Scarecrow was yet another book that I was not looking forward too. In Forever Evil, and already in multiple Villains Month issues, we’ve seen him as The Crime Syndicate’s message boy. Delivering the bad word and membership coins to many of his Arkham compatriots. This book, firmly set after the blotting out of the sun, shows Gotham in an entirely new state. Where districts are divided up by Gotham’s major Rogues. While mainly just being a big teaser for the upcoming Forever Evil: Arkham War, the book excels at numerous things. Here is what I liked.
1. Symon Kudranski’s art is perfect. Dark, moody, and mysterious. I’m not sure the book needed anything else.
2. Each one of the Rogues’ visited in the book was done well, showing just why Tomasi is DC’s greatest hero. In one book, he mastered the characters of Mr. Freeze, Scarecrow, Riddler, and even Poison Ivy. That takes some serious skill.
3. To see the city divided up in a similar manner to No Man’s Land was both nostalgic and awesome.
Rating before reading: 5
Rating after reading: 8
I will not sugarcoat this. This book is rather blatantly trying to set up Arkham War. The story isn’t done really well, and is rather predictable. It is a basic set up book. What makes this book excel is the mastery of each one of the colorful characters in the book. Both Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy’s own solo book disappointed me, and yet here they were done excellently, and with only 2-3 pages per character. Even the Riddler, who had his own thrilling first issue was done justice. He was not only shown interacting with the plot teased for Arkham War, but it tied directly into his own book, ensuring that his own wonderful solo narrative was not ruined.
Scarecrow was perhaps the least seen in the book, but his dialogue was fresh and intriguing. Tomasi grasps the intelligent psychologist side of Scarecrow better than I’ve seen anyone do recently. Additionally his blatant pandering to every villain he comes across was both amusing and exactly what I’d expect the character to do.
So while the story was unremarkable, the personification and characterization of each colorful and quirky villain was so excellently done, I felt it impossible not to give it the recognition it deserves.
Until the next time,