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. Stories revolving around Anarky often focus on political and philosophical themes. Named after the philosophy of anarchism, the primary philosophical element that has underscored the character's appearances has been anti-statism. 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. Highly thematic and philosophical in tone, Alan Grant avoided using the character often, but addressed multiple social issues whenever the character appeared, including environmentalism, antimilitarism, economic exploitation, and political corruption. Inspired by multiple sources, early stories to feature the character often included homages to political and philosophical books, including notable anarchists such as Mikhail Bakunin and Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, among others. The creation of the character was also partially influenced by Alan Moore's character "V" from V for Vendetta.
Originally intended to only be used in the debut story in which he appeared, positive reception by readers and his editor convinced Grant to continue using Anarky as a recurring character throughout the early 90s. 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". 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 Alan Grant has expressed his distaste, was quickly canceled after eight issues. (read more...)