Scarecrow is pushing Batman to his limits. How will Batman get out this one?
Batman: The Dark Knight #13
Written by Gregg Hurwitz
Art by David Finch
Published by DC Comics
Writing since Issue #10 of Batman: The Dark Knight, Gregg Hurwitz (Batman: The Dark Knight) proves he is the right guy for this dark comic book. There are two things Hurwitz is well known for: He uses cerebral villainous characters and he gives cool character back stories. For example, Hurwitz wrote The Penguin miniseries Pain & Prejudice, which garnered respect as well as fan-love for the character again. Now, Hurwitz is giving Scarecrow his due and writing a darker back story portrayal to horrify fans and new readers alike. From Issue #13, Hurwitz digs deeper into Scarecrow’s past …as well as Batman/Bruce Wayne’s.
Good: For Issue #13 of Batman: The Dark Knight, the story continues with Batman still being held captive by the Scarecrow. Hurwitz continues to shed light on what made both characters become who they are today –the hero and the villain. He explained earlier over the summer that he wanted to explore both hero and villain in this story arc so that he can revisit and revamp the characters with a twist. The best twist Hurwitz does for Batman is to introduce the notion that Bruce became Batman because he doesn’t want to feel emotions. This is why Bruce took up the idea of becoming an animal; A bat relies on instincts and less on feelings and thoughts. This provides an antithesis to the Scarecrow who is opposite of Batman in every way. Scarecrow wants to feel, which is why he mutilates himself by stitching up his lips and using fear toxin on people to abuse their feelings. The two characters are perfect polar opposites in this story arc. It’s quite impressive to see Hurwitz play this out in his writing.
David Finch who is the current artist, continues to bring on the blotchy, grittiness of the issue. The way Finch draws this issue really makes it look exactly like it came out of a 1970’s horror film. Finch’s style is scary and gloomy and just great for the Halloween spirit. I love the way Finch revamped the appearance of Scarecrow’s scythe, making the staff part of a horse’s vertebrae with the head of the scythe attached. It’s really creepy, but in a good way. I’m glad that Hurwitz gave Finch freedom to go all artistically twisted for this issue as well as for the whole story arc though it is going to be sad to see Finch leave this comic book in January.
Bad: There is very little progression in this issue. You could say that it’s more of a filler issue and you don’t have to read this issue unless you absolutely want to. You can more or less skip this issue and read the next without missing anything which is a sad, but aside from that it was still an enjoyable issue for all of its ‘horror effects’. Also, there was some parts where Finch’s artwork looks messy, which could mean he’s rushed or could perhaps be an aesthetic decision –for grittiness.
For what it’s worth, this story arc is the best by far for Batman: The Dark Knight. Hurwitz is just killing the pages with his back stories on these cerebral villains. I’ve never really given Scarecrow much praise for his arch villainy, but I think I’m starting to respect his character a little more and Finch’s dark gritty portrayals are giving me the cool chills for Halloween. I will definitely recommend the story arc to friends, but as for Issue #13 of this comic book. I would say skip it.
What did you think of Batman: The Dark Knight #13? Are you reading this issue? Why or why not?
There are some images down below that I thought were cool from this issue.