|First appearance||Detective Comics No.608
|Created by||Alan Grant
|Alter ego||Lonnie Machin|
Anarky is a fictional character appearing in books published by DC Comics. Co-created by Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle, he first appeared in Detective Comics No.608 (November 1989), as an adversary of Batman. Introduced as Lonnie Machin, a child prodigy with knowledge of radical philosophy and driven to overthrow governments to improve social conditions, stories revolving around Anarky often focus on political and philosophical themes. The character, who is named after the philosophy of anarchism, primarily espouses anti-statism. Multiple social issues have been addressed whenever the character has appeared in print, including environmentalism, antimilitarism, economic exploitation, and political corruption. Inspired by multiple sources, early stories featuring the character often included homages to political and philosophical books, and referenced anarchist philosophers and theorists. The inspiration for the creation of the character and its early development was based in Grant's personal interest in anti-authoritarian philosophy and politics.1 However, when Grant himself transitioned to the philosophy of Neo-Tech, developed by Frank R. Wallace, he shifted the focus of Anarky from a vehicle for socialist and populist philosophy, to rationalist, atheist, and free market-based thought.2
Originally intended to only be used in the debut story in which he appeared, Grant decided to continue using Anarky as a sporadically recurring character throughout the early 90s, following positive reception by readers and Dennis O'Neil.3 The character experienced a brief surge in media exposure during the late '90s, beginning when Norm Breyfogle convinced Grant to produce a limited series based on the character. The 1997 spin-off series, Anarky, was received with positive reviews and sales, and later declared by Grant to be among his "career highlights".4 Batman: Anarky, a trade paperback collection of stories featuring the character, soon followed. This popular acclaim culminated, however, in a financially and critically unsuccessful ongoing solo series. The 1999 Anarky series, in which even Grant has expressed his distaste, was quickly canceled after eight issues.15
Following the cancellation of the Anarky series, and Grant's departure from DC Comics, Anarky experienced a prolonged period of absence from DC publications, despite professional and fan interest in his return.67 This period of obscurity lasted approximately nine years, with three brief interruptions for minor cameo appearances in 2000, 2001, and 2005. In 2008, Anarky reappeared in an issue of Robin authored by Fabian Nicieza, with the intention of ending this period of obscurity.8910 The storyline drastically altered the character's presentation, prompting a series of responses by Nicieza to concerned readers.1112 Anarky became a recurring character in issues of Red Robin, authored by Nicieza, until the series was cancelled in 2011 in the aftermath of The New 52.13
In 2013 Anarky experienced a small revival through a series of featured appearances across multiple media platforms.14 In July, a revamped version of Anarky was debuted as a primary antagonist in Beware the Batman, a Batman animated series produced by Warner Bros. Animation.1516 In October, the character made his video game debut in Batman: Arkham Origins, as a villain who threatens government and corporate institutions with destruction.17 Finally, in November, the character was rebooted for the New 52 status quo in an issue of Green Lantern Corps, which itself was a tie-in to the "Batman: Zero Year" storyline.18
- 1 Publication history
- 2 Characterization
- 3 Skills, abilities, and resources
- 4 Reception
- 5 Media
- 6 See also
- 7 Footnotes
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Originally inspired by his personal political leanings, Alan Grant entertained the idea of interjecting anarchist philosophy into Batman comic books. In an attempt to emulate the success of Chopper, a rebellious youth in Judge Dredd, he conceptualized a character as a twelve-year-old anarchist vigilante, who readers would sympathize with despite the character's harsh methods.20 Creating the character without any consultation from his partner, illustrator Norm Breyfogle,21 his only instructions to Breyfogle were that Anarky be designed as a cross between V and the black spy from Mad magazine's Spy vs. Spy.3 The character was also intended to wear a costume that disguised his youth, and so was fitted with a crude "head extender" that elongated his neck, creating a jarring appearance. This was in fact intended as a ruse on the part of writer Alan Grant to disguise the character's true identity, and to confuse the reader into believing Anarky to be an adult.22 While both of these design elements have since been dropped, more enduring aspects of the character have been his golden face mask, "priestly" hat, and his golden sceptre.23
The first Anarky story, "Anarky in Gotham City, Part 1: Letters to the Editor", appeared in Detective Comics No.608, in November 1989. Lonnie Machin is introduced as "Anarky" as early as his first appearance in Detective Comics No.608, withholding his origin story for a later point. He is established as an uncommonly philosophical and intelligent twelve-year-old.24 Lonnie Machin made his debut as "Anarky" by responding to complaints in the newspaper by attacking the offending sources, such as the owner of a factory whose byproduct waste is polluting local river water.24 Anarky and Batman ultimately come to blows, and during their brief fight, Batman deduces that Anarky is actually a young child. During this first confrontation, Anarky is aided by a band of homeless men, including Legs, a homeless cripple who becomes loyal to him and would assist him in later appearances. After being caught, Lonnie is locked away in a juvenile detention center.25
Following the comic book industry crash of 1996, Norm Breyfogle sought new employment at DC Comics. Darren Vincenzo, then an editorial assistant at the company, suggested multiple projects which Breyfogle could take part in. Among his suggestions was an Anarky limited series, to be written by Grant or another specified author. Following encouragement from Breyfogle, Grant agreed to participate in the project.26 The four-issue limited series, Anarky, was published in May 1997. Entitled "Metamorphosis", the story maintained the character's anti-authoritarian sentiments, but was instead based on Neo-Tech, a philosophy developed by Frank R. Wallace.2
Well received by critics and financially successful, Grant has referred to the limited series as one of his favorite projects, and ranked it among his "career highlights".4 With its success, Vincenzo suggested continuing the book as an ongoing series to Breyfogle and Grant. Although Grant was concerned that such a series would not be viable, he agreed to write it at Breyfogle's insistence, as the illustrator was still struggling for employment.26 Grant's doubts concerning the comic's prospects eventually proved correct. The second series was panned by critics, failed to catch on among readers, and was canceled after eight issues, however Grant has noted that it was popular in Latin American countries, supposing this was due to a history of political repression in the region.327
After the financial failure of Anarky vol. 2, the character entered a period of absence from DC publications that lasted several years. Norm Breyfogle attempted to continue using the character in other comics during this time. However, when his efforts were rejected, he came to suspect the character's prolonged absence was due in part to censorship.6 Since the cancellation of the Anarky series, Grant has disassociated himself from the direction of the character, simply stating, "you have to let these things go".5
In 2005, James Peatty succeeded in temporarily returning Anarky to publication, writing Green Arrow No.51, Anarky in the USA. Although the front cover of the issue advertised the comic as the "return" of the character, Anarky failed to make any further appearances.28 This was despite comments by Peatty that he had further plans to write stories for the character.29
Anarky retained interest among a cult fan base during this obscure period.26 During a panel at WonderCon 2006, multiple requests were made by the audience for Anarky to appear in DC Comic's limited series, 52. In response, editors and writers of 52 indicated Anarky would be included in the series. However, the series concluded without Anarky making an appearance, and with no explanation given by anyone involved in the production of the series for the failed appearance.[I]
On August 15, 2008, DC Comics announced that Anarky would reappear in the December issue of Robin, issue No.181.8 With the publication of Robin No.181, "Search For a Hero, Part 5: Pushing Buttons, Pulling Strings", on December 17, 2008, it was revealed that Lonnie Machin's role as Anarky had been supplanted by another Batman villain, Ulysses Armstrong. Fabian Nicieza, author of the issue and storyline in which Anarky appeared, depicted the character as being held hostage by Armstrong, "paralyzed and catatonic",11 encased in an iron lung, and connected to computers through his brain. This final feature allowed the character to connect to the internet and communicate with others via a speech synthesizer.30 Nicieza's decision to give Machin's mantle as Anarky to another character was due to his desire to establish him as an archnemesis for Tim Drake, while respecting the original characterization of Anarky, who Nicieza recognized as neither immature, nor a villain. Regardless, Nicieza did desire to use Machin and properly return the character to publication, and so favored presenting Ulysses H. Armstrong as Anarky, and Lonnie Machin as Moneyspider, a reference to a secondary name briefly used by Grant for Anarky in storyline published in 1990.[II]
The reactions to Robin No.181 included negative commentary from political commentator and scholar, Roderick Long,31 and Alan Grant himself.32 Among fans who interacted with Nicieza in a forum discussion, some responses were also negative, prompting responses from Nicieza in his own defense.1112
With the conclusion of Robin, Nicieza began authoring the 2009 Azrael series, leaving any future use of Anarky or Moneyspider to author Christopher Yost, who would pick up the Robin character in a new Red Robin series. However, in the ensuing months, Yost only made one brief references to Anarky, without directly involving the character in a story plot.33 In April 2010, it was announced that Nicieza would replace Yost as the author of Red Robin, and Nicieza was quick to note his interest in using Anarky and Moneyspider in future issues of the series.34 Nicieza reintroduced Ulysses Armstrong and Lonnie Machin within his first storyline, beginning in Red Robin No.16, "The Hit List", in December 2010.35 Nicieza then proceeded to regularly use Lonnie as a cast member of the ongoing Red Robin series, until its cancellation in October 2011. The series was concluded as a result of The New 52, a revamp and relaunch by DC Comics of its entire line of ongoing monthly superhero books, in which all of its existing titles were canceled. 52 new series debuted in September 2011 with new No. 1 issues to replace the cancelled titles.13
At the MIPJunior conference, on October 1, 2011, Sam Register, executive vice president for creative affairs at Warner Bros. Animation, announced several upcoming events for 2012, including a new CGI animated series, Beware the Batman. Intended to focus on lesser known villains for an unfamiliar audience.36 A Cartoon Network press release announced that Anarky would be one of the planned villains to be included,37 while series developers later explained that the character would be revamped for the series and chosen as the primary antagonist.15 Series producers Glen Murakami and Mitch Watson compared his role to that of "Moriarty to Batman's Sherlock Holmes", explaining that he would indirectly challenge Batman through complex machinations.15
Anarky debuted in the first season's third episode, "Tests", on July 27, 2013.16 The episode was written by Jim Krieg, with direction by Curt Geda, while the character was voiced by Wallace Langham.38 This was followed up with a second appearance in the tenth episode, "Sacrifice", on September 28th, written by Mark Banker, with direction by Sam Liu.39 This version of the character was also used in the first issue of the tie-in comic Beware the Batman No.1, "Law and (Dis)Order," on October 23rd.40
On May 20, 2013, Computer and Video Games's website confirmed that Anarky would make his video game debut in Batman: Arkham Origins.41 Anarky was among the first villains premiered during the game's first demonstration at the 2013 Electronic Entertainment Expo, and was introduced by creative director of Warner Bros. Games Montréal, Eric Holmes.17
The game was released worldwide on October 25, 2013, and as earlier described, Anarky's role in the game was that of an anti-villain, who appealed to Batman for an alliance, while simultaneously threatening corrupt government and capitalist institutions. This portrayal, voiced by Matthew Mercer, was chosen because Anarky, as Holmes expressed, "is multidimensional in the Batman universe."42
Though aware of the "Moneyspider" period the character had experienced in the pages of Red Robin, Holmes explained that the developers had primarily drawn their inspiration from the earliest stories for Anarky by Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle in Detective Comics, and that he was personally most familiar with that incarnation of the character.43 Describing Anarky's anti-government and anti-corporate agenda, Holmes acknowledged the relevance of anarchism in contemporary protest movements as a factor in the choice to include the character in the game, and to update his appearance to that of a street protester with a gang resembling a social movement.17 He also noted the character's resemblance to the masked protesters of Anonymous.44 According to Holmes, Anarky's relevance to contemporary protest movements was the key element that made Anarky stand out among the characters of the game.4344 "In the real world, this is Anarky's moment. Right now. Today."17 Holmes also warned players unfamiliar with Anarky against investigating the character through published material online, as he felt it would potentially spoil surprises the game held.[III]
While Anarky was "rising in profile in other media" by mid 2013, the character had yet to be reintroduced to the status quo of the post-New 52 DC Universe.45 This changed on August 12, when DC Comics announced that Anarky would be reintroduced in Green Lantern Corps No.25, "Powers That Be", on November 13, 2013. The issue was a tie-in to the "Batman: Zero Year" crossover event, authored by Van Jensen and co-plotted by Robert Venditti.46
In the lead up to the publication date, at a panel event at the New York Comic Con, Jensen was asked by a fan holding a "plush Anarky doll" what the character's role would be in the story. Jensen explained that Anarky "would have a very big hand" in the story, and further explained, "you can understand what he's doing even if you don't agree with what he's doing."47 Jensen had also indicated that his version of Anarky would be a "fresh take that also honors his legacy."48 The story featured a character study of John Stewart, narrating Stewart's final mission as a young Marine in the midst of a Gotham City power blackout and citywide evacuation, mere days before a major storm is to hit the city. Anarky is depicted as rallying a group of followers and evacuees to occupy a sports stadium, on the basis that the area the stadium was built upon was gentrified at the expense of the local community and should be returned to them.18
Anarky has undergone several shifts in his characterization over the course of the character's existence. These were largely decided upon by Alan Grant, who between the creation of Anarky to the end of the 1999 Anarky series, was largely the sole author of the character. Grant laconically described Anarky during that time as "... a serious-beyond-his-years teenager who wants to set the world to rights."49 Norm Breyfogle, while having no input into the character's creation,21 was heavily invested in the development of the character during both the Anarky limited and ongoing series.6
Anarky's introduction during the late '80s was part of a larger shift among villains in the Batman franchise of the time. While many naive and goofy villains of previous eras were abandoned, and more iconic villains made more violent to cater to tastes of a maturing readership, some were introduced to challenge readers to "question the whole bad/good guy divide." Falling into "the stereotype anarchist bomb-toting image", Anarky's design was countered by his principled stances to create an odd contrast.50 In a review of the Anarky miniseries, Anarky was dubbed an "anti-villain", as opposed to "anti-hero", due to his highly principled philosophy, which runs counter to most villains. "In the age of the anti-hero, it only makes sense to have the occasional anti-villain as well. But unlike sociopathic vigilante anti-heroes like the Punisher, an anti-villain like Anarky provides some interesting food for thought. Sure, he breaks the law, but what he really wants is to save the world ... and maybe he's right."51
Breyfogle's characterization of Anarky has shifted on occasion, with him at times referring to Anarky as a villain, and at other times as a hero. In his 1998 introductory essay composed for Batman: Anarky, Breyfogle characterized Anarky as not being a villain, but rather a "misunderstood hero", and continued "he's a philosophical action hero, an Aristotle in tights, rising above mere 'crime-fighter' status into the realm of incisive social commentary."23 A year later, Breyfogle conceded that Anarky was "technically" a villain, but insisted "I don't consider him a villain ..."22 Breyfogle later reconsidered the character in more ambiguous terms for a 2005 interview: "Anarky isn't a villain, he's his own character. He's definitely not a superhero, although it depends on who you talk to."52
Grant has been more direct in his description of Anarky's virtuous attributes: "In my eyes, Anarky's a hero. Anarky's the hero I want to be if I was smart enough and physically fit enough." Acknowledging that Anarky's moral perspective was guided by his own, Grant expressed that the conflict between Anarky and other heroes is a result of their political divisions. "In my eyes, he's a hero, but to others, they see him as a villain. That is because most people might gripe about the political situation, or various aspects of the political situation, and wouldn't advocate the total overthrow of the system under which we live. Anarky certainly does that, and more."53
In creating stories involving Anarky, other writers have played off this anti-heroic and anti-villinous tension. James Peatty made the heroic and political comparisons between Lonnie Machin and Oliver Queen the central theme of his 2005 Green Arrow story, "Anarky in the USA". "Anarky comes to find Ollie because of his reputation and is quite disappointed in Ollie's reaction towards him. However, as the story unfolds, Ollie has to re-assess his initial reaction to Anarky and his own much vaunted 'radical' credentials." 29 With his controversial revival of the character in 2008, Fabian Nicieza chose to portray the mantle of Anarky as being possessed by a villain other than Lonnie Machin on the grounds that Lonnie was too heroic to act out the part of a black hat. "Since Lonnie is too smart to be immature and NOT a 'villain,' I wanted Anarky, but it couldn't be Lonnie without compromising who he is as a character."11 In the character's 2013 video game debut in Batman: Arkham Origins, creative director Eric Holmes dubbed Anarky a "classic anti-villain".54 A "social activist" who wishes to "liberate and free people," Anarky views himself as a hero akin to Batman and offers an alliance with him. However his approach is rebuked on the basis that their methods are nothing alike.55 Nonetheless, he attracts a following among the city's downtrodden and particularly the homeless, whom he protects against the hostility of police officers.45 This "special relationship" between the homeless who look up to a villain, who in turn acts as their protector against police who prey upon them, was intended to present an area of grey morality for the player to consider.54
As the character was based on a theme of ideas, he had been given no personal, tragic past; a common motivator in superhero fiction. This was to contrast with Batman, who fought crime due to personal tragedy, while Anarky would do so in the name of ideals and beliefs.20 As the character was further developed, he was also intended to contrast with common teenage superheroes. Referring to the tradition established by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby of saddling teenagers with personal problems, Grant purposely gave Anarky none, nor did he develop a girlfriend or social life for the character. As Grant wrote for the Batman: Anarky introduction, this was intended to convey the idea that Anarky was single minded in his goals.20
On two occasions Grant nearly went against Dennis O'Neil's early wish that Anarky not kill opponents. These events include his appearance during the Batman: Knightfall saga, in which Grant briefly portrayed Anarky as preparing to kill both the Scarecrow and Batman-Azrael.56 Grant also implied Anarky was a lethal figure in "The Last Batman Story", part of Armageddon 2001 crossover event. In the story, a time traveler shows Batman a possible future in the (relatively) not-too-distant year of 2001. An aged Batman is framed and sentenced to death for murder, but Anarky, now an adult, sympathizes with the fallen hero and breaks into the prison in an attempt to rescue Batman. However, Batman resists his help, on the basis that Anarky has killed others in the past, and the two never reconciled their differences.57
Grant later expressed relief that he had not fully committed to portraying Anarky as a potential murderer, as he felt "Anarky would have compromised his own beliefs if he had taken the route of the criminal-killer."20 Anarky was given a non-lethal approach in The Batman Adventures No.31, "Anarky", written by Alan Grant, who acted as a guest author for the issue. Anarky takes business elites hostage and places them on public trial, broadcast from a pirate television show. He charges these men with such crimes as the creation of land mines that kill or cripple thousands, funding Third World dictators, polluting the air with toxic chemicals, and profiting from wage slavery, and threatens each man with a bomb if the public should find them guilty. When the explosions take place, it is revealed that the bombs are fake, and the public trials were only intended to expose the men and raise public awareness. One bomb explosion carried a specific message. It unfurled a banner that denounced lethal weapons.58
Contradicting Anarky's non-lethal portrayal, entries for the character in Who's Who in the DC Universe,59 The DC Comics Encyclopedia,60 and The Supervillain Book,61 have falsely referred to Anarky as having killed criminals in early appearances. Norm Breyfogle was also under the false impression that Anarky had killed for several years, having failed to realize the original script for Anarky's debut storyline had been rewritten. Grant eventually explained the situation to Breyfogle in 2006, during a joint interview.1 Despite this regular equivocation of Anarky with murder and villainy in DC Comics character guides, the company made efforts to describe the character in heroic terms in promoting the 1999 Anarky series. During this time, DC Comics described Anarky as an "anti-establishment loose cannon trying to do good as a hero to the disenfranchised".62
In the initial years following Anarky's creation, Grant rarely incorporated the character into Batman stories, being reserved for stories in which the author wished to make a philosophical point.20 Originally, Grant created Anarky as an anarchist with socialist and populist leanings. In this early incarnation, Anarky was designed as an avatar for Grant's personal meditations on political philosophy, and specifically for his burgeoning sympathy for anarchism.1
Within the books, the nature of the character's political opinions were often expressed through the character's rhetoric, and by heavy use of the circle-A as a character gimmick. The character's tools often incorporate the circle-A motif into them. In his earliest incarnation, he would also use red spray-paint to leave the circle-A as a calling card at crime scenes.24 The circle-a has also been used to decorate the character's base of operations, either as graffiti or suspended from wall tapestries.306364
In some instances, Anarky's political behavior would stand as the only political element of the story,6465 while in other instances, entire stories would be framed to create a political parable. In Batman: Shadow of the Bat Annual No.2, an Elseworlds story entitled "The Tyrant", Grant made dictatorship and the corrupting influence of power the primary theme. Batman (under the influence of Jonathan Crane) uses his resources to usurp power in the city of Gotham and institute a police state in which he exercises hegemonic control over the city's population. Anarky becomes a resistance leader, undermining the centers of Batman's power and ultimately overthrowing Bruce Wayne's tyranny.66 The story ends with a quote by Mikhail Bakunin: "(For reasons of the state) black becomes white and white becomes black, the horrible becomes humane and the most dastardly felonies and atrocious crimes become meritorious acts."67 During the early years of the character's development, virtually no writers other than Grant used Anarky in DC publications. In the singular portrayal by an author other than Grant during this period, writer Kevin Dooley used Anarky in an issue of Green Arrow, producing an explicitly anti-firearm themed story. Throughout the narrative, dialogue between Anarky and Green Arrow conveys the need for direct action, as Anarky attempts to persuade Oliver Queen to sympathize with militant, economic sabotage in pursuit of social justice.68
Literary cues illustrated into scenes were occasionally used whenever Anarky was a featured character in a comic. During the Anarky limited series, fluttering newspapers were used to bear headlines alluding to social problems.6970 Occasionally, the titles of books found in Anarky's room would express the character's philosophical, political, or generally esoteric agenda. In Detective Comics No.620, a copy of V for Vendetta can be seen on Lonnie Machin's bookshelf as homage. Other books in his room at different times have included Apostles of Revolution by Max Nomad, The Anarchists by James Joll, books labeled "Proudhon" and "Bakunin", and an issue of Black Flag.71 Non-anarchist material included books labeled "Plato", "Aristotle", and "Swedenborg",65 and a copy of Synergetics, by Buckminster Fuller.72 The character also made references to Universe by Scudder Klyce, an extremely rare book.2573 When asked if he was concerned readers would be unable to follow some of the more obscure literary references, Grant hadn't expected many to do so, but reported encountering some who had, and that one reader of the 1999 Anarky series had carried an ongoing correspondence with him on the topic as of 2005.3
Over the course of several years, Grant's political opinions shifted from libertarian socialism to free market based philosophies. Grant later speculated that this transformation would be detectable within stories he'd written. By 1997, Grant's philosophy settled on Neo-Tech, which was developed by Frank R. Wallace, and when given the opportunity to write an Anarky miniseries, he decided to redesign the character accordingly. Grant laid out his reasoning in an interview just before the first issue's publication. "I felt he was the perfect character" to express Neo-Tech philosophy, Grant explained, "because he's human, he has no special powers, the only power he's got is the power of his own rational consciousness".2 This new characterization was continued in the 1999 Anarky ongoing series.
The limited and ongoing series were both heavily influenced by Neo-Tech, despite the term never appearing in a single issue. New emphasis was placed on previously unexplored themes, such as the depiction of Anarky as an atheist and a rationalist.74 Grant also expressed a desire to use the comic as a vehicle for his thoughts concerning the mind, consciousness,5 and made bicameralism a major theme of both series.75 While both series led the character away from the philosophy he had espoused previously, the primary theme of the character remained anti-statism. In one issue of the 1999 series, a character asked what the nature of Anarky's politics were. The response was that Anarky was neither right-wing, nor left-wing, and that he "transcends the political divide".76 Grant has specified that Anarky was categorized politically as an anarchist and "tried to put anarchist values into action".77 Norm Breyfogle stated in 1999 that the character represented anarchist philosophy,22 but said in 2003 that he believed the Neo-Tech influence allows Anarky to be classified as an objectivist.6
Grant developed Anarky as a gadgeteer—a character who relies on inventions and gadgets to compensate for a lack of superpowers—and as a child prodigy. In early incarnations he was portrayed as highly intelligent, but inexperienced. Lacking in many skills, he survived largely by his ingenuity. In accordance with this, he would occasionally quote the maxim, "the essence of anarchy is surprise".25 A 1991 profile of the character, following the introduction of Anarky's skills as a hacker in the "Rite of Passage" storyline of Detective Comics No.620, described that "Lonnie's inventive genius is equaled only by his computer wizardry."59 However, the character was still not yet as capable and skilled as he would become. Later, during the two Anarky series, his abilities were increased, and he was portrayed as having enormous talents in both engineering and computer technology, as well as developing skills in martial arts. This was indicated in several comics published just before the Anarky miniseries, and later elaborated upon within the series itself. According to Alan Grant, the urgency with which Anarky views his cause has necessitated that the character forsake any social life, and increase his abilities drastically over the years. "The kid's whole life is dedicated to self-improvement," wrote Grant for the Batman: Anarky introduction, "with the sole aim of destroying the parasitic elites who he considers feast off ordinary folks."20
This evolution in Anarky's abilities was criticized as having overpowered the character in a Fanzing review of the Anarky ongoing series. The rapid development was seen as preventing the suspension of disbelief in the young character's adventures, which was said to have contributed to the failure of the series.78 This view stood in contrast with that of Breyfogle, who considered Anarky's heightened skill set to be a complementary feature, and contended that Anarky's advanced abilities lent uniqueness to the character. Breyfogle wrote, "Anarky's singularity is due partly to his being, at his age, nearly as competent as Batman."23
The character often utilizes cunning, improvisation, and intelligence as tools for victory. During the Knightfall saga, the character states, "The essence of anarchy is surprise – spontaneous action ... even when it does require a little planning!"79 Depicted examples include an improvised conflict, in which he avoided a gang of villains too dangerous to fight, choosing instead to use a flare gun to anonymously signal for Batman to come, and then pitted the two groups against each other.56 A later example includes a planned confrontation with Batman in which Anarky achieves victory by confusing the hero with holographic projections long enough to attack and subdue him.80 When in need of assistance for intelligence gathering, or a diversion, he would call on the help of the homeless community in Gotham, who had supported him since his first appearance.25 Anarky's skill in improvising cunning plans was continued in the Anarky ongoing series. During the "War and Peace" storyline, Anarky allows himself to be defeated in combat, purposely falling into the hands of an enemy. Feigning defeat, he reveals false information that leads to his opponent's downfall.81
Early descriptions of the character's gadgets focused on low-tech, improvised tools and munitions, such as flare guns,56 swing lines,64 throwing stars,82 small spherical explosives with wick fuses (mimicking those stereotypically associated with 19th-century anarchists),24 gas-bombs,24 smoke bombs,64 and his primary weapon, a powerful electric stun baton shaped as a golden sceptre.24 A grappling hook was later incorporated into the sceptre itself, allowing dual functionality.83
- Combat skills
In 1995, Grant described Anarky as having begun to train in martial arts, following the character's time in juvenile hall.84 By 1997, this ability was described as having progressed remarkably, and to have included training in multiple styles, including aikido, karate, jujutsu, and kung fu, which he "integrated" into a hybrid fighting style.80
- Logistics, technology, and enhanced intelligence
As a wanted criminal, Anarky's methods and goals were described as leaving him with little logistical support amongst the heroic community, or the public at large, relegating him to underground operation. In his earliest incarnations, he was described as having developed skills as a computer hacker to steal enormous sums of money from various corporations.85 This addition to the character's skill set made him the second major hacker in the DC universe, being preceded by Barbara Gordon's debut as Oracle,86 and was quickly adapted by 1992 to allow the character to gain information on other heroes and villains from police computer networks.64 By 1997, the skill was further increased to allow him to tap into Batman's supercomputer,83 and the Justice League Watchtower.87
In 1996, Anarky was described as using the internet to earn money through his online bookstore, Anarco, which he used as a front company to propagate his philosophy. A second front organization, The Anarkist Foundation, was also developed to offer grants to radical causes he supports.88 Grant also used a Biofeedback Learning Enhancer as a plot device to increase Lonnie's abilities. The cybernetic device was described as being capable of amplifying brain functions by a multiple of ten.88 In the Anarky series, this augmentation was described as having "fused" the hemispheres of his brain, in a reference to bicameralism. With this enhanced intelligence, and the increased financial independence described above, Anarky went on to create an on-board AI computer, MAX (Multi-Augmented X-Program);87 a crude but fully functioning teleportation device capable of summoning a boom tube,89 and secretly excavated an underground base below the Washington Monument.87
Portrayed as an atheist by Grant, Anarky espoused the belief that "science is magic explained", and was shown to use scientific analysis to explain and manipulate esoteric forces of magic and energy.90
- Abilities as Moneyspider
In Fabian Niciza's stories for Red Robin, Lonnie Machin's abilities as Moneyspider were revamped, with the character taking on the persona of an "electronic ghost."11 Comotose, Moneyspider was free to act through his mind via connections to the internet, and interacted with others via text messaging and a speech synthesizer. In this condition, he acts to "create an international web that will [access] the ins and outs of criminal and corporate operations."91 Within virtual reality, the character's augmented intelligence was described as a "fused bicameral mind", able to maintain a presence online at all times, while another part of his mind separately interacted with others offline.92
Anarky's costume has undergone several phases in design, the first two of which were created by Norm Breyfogle, in accordance with Grant's suggestions. The original costume was composed of a large, flowing red robe, over a matching red jumpsuit. A red, wide brimmed hat baring the circle-a insignia; a golden, metallic face mask; and red hood, completed the outfit. The folds of the robe concealed various weapons and gadgets.24 Breyfogle later expressed that the color scheme chosen held symbolic purpose. The red robes "represented the blood of all the innocents sacrificed in war." The gold cane, face mask, and circle-A symbol represented purity and spirituality. The connection to spirituality was also emphasized through the hat and loose fabric, which mimicked that of a priest. Breyfogle believed the loose clothes "[went] better with a wide-brimmed hat. It's more of a colloquial style of clothing ..." However, observers have noted that Breyfogle's Christian upbringing may have also inspired the "priestly analogy."22
This costume was also designed to disguise Anarky's height, and so included a "head extender" under his hood, which elongated his neck. This design was also intended to create a subtle awkwardness that the reader would subconsciously suspect as being fake, until the reveal at the end of Anarky's first appearance. Despite the revelation of this false head, which would no longer serve its intended purpose at misdirecting the reader, the head extender was included in several return appearances, while at irregular times other artists drew the character without the extender.[IV] This discontinuity in the character's design ended when Breyfogle finally eliminated this aspect of the character during the 1997 limited series, expressing that the character's height growth had ended its usefulness.23 In reality, Breyfogle's decision was also as a result of the difficulty the design presented, being "awkward [to draw] in action situations."22
Anarky's second costume was used during the 1999 ongoing Anarky series. It retained the red jumpsuit, gold mask, and hat, but excised the character's red robes. New additions to the costume included a red cape, a utility belt modeled after Batman's utility belt, and a single, large circle-a across the chest, akin to Superman's iconic "S" shield. The golden mask was also redesigned as a reflective, but flexible material that wrapped around Anarky's head, allowing for the display of facial movement and emotion. This had previously been impossible, as the first mask was made of inflexible metal. Being a relatively new creation, Breyfogle encountered no resistance in the new character design. "Because [Anarky] doesn't have 50 years of merchandising behind him, I can change his costume whenever I want ..."22 Within the Anarky series, secondary costumes were displayed in Anarky's base of operations. Each was slightly altered in design, but followed the same basic theme. These were designed for use in various situations, but only one, a "universal battle suit", was used during the brief series.87 These suits were also intended to be seen in the unpublished 9th issue of the series.93
In 2005, James Peatty's Green Arrow story, "Anarky in the USA", featured a return to some of the costume elements used prior to the Anarky series. Drawn by Eric Battle, the circle-a chest icon was removed, in favor of a loose fabric jumpsuit, completed with a flowing cape. The flexible mask was replaced with the previous, unmoving metallic mask, but illustrated with a new reflective quality. This design element was used at times to reflect the face of someone Anarky looked at, creating a mirroring of a person's face upon Anarky's own mask.28 This same effect was later reused in two issues of Red Robin.94 For the usurpation of the "Anarky" mantle by Ulysses Armstrong, Freddie Williams II illustrated a new costume design for Armstrong, that featured several different design elements. While retaining the primary colors of gold and red, the traditional hat was replaced with a hood, and a new three-piece cuirass with shoulder guards and leather belt was added. The mask was also altered from an expressionless visage, to a menacing grimace.30 The basic design continued to be used by Armstrong in the Red Robin series, illustrated by Marcus To, but with a new color scheme in which red was replaced with black.35
In attempting to present the character as a figurative mirror to Batman, the costume worn by Anarky in Beware the Batman was radially redesigned as entirely white, in contrast to Batman's black Batsuit. It consists of a tightly worn jumpsuit, cape, hood, flexible mask with white-eye lenses, and a utility belt. Upon the chest is a small, stylized circle-a in black.16
|Batman: Arkham Origins Anarky promotional image. This was the first of two promotional images released to feature Anarky's design for the game.|
|DC Collectible Anarky figurine, based on the design featured in Batman: Arkham Origins.|
The costume redesign for Anarky in Batman: Akrham Origins, while stylized, attempted to thematically highlight the character's anarchist sentiments, by updating his appearance utilizing black bloc iconography.17 Donning a red puffer flight jacket over a red hoodie, and completed with red cargo pants, the character sported gold accents in the form of a yellow belt, backpack and boot straps , and a bandana wrapped below his neck. His metallic mask was replaced with a white theatrical stage mask, evocative of the Guy Fawkes mask made popular among protesters by V for Vendetta and Anonymous.44 The jacket is itself emblazoned with a painted circle-a. "He looks like a street protester in our game," commented Eric Holmes, the creative director of the game, "and there's no accident to that."43 This design was later used as model for a DC Collectible figure, released as part of a series based on villains featured in the game.95
In the years that followed the creation of Anarky, both Norm Breyfogle and Alan Grant experienced changes in their personal and professional lives which they attributed to that collaboration. Each man acknowledged the primary impact of the character to have been on their mutual friendship and intellectual understanding. In particular, their time developing the Anarky series led to a working relationship centered on esoteric debate, discussion, and mutual respect.56969798
Over time, Anarky emerged as each man's favorite character, with Grant wishing he could emulate the character,521 and complimenting that Breyfogle "draws Anarky as if he loves the character."53 While Breyfogle acknowledged that Anarky was his favorite of the creations they collaborated on,23 he felt that his own appreciation was not as great as Grant's, commenting that Anarky was "Alan's baby".98
With the cancellation of the Anarky series, and the eventual departure of each artist from DC Comics—first by Grant, followed by Breyfogle—their mutual career paths split, and Anarky entered into a period of obscurity. During this period, Breyfogle came to suspect that the treatment each man, and Anarky, had received from their former employer was suspect.6 While acknowledging that he lacked evidence, he held a "nagging feeling" that he and Grant had each been "blacklisted" from DC Comics as a result of the controversial views expressed in the Anarky series' second volume.97
Grant has stated that he attempted to distance himself from the direction of Anarky following his termination from DC Comics, and actively tried to avoid learning about the fate of Anarky and other characters he had come to care about. He often found himself disappointed to see how some characters were used or, as he felt, were mismanaged.2732 Grant later joked on his disillusion in the handling of Anarky, "if you create something that's close to your heart and you don't own it, 'Oh woe is me!'"1
When an interviewer commented that Anarky was popular among fans in 2003, in the midst of the character's period of obscurity, Norm Breyfogle offered a caveat: "Well, in certain segments of the comic book industry, I suppose." Breyfogle continued, "It has some diehard fans. But, DC doesn't seem to want to do anything with him. Maybe it's because of his anti-authoritarian philosophy, a very touchy subject in today's world."26
The sense that Anarky is appreciated by certain fans is one shared by Alan Grant. Commenting on the popularity of the Anarky series, Grant acknowledged the failure of the series, but pointed out that the series was very popular among some readers. "It wasn't terribly popular in the States, although I received quite a few letters (especially from philosophy students) saying the comic had changed their entire mindset. But Anarky was very popular in South America, where people have had a long and painful taste of totalitarianism, in a way the US is just entering."3
Sales of the Anarky limited series were high enough to green light an ongoing series.62 However, as the ongoing series was mostly popular amongst Latin American nations—Mexico and Argentina in particular—Alan Grant has lamented that the comic was doomed to eventual cancellation, as DC Comics "[doesn't] take foreign sales into consideration when counting their cash".5
Acknowledging the failure of the ongoing Anarky series, Grant has conceeded that its themes, in particular his interest in exploring esoteric concepts such as philosophy of mind, likely resulted in "plummeting" sales.5 Breyfogle claimed the difficulty of combining escapist entertainment with social commentary as his explanation for the series' failure. "Anarky is a hybrid of the mainstream and the not-quite-so-mainstream," Breyfogle wrote at the time, "This title may have experienced exactly what every 'half-breed' suffers: rejection by both groups with which it claims identity."99 Besides the themes, commentators have also found the escalation of Anarky's skills and special heroics as a source of criticism. "I liked the original concept behind Anarky: a teenage geek who reads The Will to Power one too many times and decides to go out and fix the world," wrote a critic for Fanzing, an online newsletter produced by comic book fans and professionals. "But the minute he wound up getting $100 million in a Swiss Bank account, owning a building, impressing Darksied sic, getting a Boom Tube and was shown as being able to outsmart Batman, outhack Oracle and generally be invincible, I lost all interest I had in the character."78
The philosophical nature of the character has invited political critiques, and resulted in comparisons drawn against the political and philosophical views of other fictional characters.
The authors of "I'm Not Fooled By That Cheap Disguise", a 1991 essay deconstructing the Batman mythos, refer to Anarky as a challenge to Batman's social and political world view, and to the political position indirectly endorsed by the themes of a Batman adventure. As the Batman mythos is centered on themes of retribution and the protection of property rights, the invitation to readers to identify with Batman's vigilantism is an invitation to adopt political authoritarianism. The authors summarize that position as "the inviolability of property relations and the justification of their defense by any means necessary (short of death)." However, the authors contend that Anarky "potentially redefines crime" and invites the reader to identify with a new political position in favor of the disenfranchised, which Batman "can not utterly condemn". The authors contend that the creation of Anarky and dialogue by other characters represented a shift towards "self-conscious awareness of the Batman's hegemonic function, questioning the most central component of the Batman's identity—the nature of crime and his relation to it." However, the authors remain skeptical of Anarky's commercial nature, pointing out Anarky could be "incorporated as another marketing technique ... The contradictions of capitalism would thus permit the commodification of criticisms as long as they resulted in profits."101
With the publication in 2005 of an issue of Green Arrow in which Anarky guest-starred, writer James Peatty juxtaposed Anarky's radical philosophy with the liberal progressive beliefs of Green Arrow. "Everyone always goes on about what a radical Ollie is and I wanted to show that maybe that isn't the case ... especially as Ollie's radical credentials are pretty antiquated ... Anarky as a character—and as a broader idea—is much more radical than Ollie."29
In Batman and Philosophy, an analysis of various philosophies which intersect with the Batman mythos, Anarky's critique of the state is compared favorably to that of Friedrich Nietzsche. "The Nietzschean state constitutes a 'new idol,' one that is no less repressive than its predecessors, as it defines good and evil for, and hangs a 'sword and a hundred appetites' over, the faithful. No Batman villain sees this as clearly as Anarky ..." However, Anarky's behavior is analyzed as an attempt to impose an even more restrictive order, with examples presented from Batman: Anarky, in which Lonnie Machin lectures fellow juvenile detainees, explains his motivations in a farewell letter to his parents, and creates a fantasy dystopia in a distorted reflection of his desired society. "His [Anarky's] search for an organizing principle that is less repressive than the state fails." This is sharply compared with Batman, described as moderating his impulses towards social control.102 Dialogue from Detective Comics is employed, in which Batman compares himself to Anarky and denies the latter legitimacy: "The fact is, no man can be allowed to set himself up as judge, jury and executioner."24
Marco Rabinowitz, a commentator for Benzinga, reviewed and analyzed the theatrical trailer for the film The Dark Knight Rises, and noted the coincidental rise of the Occupy movement in the months prior to the film's release. Expecting that "occupy" inspired undertones of populism and anti-corporatism would be an important plot element in director Christopher Nolan's film, Rabinowitz suggested that Anarky should have been chosen as the film's primary antagonist.103
Newsrama contributor George Marston was especially scathing of the character's politics and costume, placing Anarky at No.8 on a list of the "Top 10 Worst Batman villains of all time." Deriding the character as a "living embodiment of an Avril Lavigne t-shirt", he pointed out the pointlessness of being inspired to super heroics by radical philosophy, and the contradictory nature of fighting crime as an anarchist. He concluded by referring to the unsuccessful Anarky series as proof that "bad decisions are timeless".104
Greg Burgas, of Comic Book Resources.com, critiqued Anarky as "one of the more interesting characters of the past fifteen or twenty years ... because of what he wants to accomplish..." Burgas continues, comparing the nature of Anarky as a change agent against Batman. "He is able to show how ineffective Batman is against the real problems of society, and although Batman stops his spree, we find ourselves sympathizing much more with Anarky than with the representative of the status quo."100
Critics have commented on the character's depiction as an anarchist since his first appearance. According to Alan Grant, anarchists with whom he associated were angered by his creation of the character, seeing it as an act of recuperation for commercial gain. Neither Grant nor Breyfogle could fully agree with this criticism. As Grant put it, "I thought I was doing them a favour you know?"1
In the years following the Anarky publications of the late 90s, more receptive critiques have been offered. In assessing the presentation of anarchist philosophy in fiction, Mark Leier, the director for the Centre for Labour Studies from Simon Fraser University, cited Anarky as an example of the favorable treatment anarchist philosophy has occasionally received in mainstream comic books. Leier took particular note of quotations derived from the dialogue in "Anarky in Gotham City" story, in which Batman speaks positively of Anarky's intentions.105 Following the cancellation of the ongoing series, Roderick Long, an anarchist/libertarian political commentator and Senior Scholar at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, praised Anarky as "an impressive voice for liberty in today's comics".106 Margaret Killjoy's examination of anarchist fiction, Mythmakers & Lawbreakers, afforded Alan Grant and Anarky brief mention. Explaining the relationship Grant had with anarchism, Killjoy reviewed the characters' early incarnations as "quite wonderful."107
Greg Burgas, in reviewing the career of Alan Grant, specifically cited Anarky's anarchist philosophy as one of the character's most empathetic traits. Lamenting the obscurity of the character, Burgas wished Anarky and anarchism would be presented more often: "... anarchy as a concept is often dismissed, but it's worth looking at simply because it is so radical and untenable yet noble."100
As a lesser known character in the DC universe, Anarky has a smaller library of associated comic books and significant story lines than more popular DC Comics characters. Between 1989 and 1996, Anarky was primarily written by Alan Grant in Batman-related comics, received a guest appearance in a single issue of Green Arrow68 by Kevin Dooley, and was given an entry in Who's Who in the DC Universe.59
In the late 1990s, Anarky entered a brief period of minor prominence; first with the publication of Anarky vol. 1 in 1997; followed in 1998 with the Batman: Anarky collection; and in 1999, with featured appearances in both DCU Heroes Secret Files and Origins No.1108 and the ongoing series, Anarky vol. 2. After the cancellation of the ongoing series, Anarky lapsed into obscurity lasting approximately nine years. This ambiguous condition was not complete, as Anarky was sporadically used during this time. These appearances include marginal cameos in issues of Young Justice,109 Wonder Woman,110 and Green Arrow.28
Anarky made an appearance in a 2008 issue of Robin as part of an effort to return the character to regular publication, and became a recurring cast member in the Red Robin series in November 2010, until the series was cancelled in October 2011.
Lesser known among the cast of characters in the DC universe, Anarky went unused for adaptations to other media platforms throughout much of the character's existence. However, in 2013 the character was chosen to act as the main antagonist in Beware the Batman, an animated series on Cartoon Network, voiced by Wallace Langham.38 Anarky debuted in the first season's third and tenth episodes, "Tests" and "Sacrifice", respectively.1639 Later that year, Anarky was also included as a villain in the Batman video game, Batman: Arkham Origins, voiced by Matthew Mercer.111
- Concepts and themes
- Character lists
|52 No.48 promotional cover. (Note the partially obscured circle-A in the upper-left.)|
I. ^ 52 was promoted as a comic that would attempt to incorporate as many DC Comics characters as possible. In a Q&A session hosted by Newsarama.com, Michael Siglain answered a series of questions regarding which characters fans wanted to see in the series. Question No.19 asked "We were told Anarky would be playing a part in 52. Could you please tell us when we can expect his appearances?" Siglain's simple response to readers was, "check back in the late 40s."112 Speculation centered on the prospect of Anarky appearing in issue No.48 of the series, as the solicited cover illustration was released to the public several weeks before the issues' publication. On the cover, the circle-A could be seen as a minor element in the background. In a review for "Week 48", Major Spoilers considered the absence of Anarky a drawback: "It's too bad we didn't see the return of Anarky as hinted by this week's cover"113 Pop culture critic, Douglas Wolk, wrote, "I guess this issue's cover is the closest we're going to get to Anarky after all (and by proxy as close as we're going to get to the Haunted Tank). Too bad."114
II. ^ The 1990 Detective Comics No.620 story, "Rite of Passage Part 3: Make Me a Hero," chronicles Tim Drake's first solo detective case, as he pursues an online investigation against an advanced grey hat computer hacker. The unknown hacker, operating under the alias "Moneyspider", has stolen millions of dollars from western corporations, including Wayne Enterprises, outmaneuvering Batman's own data security in the process. He is revealed by Drake to be Lonnie Machin by the end of the issue.85 This functioned as the antecedent for Fabian Nicieza's reintroduction of Machin under the name "Moneyspider" in 2008.
III. ^ In warning readers to avoid spoiling potential surprises for their experience in playing Batman: Arkham Origins, Eric Holmes specifically referenced the Wikipedia article on the character as a resource to avoid. "You know what? If you want to enjoy the game, don't bother reading up on him, because there are a few surprises about him which will turn up in the game, and if you go read Wikipedia or something like that, it'll rob you a little bit on some of the stuff in the game, because there are some surprises about Anarky."115
IV. ^ Following Anarky's debut in "Anarky in Gotham City", the character's design incorporated the head extender in Robin Annual No. 1 (1992),64 Green Arrow No. 89 (August 1994),68 and The Batman Adventures No. 31 (April 1995).58 The head extender was not included in Shadow of The Bat No. 18 (October 1993),79 and The Batman Chronicles No. 1 (Summer, 1995).116
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- Kevin Dooley (w), Michael Netzer (p), Rob Leigh (i). "Forgotten Paths" Green Arrow v2, 89 (1994-8-1), DC Comics
- Alan Grant (w), Norm Breyfogle (p), Josef Rubinstein (i). "Metamorphosis, Part One: Does a Dog Have a Buddha Nature?" Anarky 1: 8, 14 (May 1997), DC Comics
- Alan Grant (w), Norm Breyfogle (p), Josef Rubinstein (i). "Metamorphosis Part 3: The Economics of The Madhouse" Anarky 3: 1,12,13 (July 1, 1997), DC Comics
- Alan Grant (w), Norm Breyfogle (p), Steve Mitchell (i). "Rite of Passage Part 3: Make Me a Hero" Detective Comics 620: 19/1, 3, 4 (August 1, 1990), DC Comics
- Alan Grant (w), Norm Breyfogle (p), Josef Rubinstein (i). "Metamorphosis Part 4: Fanfare for the Common Man" Anarky 4: 16/2 (August 1, 1997), DC Comics
- Alan Grant (w), John Paul Leon (p), Ray McCarthy (i). "Anarky, Part Two: The Anarkist Manifesto" Batman: Shadow of the Bat 41 (August 1, 1995), DC Comics
- Alan Grant (w), Norm Breyfogle (p), Josef Rubinstein (i). "Metamorphosis, Part One: Does a Dog Have a Buddha Nature?" Anarky 1: 20/5 (May 1997), DC Comics
- Alan Grant (w), Norm Breyfogle (p), Josef Rubinstein (i). "Metamorphosis, Part One: Does a Dog Have a Buddha Nature?" Anarky 1: 6 (May 1997), DC Comics
- Alan Grant (w), Norm Breyfogle (p), Josef Rubinstein (i). "War and Peace, Part III" Anarky v2, 6: 20/5 (October 1, 1999), DC Comics
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- Alan Grant (w), Bret Blevins (p), Mike Manley (i). "The God of Fear, Part One of Three" Batman: Shadow of The Bat 16 (September 1993), DC Comics
- Alan Grant (w), Norm Breyfogle (p), Josef Rubinstein (i). "Metamorphosis Part 3: The Economics of The Madhouse" Anarky 3 (July 1, 1997), DC Comics
- Alan Grant (w), Norm Breyfogle (p), Josef Rubinstein (i). "War and Peace, Part III" Anarky v2, 6 (October 1999), DC Comics
- Alan Grant (w), John Paul Leon (p), Ray McCarthy (i). "Anarky, Part One: Prophet of Doom" Batman: Shadow of the Bat 40: 18 (July 1, 1995), DC Comics
- Alan Grant (w), Norm Breyfogle (p), Josef Rubinstein (i). "Metamorphosis Part 1: Does a Dog Have a Buddha Nature?" Anarky 1 (1997-5-1), DC Comics
- Alan Grant (w), John Paul Leon (p), Ray McCarthy (i). "Anarky, Part One: Prophet of Doom" Batman: Shadow of the Ba 40: 18/1 (July 1, 1995), DC Comics
- Alan Grant (w), Norm Breyfogle (p), Steve Mitchell (i). "Rite of Passage Part 3: Make Me a Hero" Detective Comics 620 (1990-8-1), DC Comics
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"Suicide Squad Vol. 1 No.23". The Unofficial Guide to the DC Universe. Archived from the original on February 2, 2010. Retrieved 2010-01-09.
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- Alan Grant (w), John Paul Leon (p), Ray McCarthy (i). "Anarky, Part One: Prophet of Doom" Batman: Shadow of the Bat 40: 18/4, 5 (1995-7-1), DC Comics
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- Alan Grant (w), Norm Breyfogle (p), Josef Rubinstein (i). "Metamorphosis, Part 2: Revolution Number 9" Anarky 2: 22/4 (June 1, 1997), DC Comics
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- Fabian Nicieza (w), Williams II, Freddy (a), Cipriano, Sal (let), Ryan, Sean (ed). "The Rabbit Hole, Part Two: Caught in the Üntertow" Red Robin 19: 18/4 (March 2011), DC Comics
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Fabian Nicieza (w), Marcus To (p), Ray McCarthy (i). "The Rabbit Hole: Part IV, Sinsanity" Red Robin 21: 13/2 (May, 2011), DC Comics
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- Leier, Mark (August 2006). "Notes". Bakunin: The Creative Passion (first ed.). New York City: Thomas Dunne Books. p. 305. ISBN 0-312-30538-9. "Anarchism has fared a little better in the comic books. Batman was confronted by a new foe, Anarky, in 1989. Unlike the protector of Gotham City, Anarky took on corporations and governments that destroyed the environment and displaced the homeless to build bank towers. The Caped Crusader vanquished him, naturally, but admitted that Anarky's "cause was just" and "he only wanted to set the world straight." Detective Comics, nos. 608 and 609, 1989. Anarky appeared in other comics and had his own for a time. The original two-part series owed much to a British graphic novel of the early 1980s, V for Vendetta, by Alan Moore and David Lloyd, set in a bleak fascist Britain of the 1990s."
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Alan Grant (w), Norm Breyfogle (a). "An Anarky Primer" DCU Heroes – Secret Files and Origins 1: 50 (February 1, 1999), DC Comics
Alan Grant (w), Norm Breyfogle (a). "Profile Page: Anarky" DCU Heroes – Secret Files and Origins 1: 48 (February 1, 1999), DC Comics
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Curtis Johnson (w), Carlo Barberi (p), Wayne Faucher, Juan Vlasco (i). "You Gotta Be Kidding!" Sins Of Youth: JLA, Jr. 1: 5–7 (May 1, 2000), DC Comics
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- Anarky on DC Database, an external wiki, a DC Comics wiki
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- Anarky at the Grand Comics Database
- Anarky on the Unofficial Guide to the DC Universe website.