COMIC BOOK REVIEW - Detective Comics: Scare Tactics
By The Masked Medic
It’s been a week since I did any comic book reading and I was keen to make my way back to some mainstream material. I remember starting the New 52 run of Detective Comics that I thought had the potential to really highlight some of the more grounded Batman villains and stories. ‘Faces of Death’ had provided a fairly decent start to this series, so I was excited to read this next novel!
‘Scare Tactics’ was a novel made of many stories. It starts how it should have with a name like ‘Scare Tactics’, with a one-off story involving the Scarecrow. It then proceeded with a story involving the Talons breaking into Arkham Asylum to kill Dr Arkham but failing to do so when Arkham unleashed Black Mask on them. The story then diverts to a story involving Batman attempting to try and stop a villain named Mr Toxic from unleashing a radioactive black hole in Gotham in an attempt to achieve immortality. The following few issues then return to Black Mask and his escape from Arkham Asylum. He is hellbent on revenge on those that betrayed him and finds himself in a turf war with the Mad Hatter. Naturally, Batman intervenes and attempts to stop both villains in their tracks. ‘Scare Tactics’ then has a one-shot story about Bruce Wayne training after his parents are murdered. The story only focuses on him being told by his teacher that love will make him weak, but Bruce falls in love anyways, only for the object of his affections to murder his teacher. Weird I know. The novel then ends with a long story focused on Harvey Dent and his rise to power. It is told from his perspective and many of the characters involved in that part of the novel are from his past; Batman does not feature in the story at all.
Okay, let’s start with the good points. As I said before, with several Batman novels running at the same time during the New 52, many of the other series gave us the chance to be exposed to new characters or villains who don’t traditionally get as much of the spotlight as The Joker or Riddler for example. That being said, the novel was extremely long and personally, I wasn’t sure it needed to be, because there were 4 main stories that could have been split into two. The fact that Batman also features in it very little was a little odd because this was Detective Comics, the original Batman series!
The artwork was not bad; Tony Daniel is a very talented illustrator and I actually appreciate his style quite a bit. The covers were also drawn by him and the one above was the best in my opinion. Overall, this was a long novel that could have been shorter but did tell quite a few interesting stories. I do wonder how this series will continue to progress!
Gordon addressing this has me in tears! Ahaha!
Well, this isn’t hard. It’s Batman.
Story Arc: ★★★½
Character Development: ★★★½