Review of Batman the Dark Knight #11
“That guy was literally scared to death.”
I will start by apologizing for not reviewing Batman the Dark Knight #10. It was an excellent issue that shows us the beginnings of the scarecrow. Basically he is kidnapping children(is that redundant? can you kidnap an adult? anyway…) and in the end abducts Commissioner Gordon. Batman attempts to get information by befriending Clair, the only girl to escape. Also Bruce is in the middle of another failing romantic relationship with a Ukrainian concert pianist, Natalya. David Finch does an excellent job with the artwork, keeping with the dark theme of the book. Gregg Hurwitz writes a interesting tale that shows us the evolution of a villain.
In issue #11 Batman learns of Commissioner Gordon’s abduction and discovers evidence of fear toxin at his last known location. Meanwhile Natalya is still unhappy and the Scarecrow is taking more children. As he subjects them to his fear toxin we flashback to Jonathan Crane’s childhood. His father was conducting experiments on fear, and not the legal kind of experiments. His father would set him up with electrodes and throw him in a dark cellar and monitor the results. That is why in the present he is collecting the tears of a frightened girl. See, parenting is important.
Batman once again visits Clair. She hasn’t said a word to anyone, but the Dark knight knows a thing or two about traumatized children(he used to be one). She is able to give him a license plate “HOLWMAN”. Batman uses that to find a house. as he approaches the house(in daylight, time is a factor) he is ambushed and falls through a hidden hole in the lawn and into a train car(you know, the little kind like in Temple of Doom) where our villain quickly jumps onto him and injects him with fear toxin as the car races away.
Scarecrow is a nasty villain, always has been. His primary weapon is fear. Everyone if afraid of something. It ma y be the dark, or being alone, or spiders, but we all have something that we fear. His custom made fear toxin can kill in certain dosages. I am sure that Batman has some sort of antidote on him, I mean he had a sample of the toxin.
I would think one thing that scares Bruce is relationships. I feel bad for the guy, I really do. He wants to get close to someone, a feeling most of us share. However constantly running off and cancelling dates is gonna wear people down. And telling them his secret opens up security risks, and could even put them in danger. I think this is part of the reason that woman like Talia AL Ghul or Selina Kyle appeal to him. They are strong, intelligent, beautiful women. They are already part of his world and can handle themselves.
The scenes of Batman befriending Clair are sweet. It’s interesting to see Batman, a figure who tries to scare criminals, trying to reach out to a scared little girl. These two issues are excellent additions to the Dark Knight story line. The art in both issues is excellent and I enjoy seeing the origins of familiar villains revisited.