The Scarecrow has returned to Gotham City, but he’s no longer the meek punching bag Batman is used to. The villainous genius has always preyed on the worst fears of his victims, but has refined his legendary fear toxin to even greater effectiveness and deadlier consequences. As the Scarecrow’s origin is unfurled, Batman must find out not only how to conquer this dangerous psychopath, but how to beat his own worst fear.
Collects: Batman: Dark Knight #10-15
This story arc, the first from New York Times bestselling thriller author Gregg Hurwitz, is simply brilliant. It covers some familiar Batman-Scarecrow ground (and also back story), but with a more contemporary, sinister edge. Hurwitz has taken a very psychological approach to the story (there’s not as much action as many comic authors inject into Dark Knight tales), and he really pulls it off, delving into the mind and past of both the Scarecrow and Batman. I was hooked from the first page, and blitzed through this in one quick, satisfying sitting.
Finch’s artwork, Oback’s colors and Friend’s inks are absolutely superb. Everything works together to enhance the story in every way: from the wonderful, clever use of shadows, shading and especially the facial expressions, to the effectively silent pages. For example, these two, from the first chapter, which were particularly powerful and moving:
Overall, then (and excuse the short review – I don’t want to spoil the story), this is very, very good indeed. Hurwitz’s story is just all-round, dark brilliance: the writing, artwork, everything comes together perfectly. This is, without doubt, one of the best Batman stories I’ve read. The series is a keeper once again.
Original Series Covers
For the review, I read the digital editions of the single issues, bought from ComiXology.