and Brian? Check. An atmospheric yet muted colour pallet provided by someone not credited on the cover? Check. And last but not least, a fairly comprehensive conclusion that made sense despite some of its obvious foil-balls? Well, yeah. Check. And mate.

You see, to me, dear reader, this final part of Anarchy was one of those conclusions that was both satisfactory and stilted at the same time. On the one hand you had some great teem-up scenes between Batman, Harvey, and Alfred, which had a real eighties cop movie vibe about them (loved the way Harvey kept on changing Alfred's Penny-something code name by the way). What's more, Franny and Bri-Bri (What?) did concoct a very smart path to segway this story-arc into Lonnie Machin territory (Say no more), whilst basically conveying a revenge driven plot-line that set-up, rolled over, and played dead once everything was finally put to rest.

Yet having said that, though, I did have a couple of gripes with this tale as well! Primarily with the way it handled certain secondary characters who tied into it's revenge driven premise. Such as...

Does anyone know the true identity of that man on the speaker phone mid-way through this adventure? I don't. And I read this issue twice just in case I missed something the first time round. I mean, are we meant to believe that this person is someone who broke his hat-related hold and saw sense? And if this is true, why wasn't it made clearer nearing the end of the tale?

Also, as much as I did like the whole revelation at the end, depicting why the token villain did what he actually did, in the same breath I felt that the previous lead up to this conclusion was never conveyed in a clear and coherent manner, thus making it come across somewhat stilted in execution, contrived even. Almost as if it were a way to justify why X did Y to Z, despite it not seeming logical to those around him.   

So far I've musically matched-up quite a few hat related songs to this multi-part story-line. 'The Sun Has Got It's Hat On' being one of them. Where as 'Keep Your Hat On' was another. In this instance, however, I wanted to choose a hat related song that was both grungy and had meaning. And in my eyes, Bob Dylan's 'Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat' was just such a song.

Now contrary to what Harvey Bullock said in this story, the name you give someone who makes, sells, and repairs hats is a 'milliner', not a 'Hat Engineer'. And do you know what? That's precisely what I'm going to compare this comic book to. A milliner. Because in many ways the manufacture of hats and misinformation is what it's all about. 

As much as I love to clown around in my reviews (no kidding!), at the same time, I also love to educate and inform you -- my ever humble readers -- about a subject said story may try to tackle. And in the case of this story, well, let's face facts! Child molestation is no laughing matter. Throughout history there have always been people who abuse and people who are abused. And no matter how you might want to look at it, whenever one person attempts to subjugate their will onto someone else, the end result is always harrowing.

So what do we do about it, eh? How can we prevent these things from happening? Well, from my point of view, I'd say you need to educate, inform, and try to get people to open up who are being abused.

OK. I know this isn't going to be a simple thing to do. Plus I bet you anything that the abusers and the abused wouldn't want to put it all on show for everyone to see. Nonetheless, reaching out and just talking can sometimes help a situation. And if it can't help, then maybe it might be able to get someone to look at things in a different way.

Just like comic books do.

Now for any more information about child abuse please click on over to such websites as the NSPCC and PCAA.

Nuff said.

DETECTIVE COMICS #40 DETECTIVE COMICS #40 Reviewed by David Andrews on March 30, 2015 Rating: 5
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