With the Penguin defeated after ‘Detective Comics’ #7, it’s onto the New 52 introduction of another Batman rogue… the Scarecrow!

As the issue opens, Catwoman is falling to her death after a bungled robbery that she committed under the influence of the Scarecrow’s fear gas. As Batman rushes to save his… er… “dance partner”, it’s revealed that Scarecrow has Batman following a twisted series of tasks. The Scarecrow has implied that someone will be saved if Batman can complete these tasks within a three hour time window.

As the story unravels, Batman is in a mad rush, especially once the person to be saved is revealed. When things careen to a close, Batman discovers that things with the victim were not exactly what he (or the Scarecrow) was led to believe.

In addition to the main Scarecrow storyline, there is a back-up tale featuring Two-Face. The New 52 Harvey Dent has apparently recently been scarred into the villainous Two-Face. In this brief tale, Dent is interrogating a man who claims to be sent by the attorney who is prosecuting Dent for an undisclosed crime. Dent believes that, if he is exonerated for his crime, he should be reinstated as Gotham’s District Attorney. There’s no real resolution with this tale, but I’m sure Two-Face will show up in Batman’s world soon enough.

Tony Daniel writes both the main story and again handles pencils on the main story. The first story is a nice aside that hints are more to come. The back up, illustrated by Szymon Kudranski, is a cool intro to Two-Face, who has long been one of my favorite Batman villains.

Since this issue is not part of a huge arc, it makes for a good jumping-on point for new readers. As stories go, it doesn’t move things along… much. But it does introduce some new villains and that’s worth the price of admission alone.

Verdict: Buy

Written by TONY S. DANIEL