The New 52, for the most part, has done it’s job – delivering cool new twists on the classic DC heroes with some added surprises. Superman’s had some interesting developments, and Wonder Woman is knocking it out of the park with fresh material. Batman, however, has been up and down. The New 52 didn’t offer a lot of change for the Dark Knight, just some exceptionally well written stories. The Dark Knight isn’t one of DC’s stronger bat-books. The art has been great, and the stories aren’t necessarily written poorly, it just feels rehashed.
If you’ve read a Scarecrow focused story before, issue #12 isn’t that all that different. We get a different perspective on Scarecrow’s upbringing, but it still follows the same format that Scarecrow’s led before. With Bruce Wayne, the torment of reliving his parents death is an all-too-familiar plot device that’s more snooze inducing than anything else. The book’s end promises for a potentially exciting development in the Wayne family history, but I won’t go too in depth with it. But while the ending is exciting, it’s abrupt – as if Hurwitz and Finch needed one more page to get through the story completely.
The Scarecrow was creepy as hell though! The New 52 is definitely giving a much scarier edge to the king of fear – bloodshot eyes, laced lips, yellowed jagedy finger nails, he is gross and terrifying. Before he was much more of a comedic part in Batman’s list of foes. But with this reboot, he’s achieved a superior level of fear and terror.
David Finch is an interesting artist, always producing quality art, but making each page seem too busy in comparison with other artists. But his ideas are clever – walking up to Bruce, tied up and bloodied, already heavily induced with the fear toxin, and his parents shadows branching off of the Scarecrow’s body. It’s an intense moment that’s consistent throughout all 22 pages.
For the most part, this books shines because of its visuals and not so much the story. But, you know, for us seasoned readers, this is a boring book. But for the newbies DC wanted to draw in, this might just be their cup O’ tea. I’ll let you decide…
6 out of 10 stars