“Detective Comics” #23.3: The Scarecrow Review

Detective Comics #23.3

Written By: Peter J. Tomasi
Art By: Szymon Kudranski

An artistically haunting and moody outing, Detective Comics #23.3 moves Forever Evil forward by creating a sub-conflict between Gotham’s villains. At times a fascinating look at the brilliant minds behind Gotham’s worst, the issue has spots of clunky dialogue and defines the “guest” villains better than its star – The Scarecrow.

The Scarecrow plays the role of the scumbag snitch among villains as he manipulates Gotham’s Rogues by request of the Crime Syndicate. There’s plenty of dialogue where Scarecrow explains why other villains have been tricked by the Syndicate, but it’s not quite clear why he was the “chosen one” to control them.

Tomasi does a lovely job spotlighting the Riddler, Poison Ivy and Mr. Freeze, bringing to attention the genius that is behind their madness. Tomasi voices each of these characters incredibly well, boasting an intelligent rationale for their concept of order.

The addition of Killer Croc is frustrating however, as he doesn’t fit the tone of the other villains. As well, the lead up between each villain’s introduction slows down the pacing, when Scarecrow explains his view on them to Hudson.

Kudranski crafts a spot-on mood with his eerie imagery. Riddler’s candlelit library is downright creepy. The nuances of his character’s expressions, borrowing from the Dark Deco style of Batman: The Animated Series, really shine in panels like the one where the whites of Riddler’s eyes are only visible.

Detective Comics #23.3 presents a clever spotlight on some intriguing villains in Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy and Killer Croc. Scarecrow requires more of an arc himself in the issue, and less monologues on the character’s part, and exclusion of Killer Croc, might have left room for an even more stellar starring tale.

Score: 7.7/10