“Eye of the Beholder”
Writers: Scott Peterson, Kelley Jones
Artists: Kelley Jones, Michelle Madsen, Bob Leigh
Batman has one of comic’s most impressive rogue galleries. To most people, they know of Joker as being his most popular. He’s the villain in the lineup that has arguably shown up the most in the popular culture for Batman. Having served as an antagonist for Batman ’89, Batman: TAS, the Arkham games, Mask of the Phantasm, The Dark Knight and countless comic arcs. Batman is more than the clown prince of crime. In fact, probably one of his fiercest foes, and most relatable for that fact, is the scarecrow. After all who doesn’t live without fear?
Scarecrow is slated to be the main antagonist for this new series from Kelley Jones & Scott Peterson, Batman: Kings of Fear. The end of the first entry, Batman is experiencing a run in with the villain. Here he is sprayed with Crane’s famous feat toxin. Batman: Kings of Fear #2 experiences Batman’s after effects and picks up where its predecessor left off.
THE POWER OF HONESTY
Honestly, the first third or so of this book is going through some amazing sequences of his fear. Allowing us to see Batman engage with his rogue gallery, including Two-Face, Bane & more, all within the matter of a couple of pages. The transition out of fear back to reality is one that really does leave you in awe. This sequence allows not only Jones to shine with the art but also Peterson to explore a rarity we see with the dark knight – his vulnerability.
Throughout Kings of Fear #2‘s duration, Batman is essentially looking to hunt down an Arkham employee for answers. I’m sure in the grand scheme of things, this does play out to the larger narrative. It doesn’t work well really as a stand alone issue though.
For some reason in the midst of his hunt, Batman interrupts a gang war. Literally has no purpose that we see in this issue. Except to maybe point out that Batman is a hero and he’ll do whatever necessary to keep peace. Outside of that reasoning, there is no purpose.
Overall, Batman: Kings of Fear #2, has some solid art pieces and action sequences. It paints Batman in a vulnerable light, which is something that is few and far between for the character. Though, it’s also equally filled with plot devices that just don’t make sense. It suffers from the same curse as the first issue – bit too much filler. Though what we do have does keep you wanting more. Here’s hoping it pays off.
FINAL SCORE: 7.5 / 10
More importantly, if you or someone you know is struggling with suicide, depression, self-harm or addiction, please feel free to reach out, use any of our resources, call the suicide life line: 1-800-273-8255 or text 741-741.
Credits: Batman: Kings of Fear images are property of DC Comics. We do not own nor claim any rights to them.
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