Someone tell the cover artist Batman should be shirtless here! Oh wait. The cover artist is Finch, the interior artist. I guess he's too busy thinking up new outfits for the Justice League of America crew to remember what the fuck was going on in this comic book.
This kid is no use to Scarecrow anymore. The pee needs to mix with tears and this kid enjoys it.
See? Crane is disappointed that this kid is no longer useful.
Here comes the pissy tears!
Turns out Batman still is locked up. So the cover makes absolute sense because Batman’s escape is simply a hallucination. But this is Batman whacked out on Crane’s normal fear toxin. Crane now wants to try out his Way More Pee and Tears mix on Batman which even The Scarecrow isn’t resistant to.
I think he needs a new name if he’s going to commit crime in this outfit. Sgt. Dickhead?
So this is how Batman’s hallucination begins. Notice The Scarecrow speaking with Batman before it beings? Even that Scarecrow (notice he’s not wearing the gas mask?) must be part of the fantasy since how would he know what Batman is about to experience? And what is his shadow supposed to represent here?
In his hallucination, Batman gets to see this man Braxton that went through everything he did. His parents were killed in a small plane crash which he survived. He inherited a billion dollar business which he sold. Instead of becoming dark and lonely, he became a charitable family man. He sold the business and used the money in a number of philanthropic ways.
Okay, The Scarecrow does have his mask. Perhaps even The Scarecrow using the new formula on Batman was part of the fear hallucination?
What I’m really hoping for is that Batman will come to with The Scarecrow pissing in his face.
Did Bruce Wayne not officially adopt Grayson, Todd, or Drake?
Batman mumbles out, “…the hell happened…to make you like this?” And Crane remembers being locked in that basement when his dad died of a heart attack. A week later, the police showed up to investigate Crane’s father’s disappearance. They found the boy traumatized, locked in the dark. Batman chose the dark; the dark was forced onto Crane. I figured the two characters would parallel each other and was dreading the way it would come across, but this works nicely. The darkness broke Crane and turned him insane. Now he tries to force the fear, dark and pain on other people. Batman was afraid of the darkness when he fell into the cave as a young boy. But he faced the darkness to overcome his fear. He overcame his fear and turned it around so that it could be used to bring light to others who are scared and in pain.
Once Crane sees how well his new toxin worked, he heads off to get his scythe and put Batman out of his misery. But by the time he gets back, Batman has finally broken free from the chains and suited back up. Time for the big fight next issue.
Batman: The Dark Knight #13 Rating: +2 Ranking. This story has had a lot of hurdles to get over and it’s really working out nicely. It’s basically retelling the first story in his same title but doing a much better job. It’s concentrating on The Scarecrow and his past which I think is a great way for this title to go, concentrating on the antagonists. And it brought the parallel of these two together in a surprising and well-told manner. Things are really looking up for this bottom of the barrel Batman book!