Anarky

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"The essence of anarchy is surprise... Spontaneity. Lao-Tse knew!"

Anarky (Lonnie Machin) is a fictional character in the DC Comics Universe. Co-created by Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle, he first appeared in Detective Comics #608 (November 1989) as an adversary of Batman, and other DC comic book heroes and villains.

Stories revolving around Anarky often focus on political and philosophical themes. Named after the philosophy of anarchism, his creation was partially influenced by Alan Moore's character "V" from w:V for Vendetta.[1] With Grant's transition to the philosophy of Neo-Tech, Anarky was transformed from a vehicle for socialist and populist philosophy, to rationalist, atheist, and free market based thought.[2]

Anarky series[edit]

"Metamorphosis"

Volume 1, issues 1–4
"I don't believe in god. In the future, we will all be responsible for our own acts."
  • "This is Politics: 'Do what you're told or we'll punish you.' This is Religion: 'Suffer misery now so you can be happy after death.' This is Philosophy: 'The Universe came from nothing, and will one day return to it.' None of these doctrines stands up to rational analysis."
  • "I don't believe in god. In the future, we will all be responsible for our own acts."
    • Source: "Metamorphosis" (part one), Anarky (vol.1) #1, May 1997; by Alan Grant.


  • "Quoting Einstein out of context, they say that good and evil are relative; that there are no moral absolutes. They lie. Only two laws are needed to change the entire universe: never use initiatory force, and never cheat. The people who run our world constantly break both.
"Science is magic explained..."
  • "My pocket dictionary defines evil as 'bad, harmful.' But that's only half the story. Evil needs to be intentional."
  • "Science is magic explained..."
    • Source: "Metamorphosis" (part two), Anarky (vol.1) #2, June 1997; by Alan Grant.


  • "In 1995, the countries of southeast asia spent $435 billion on military expenditure-- Not because the people demanded it, you understand; how many peasants do you know who've started wars? Mao Tse-Tung spouted a lot of nonsense, but he sure got one thing right: 'all (political) power comes out the barrel of a gun.' You don't believe me, do you? You live in a democracy. You vote for your leaders-- So tell me -- what happens if you want to disobey them? Say you don't like the President. You object to paying taxes to support him, his family, his pets, his bodyguards and his friends he wangled jobs for. What do you do? Or say you don't like your taxes being used to subsidize foreign arms sales for slaughter in the third world. How can you stop it? Vote for somebody else, whose policy is the same? Don't vote? The government pretends to be there to serve you. In reality, it's there to tell you what to do-- If you refuse to obey, you'll be investigated--arrested--criminalized. Your assets will be seized and given to the state. You will be jailed. And that's the 'free' America -- -- Imagine what it's like in Iraq."
"Imagine – you’re a child again. Filled with innocence, and wonder, and life. Remember how good it felt? That’s what the parasites stole from us."
  • "Albert Einstein said that 'The only justifiable purpose of political institutions is to ensure the unhindered development of the individual.' But our institutions are the opposite. They enslave us -- Rule us by fear and deceit! They'd gladly bomb us back into the stone age! They don't want the common man to be anything but a slave! The world has gone wrong. But I swear by every breath in my body-- I will put it right again!"
    • Source: "Metamorphosis" (part three), Anarky (vol.1) #3, July 1997; by Alan Grant.


  • "Imagine – you’re a child again. Filled with innocence, and wonder, and life. Remember how good it felt? That’s what the parasites stole from us. They bled us dry. And like sheep we lined up to give more blood. But we can have back all that they stole, and more. The information age provides a spotlight the parasites can’t squirm away from. Identify them. Negate their evil. Ostracize them. Step with me into a better world."
    • Source: "Metamorphosis" (part four), Anarky (vol.1) #4, August 1997; by Alan Grant.

Other publications[edit]

"I always knew I'd get off on this part of it. There's something just feels so good about... destruction. But not destruction for its own sake. This is a cleansing... A ridding of the old... It's necessary."
  • "Greetings, Gotham City. My name is Anarky. (...) I believe in the absolute freedom of the individual. I believe that the present order must be abolished. I believe that the voice of the people must be heard... listened to... and obeyed! ...I would like to extend this warning to the whole city: you are either part of the solution, or part of the problem. Look into your own hearts. Decide which you are and choose well-- for if you are an enemy of the people -- Anarky will seek you out... and destroy you!"
    • Source: "Anarky in Gotham" (part two), Detective Comics #609, December 1989; by Alan Grant.




  • "'The essence of anarchy is constant surprise.' Spontaneity... Lao-Tse knew, and all those other old chinese guys. So how come we all forgot along the way? How come you can be wise once upon a time, and two thousand years later you're ignorant as a pig? Doesn't really matter. The dinosaurs are dead, only they don't know it yet. They need someone like Anarky to bring home the news. The Dark Ages are passing -- and their heroes will pass with them. The city needs a new breed of hero. The night needs a new kind of monster. Anarky.
  • "I always knew I'd get off on this part of it. There's something just feels so good about... destruction. But not destruction for its own sake. This is a cleansing... A ridding of the old... It's necessary."
  • The essence of anarchy is surprise... Spontaneity. Lao-Tse knew!"
    • Source: "Anarky in Gotham" (part two), Detective Comics #609, December 1989; by Alan Grant.
"I'm against anything that's against people! Cruelty -- brutality -- exploitation... These are the enemies of the people -- The enemies of Anarky!"




  • "The essence of anarchy is surprise -- spontaneous action... even when it does require a little planning!
  • "Democracy... Hah! There's a laugh. They pretend that it works -- pretend that the voice of the people, spoken through its elected representatives will be heard. Trash! The world is run by elites -- bankers, the military, government agencies. Criminals all. They prey like vampires on their victims...! I've been thinking a lot about elites lately. How they come to power -- How to stop them!"
    • Source: "The God of Fear" (part 1), The Shadow of the Bat #16, September 1993; by Alan Grant.




  • "I'm against anything that's against people! Cruelty -- brutality -- exploitation... These are the enemies of the people -- The enemies of Anarky!"
    • Source: "The God of Fear" (part two), The Shadow of the Bat #17, October 1993; by Alan Grant.




"The world's dying! Poisoned seas -- can't breath the air! The politicians -- the bankers -- the criminals -- they're sacrificing us all on the alter of their greed! Please... please don't kill our planet...!"
  • "The world's dying! Poisoned seas -- can't breath the air! The politicians -- the bankers -- the criminals -- they're sacrificing us all on the alter of their greed! Please... please don't kill our planet...!"
    • Source: "The God of Fear" (part 3), The Shadow of the Bat #18, November 1993; by Alan Grant.
    • Notes:Spoken after being poisoned by Scarecrow's fear toxins.




  • "Society is rotten. It will only be changed when the people see the greed, arrogance and brutality of those who rule them! ...Democracy is a sham!"
    • Source: "Anarky", The Batman Adventures #31, April 1995; by Alan Grant.




  • "The authoritarian system we live under is set to benefit a tiny minority — an all-powerful elite gets obscenely rich, while billions are cheated out of realizing their true potential. But the system is rotten. It's ripe for collapse. It's the duty of every revolutionary — everyone of us — to hasten that collapse... It's not a crime to fight injustice... The system's conditioned us — hypnotized nearly everybody into accepting that life has to be the way it is. We're hypnotized into believing war is natural — famine is natural — crime is natural... but they're not. They're products of the system and its all-consuming greed! People have become robots — zombies — too busy scrambling for day-to-day existence to be able to see they're really victims. It's up to us to open their eyes. From cradle to grave, we're taught — indoctrinated! — that happiness depends on always getting more. Buy — throw away — buy more! Doesn't matter if we destroy the planet on the way! Politicians say they can fix the world's problems. Just give them more power. Religions say do more of what they order and you'll be happy — but only after you're dead! They've been making the same hollow promises for thousands of years, and we, the people — the sheep — have listened. But it's time to wake up and smell the coffee — the days of external authority and force-backed power are numbered... that's the way the system is set up! A sham democracy that acts as a front for the elite's ambitions... It doesn't have to be like that. We can change it!"
    • Notes: Excerpted quotes spoken in conversation with multiple individuals.
"Society is rotten. It will only be changed when the people see the greed, arrogance and brutality of those who rule them! ...Democracy is a sham!"
  • "Batman's misguided. He fights the results of crime, but not the causes. He takes on individual cases... but he fails to see the wider picture!"
    • Source: "Tomorrow Belongs to Us", The Batman Chronicles #1, Summer 1995; by Alan Grant.




  • Roxanne Machin: "Oh, why can't you just be normal?"
  • Lonnie Machin: "Because I'm not normal, mom. I'm something special -- One day -- and soon -- everybody will be like me. Because if they're not, mankind will be extinct!"
    • Source: "Anarky" (part one), The Shadow of the Bat #40; July 1995; by Alan Grant.




  • "...I guess it's true what they say... the radical of one century is the conservative of the next!"

Taglines[edit]

  • His Name is His Goal!
    • Source: Cover art tagline, Anarky (vol.1) #1, May 1997.
  • Democracy is The Tyranny of The Minority!
    • Source: "Profile Page: Anarky", page tagline, DCU Heroes – Secret Files and Origins #1, February 1, 1999.
  • The Quest For Justice in Gotham City Is No Longer A Fight Between Good And Evil. It Is Now A War Over Who's Right And Who's Wrong. Batman. Anarky. Two dedicated idealists, two champions for two very different causes. If Anarky wins, what will Gotham stand to gain? If Batman wins, what will Gotham lose?
    • Source:Batman: Anarky back cover blurb, February 22, 1999.

Quotations about Anarky[edit]

Fictional[edit]

  • "He's a straight-a student... Cocky -- confident -- thought he knew all the answers, had to do it his way. Yet I can't help but admire him."
    • Source: "Detective Comics" #609, 1989; by Alan Grant.
    • Notes: Spoken by Batman.
  • "I know you alright — A 14-year-old genius who thinks his extremist ideals justify any crime."
  • "Oh, yes, I remember young Lonnie, all right! Sad boy, I always thought. Old before his time. Didn't make friends easily. Spent too much time in places like this. Reading, always reading. Far too serious."
    • Source: "Robin Annual" #1, 1992; by Alan Grant.
    • Notes: Spoken by Walter Kempinski (a bookstore owner who knew Lonnie as a child.)
  • "Actually, he may be right about a lot of things..."
  • "He's fifteen years old, for pity's sake! Look at these books--! He should be sneaking copies of Playboy around, not Bakunin and Marx and Ayn Rand!"
    • Source: "Shadow of the Bat" #40, July 1995; by Alan Grant.
    • Notes: Spoken by Mike Machin (Anarky's father).

Commentary and reviews (non-fiction)[edit]

Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle, creators of Anarky[edit]

"I felt he was the perfect character (to express Neo-Tech philosophy) because he's human, he has no special powers, the only power he's got is the power of his own rational consciousness."
  • "...Norm and I (like I said, we’re very different people) agree with Anarky’s perception of what’s wrong with the world. It is something we feel very strongly about. Although we want the book to be very entertaining, as all comic books have to be, we’re trying to say something else; there is another viewpoint of the world from another direction. You might see that you’re being conned. It is quite difficult to present that in an entertaining fashion. We’ve succeeded, I think, largely in part to Norman’s artwork. It’s as dynamic as anything I’ve ever seen him do. He draws Anarky as if he loves the character."
  • "Anarky’s world clashes as much with the traditional world of superheroes as it does with the world of crime. So the interplay between him and Green Lantern and him and Superman is not the usual kind of hero interplay."
  • "(Anarky is) a philosophical action hero, an Aristotle in tights, rising above mere "crime-fighter" status into the realm of incisive social commentary. In fact, Anarky exists primarily to challenge the status quo of hierarchical power, and he may be the first mainstream comics hero of his type to do it consistently and with such rational intelligence...
    "Although super-heroes' primary goal is to entertain, they also have the potential to meet this higher challenge, and I like to think that Anarky is leading the charge. After all, it's his very nom de guerre and purpose for existing!"
"I'm amused by Alan's originally grooming Anarky to be the new Robin; the Robin role now seems too small for him!"
  • "I'm amused by Alan's originally grooming Anarky to be the new Robin; the Robin role now seems too small for him!"
  • "We don’t have any conclusive evidence, but Alan and I can’t help but feel that Anarky’s philosophy grated on somebody’s nerves; somebody got a look at it and didn’t like it.... So I’ve generally gotten the impression that Anarky was nixed because of its philosophy. Especially in this age of post 9/11, Anarky would be a challenge to established authority. He’s very anti-establishment, that’s why he’s named Anarky!"
  • "Anarky, of course, was among the best, if not the best, of the characters Alan created. Alan really created him—along with the other characters—and I was just along for the ride and lucky to be there."
    • Source: Norm Breyfogle, in interview conducted by Cristopher Irving, November 17, 2006. Published in: Back Issue! Raleigh, North Carolina, USA: TwoMorrows Publishing. Vol. 1, No.22, p. 21. ISBN 1932-6904. June 2007.
  • "[Anarky] became—even more than Batman—a more synergistic element between Alan and me. It was the fruition of our professional relationship in that we were discussing (through faxes) a lot of the philosophical issues, day by day, that Alan was putting into the Anarky storyline."
    • Source: Norm Breyfogle, in interview conducted by Cristopher Irving, November 17, 2006. Published in: Back Issue! Raleigh, North Carolina, USA: TwoMorrows Publishing. Vol. 1, No.22, p. 22. ISBN 1932-6904. June 2007.



Others[edit]

"Anarky represents an impressive voice for liberty in today's comics."
  • "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."
  • "Anarky is my favorite comic-book character... Anarky represents an impressive voice for liberty in today's comics."
  • "Everyone always goes on about what a radical Ollie (Green Arrow) 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... Also, Anarky is a terrorist! How can that not be interesting in the modern climate?"
"I think of all the Batman enemies, and one of the reasons I'm most excited about Anarky, is he feels relevant today."
  • "Anarky is one of the more interesting characters of the past fifteen or twenty years, not only because he's a teenager (which is a wonderful revelation in #609) but because of what he wants to accomplish. Anarky is a direct contrast to Batman. He is an active agent of change while Batman is simply a reactive agent, reinforcing the status quo (as all corporate superheroes do) and positioning himself as the opposition to Anarky even though Lonnie, the teenager under the mask, is trying to make the world better instead of simply stopping at beating up the obvious criminals... Lonnie is a fascinating character in that he has a sense of humor (as evidenced by the A-symbol he spray-paints on Batman's cape after the Dark Knight has captured him) and he's very smart. 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... Grant obviously liked the character, and he is one of those creations that you wish was used better in the DC Universe. Anarchy as a concept is often dismissed, but it's worth looking at simply because it is so radical and untenable, yet still noble."
  • "Gotham City's corrupt CEOs and drug peddlers may look over their shoulders for the winged shadow of the Batman, but it is Anarky they truly fear."
    • Source: Michael Eury. Published in: The Supervillain Book: The Evil Side of Comics and Hollywood. Canton, Michigan USA: Visible Ink Press. p. 11. ISBN 1-57859-178-3. 2006-7-1.
  • "I think Anarky's age is right now. He looks like a street protester. He looks like Anonymous. He's like one of these guys who wants to go out there and change the world to what he believes is the better, and I think of all the Batman enemies, and one of the reasons I'm most excited about Anarky, is he feels relevant today."

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Best, Daniel (2007-01-06). Alan Grant & Norm Breyfogle (html). Adelaide Comics and Books. ACAB Publishing. Archived from the original on 2007-04-27. Retrieved on 2007-05-18.
  2. Kraft, Gary S. (1997-04-08). Holy Penis Collapsor Batman! DC Publishes The First Zonpower Comic Book!?!?! (html). GoComics.com. Archived from the original on 1998-02-18. Retrieved on 1998-02-18.

External links[edit]

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