The Scarecrow exposes Batman to an even more potent toxin, causing him to live out the life he could have live had he turned to the light rather than the darkness when his parents died. The toxin causes him to confront his very essence. Batman confronts his future, the fact that he fears human contact more than anything. While at the same time we get to see more of Scarecrow’s past, and how he was trapped in a pit filled with corpses and gruesome mannequins. Finally, Batman is able to escape and confront Scarecrow.
Out of all the Batman stories, this is by far the creepiest. I may not enjoy the macabre all the time, but every once in a while it can spice up a dark story just right. What surprised me most about this issue is how little actually happened. There weren’t any big action scenes, and the plot didn’t really progress out of the one room. But I love this kind of storytelling. Taking a chapter to focus on what makes Batman who he is was incredibly enjoyable.
Out of all the re-imaginings of the classic rogues, I think this one might work best for me. Scarecrow was always one of my favorites, and while the sewed lips is a bit goofy, I enjoy the backstory that he is being given to explain why he is how he is.
The parts with the little girl, while thankfully few this issue, are still annoying. The kid isn’t acting anything like an actual kid would in that situation. It’s such a blatant attempt at humanizing the Scarecrow that I can’t do anything but call it out for what it is.
However, the creepy art, deconstruction of who Batman and Scarecrow are, make this a great book for fans of Batman, especially those that love the morbid.