This week's Batman Annual #1 by plotter Scott Snyder and scripter James Tynion IV is a decent story revisiting the character of Mr Freeze, and updating/revamping his modus operandi (that's latin, fact-fans) for the New 52 continuity. But more than that, it's a chance for the artistic team - led by artist Jason Fabok - to sneak in a suggestion that the recent Batman game 'Arkham City' might actually kinda be canon a little bit.
Well, not really, but there were several cute touches to suggest that the game has had a small effect on the way DC view their comic book Batman...iverse. Oh man, sorry for just writing that word. I feel just as bad as you do, promise.
We start off with Mr Freeze in prison, wearing an Arkham Asylum inmate outfit which looks just like the ones used in the game, complete with the diamond-shaped Arkham logo which features prominently in the games. When he inevitably escapes from his cell, the layout of the Asylum is also incredibly similar to the way designers Rockstead lay things out in Arkham Asylum, with monitors prominently displaying the logo, yet again.
There's also a great reference between these two, where we see a guard watching over Gotham via an overhead map. The map here is actually the layout from Arkham City, complete with references to the Amusement Mile area which leads towards where - in the game - Joker lurks. The other screens show an overhead map of an area from the Arkham Asylum game, while production design stills are also visible.
It's a cute little touch which shows DC are willing to incorporate successful elements from other media into their books - and frankly, most people were expecting to see more touches like this in the books. Why doesn't Harley Quinn act like the did in the cartoons? :(