“Oh, The Villainy!” Take Five : “Scarecrow” #1

Posted: September 19, 2013 in comics
Tags: , , , , ,



So, we’re into week three of DC’s “Villains Month,” and at this point the best I can say for this whole naked cash-grab is that it’s starting to feel pretty damn relentless. And pretty damn tedious, as well.  Good characters are being sullied and trashed, bad characters are being “re-imagined” into even worse forms, and all in all the only thing the DiDio/Lee junta seems to have any concern with is making sure the various 3-D holographic covers look kinda neat.

Are you depressed yet? ‘Cuz I sure am.

Anyway, one of the new “Villain Books” that hit the racks earlier today was Scarecrow #1 (or Detective Comics #23.3 if you prefer) , and even by the amazingly low standard already set by its predecessors, this one is particularly dire : no origin recap of demented pscyhiatrist Dr. Jonathan Crane is on offer here (thank goodness for small favors), but what writer Peter J. Tomasi and artist Szymon Kurdanski have given us instead in an unintelligible mess of a story that utterly fails in its one obvious and overriding mission — namely to whet reader appetites for the forthcoming Forever Evil : Arkham War mini-series that’s designed to pit the escapees from Gotham’s infamous lunatic asylum against their counterparts from Blackgate Prison. Crane/Scarecrow spends the length of this issue going around warning his fellow former Arkhamites about the impending conflict with his trusty sidekick (and former Arkham staffer himself) Hudson in tow, none of them seem to care (neither will you, so hey, the feeling’s mutual), and then he kills hapless Hudson and rants and raves from a rooftop about how, soon enough, all of Gotham will be his.

No Batman appearance since the DC heroes have all supposedly been killed in the pages of Forever Evil, nothing at all to capture the casual reader’s interest or attention, and heck, Scarecrow never even dons his full “nightmare garb” even once, apart from on the cover. The story’s nondescript and utterly without merit, the same can be said for the art, and the “guest appearances” by Mr. Freeze, the Riddler, Killer Croc, and Poison Ivy are all both listless and pointless. Okay, everybody’s been told trouble’s brewing, end of story, go pick up the first issue of what’s sure to be a pointless mini-series spun off from another mini-series, and let’s call it a day, shall we? Thanks for shelling out four bucks for the obviously minimal amount of “effort” and “thought” we’ve put into things here, now prime your wallet to pump out even more of the green stuff if you want to know where the “story” goes from here.

The weird thing is — for a book that take all of ten minutes to read, Scarecrow #1 sure can leave ya feeling tired. Exhausted, even. It’s like the culmination of the race to the bottom of the barrel that “Villains Month” has been in general, and now that we’ve hit this apex of by-the-numbers drudgery at its most undisguised and obvious, who knows? Maybe there’s nowhere to go but up.

Don’t bet on it, though. If there’s one thing we’ve learned about “The New 52” two years in, it’s that things can — and, frankly, do — always get worse.

  1. docvoltage says:

    It’s time for a cross-over: Godzilla vs Arkham Asylum, Blackgate Prison, and pretty much every useless character in the DC Universe. One panel -> game over. SKREEEONK !

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