Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Batman: Kings of Fear #4 Review

Tell Me About...Anything!

Writer: Scott Peterson
Artist: Kelley Jones
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: November 28, 2018
Cover Price: $3.99

I really enjoyed the first issue of this series as an old-school feeling alternative to the current Bat-books on the shelves, but that feeling has gone away big time.  I still like Kelley Jones art a whole lot, but Scott Peterson's story is paper thin and not doing anything for me at all.  It's a shame because I love the Scarecrow and the idea of him analyzing Batman is intriguing in theory, but the reality of it here is another story.  We start the second half of the story here and I am hoping that Peterson went into halftime, adjusted his gameplan, gave an inspiring speech to his players and is ready to turn it all around.  Well, did he?  Let's find out...

We start with some well-known history that is only made better by seeing Scarecrow sitting with his pencil in his mouth (or as close as you can when your mouth is sewed shut), playing at the therapist. The real star here continues to be Jones' art which I love so much!

After finding out that Crane is using a "cleaner" version of fear toxin, we head off to see what's up with Gordon and also the Bat Signal. This bit gets a little confusing...Gordon is looking for the Scarecrow and has a partner turning on the Batsignal.  When the signal goes live, all of Gotham loses their shit in fear and while I think I understand that Peterson is reminding us that Scarecrow isn't the only one who works in fear, the whole scene is a convoluted mess.

Back with Batman and Scarecrow, Crane continues to diagnose Batman and while he gets to the heart of what makes Batman, it is nothing new.  Batman is fighting an impossible war on crime and can't save everyone...that's his motivation and his greatest fear rolled up into one.  We then end with too much back and forth "yes" and "no" dialogue and an It's a Wonderful Life cliffhanger, but with a 180-degree tweest.

This mini-series continues to bore me and really feels like a missed opportunity.  The Scarecrow looking into the fears that make Batman what he is sounds interesting, but nothing we've seen is uniques or surprising.  It's as if Peterson just started with what we all know already about Batman and then came up with a new way of showing it to us.  I understand we still have two more issues to change up the game, but I don't have a lot of faith right now.

I mentioned it earlier, but I will repeat myself...I love Kelley Jones art!  It is almost worth getting the book for alone and it is at least worth a couple glances even if you don't.

Bits and Pieces:

I love the art in this series, but not much else.  The premise may have a uniqueness to it, but the execution feels like we've all been there and while we were there, we certainly have done that.  I hope things turn around, but with two issues left, I can't recommend this.


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