Review – Batman Beyond #23: In the Grip of the Scarecrow

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Batman Beyond #23 variant cover, credit to DC Comics.

Batman Beyond #23 – Dan Jurgens, Writer; Christian Duce, Artist; Luis Guerrero, Colorist

Ray – 7.5/10

Ray: Here’s an interesting little factoid – the art team on this issue is the exact same art team as on this week’s issue of The Flash. That’s pretty rare and Duce and Guerrero are to be commended for putting out this amount of quality work in a week. This issue doesn’t quite live up to its sister issue, though, as it’s yet another Batman Beyond storyline that seems to be going on a bit too long. The story picks up with Terry surrounded by Scarecrow-crazed Gotham citizens who are convinced Batman is a monster. He gets an assist from Robin, who parachutes into the scene and helps Batman fight off the mob without hurting them. The addition of Matt as Terry’s new Robin does seem to have given this series a new lease on life – Terry forced into the mentor role is fun, although he seems to lean a little too much towards the cranky and demanding style of mentorship right now. I suppose it’s natural given how he grew up trying to keep his younger brother safe.

Robin enters the fray. Credit to DC Comics.

Still, I’m looking forward to seeing their partnership develop as the series goes on, and this issue seems to make a good start at that. I’m not sure the rest of the story is as compelling, though. Jack Ryder has met with Bruce Wayne as they work on a case with ties to both of them – the identity of the new Scarecrow. I think this issue was trying to keep it a mystery, but I was sure it had essentially been revealed last issue. Adalyn seemed to be the only suspect, but Bruce and Jack are still convinced that she’s an innocent victim in all of this. The reveal at the end that she’s Scarecrow seems preordained. Duce’s art is a big part of why this issue does overall work – he draws a monstrous Scarecrow and chaotic action scenes, and the ending that has some of Terry’s closest allies turning on him is exciting. I am overall enjoying this series, but there’s a pattern of stories that go on a little too long. I’m hoping this ends strong with a new addition to Batman’s rogues gallery.

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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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