Sunday, March 9, 2014

Detective Comics #29 Review and *SPOILERS*

Written By: John Layman
Art: Aaron Lopresti
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: March 5, 2014

Dream Warriors! 

Alright Gothamites this is the finale of both Gothtopia, and John Layman's run on Detective Comics.  Even though I haven't been a fan of this Gothtopia story arc I want everyone to remember what we had before this creator took over.  He totally turned around this series, and made it one of my favorite Batman titles.  He will be missed.  Damn this sounds like a eulogy, back to the story.  Last time Batman was institutionalized at Crane's Mental Health Hospital.  We found out that this was planned so Batman could figure out what was going on.  We saw Batman and Poison Ivy working together to create a antidote, and in the end when they finally made it out of the hospital, they were confronted by Scarecrow, and brainwashed members of the Bat Family.  So let's get to the finale.

Explain It!:

We find out that the fight between Batman and his brainwashed friends didn't go over so well.   We have the classic scenario where the villain threatens to kill one of the heroes friends if he doesn't comply with his wishes.  So in this instance Batman ends the fight, and takes a face full of Scarecrow's new fear serum.  Making Batman his slave through fear.  So now that Scarecrow has Batman under his control he makes Merry Maker and Pyg take Batman along with them when they go to extract the pure fear from the people of Gotham.  But it's also at this time that we learn from Batman's internal monologue, that he isn't under Scarecrow's control, but still has to act like it to find out what his end game is.  So as messed up as it is, Batman sprays sleeping people with the fear toxin, and then he extracts the pure fear from them.  A dozen people fall victim to Batman's dark side.  If you remember from the rest of this story arc, the whole reason we have a Gothtopia, is because Scarecrow wants a more pure fear.  So he makes everyone happy, and when they are sleeping he sprays them in the face, and getting the complete terror he wants.  Then the people go back to sleep and have no memory of the event, except deep seeded terror they can't explain on a subconscious level.  Okay now the Scarecrow sounds like a pedophile in the night.  Gross.

When they return Merry Maker hands Scarecrow the vials of pure fear that Batman extracted and we find out that the collected fear is being put into a larger vat of the serum, and then being loaded onto dozens of blimps.  Scarecrow plans on unleashing the toxin statewide, and this is the point of the story where it looks like the villain wins, but now it's time for a little backtracking with the internal monologuing.  We see that Batman also gave Merry Maker a counter agent that got mixed into the vat of pure fear, and now he's just waiting for the effect to reach the whole solution.  And don't worry about the people he terrorized to get it, turns out they're criminals, and he did it so every time they'd think about breaking the law, they'd have a subconscious fear of battling Batman.  Still kind of messed up though.

Once the counter agent is distributed throughout the toxin, for some reason it causes all the blimps to explode over Gotham, and I guess everyone is fine now.  The brainwashed Bat Family gets their senses back, and proceeds to whoop on the villains but in a heroic fashion so it's okay.  In the end Scarecrow is locked up, but is effected by his own serum, and believes in his perfect little world that he overcame and killed Batman, and is the master of fear in Gotham.  Oh Scarecrow won't you ever learn?  Also Catwoman wants to talk to Batman about their feelings, but Batman ain't got no time for that.  Off to the next adventure with the new creative team. Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul.  See you next month.

Bits and Pieces:

Even though I'm not a fan of Gothtopia, I am sad to see John Layman leave the title.  As for this issue it just seems anticlimactic.  Scarecrows whole plan is to take fear to it's next level, and to do this he's using a fear toxin to control everyone he needs to control.  Pretty standard, but this all falls apart because Batman is always alright on the fear toxin.  That and I would of liked to see Poison Ivy play a bigger part in this issue, than just a throwaway aspect to the story.  Sorry but Gothtopia wasn't the story I was hoping for for Layman's farewell tale.


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