DCAU #84: Troubled Realms

IN THIS ONE... Gotham is conditioned to fear the image of the Scarecrow.

CREDITS: Written by Kelley Puckett; art by Mike Parobeck and Rick Burchett.

REVIEW: I don't know if Puckett is getting more comfortable or been given more leeway, but this issue has a lot of little references to people who've worked on the character (in all mediums), and even a psych major joke about Skinner and behaviorism. Showing some range!

But of course, these are asides. How's the story go? Well, it's a pretty great Scarecrow tale on the whole, one that gets to the heart of his psychosis - needing to be feared - and allows him some measure of success. Though Batman has terrifying dreams in this issue, I like that he's shown cowering before the Scarecrow without the need to make him hallucinate. The cognitive dissonance works well without it. And yes, why not trot out psychological terms here, as there's psychiatry conference in the issue, and that was Crane's profession. With Gothamites all having nightmares about the villain, conditioning them to fear his image, there's a chance to compare them to Bruce Wayne's traumatic flashbacks, and the issue actually ends on a sad not as Alfred realizes the dreams he's happy to do away with are his young master's constant burden.

But the issue does have plot problems. Most notably, the scientist who's beaming dreams into our heads comes out of nowhere and isn't punished for the part he plays. Was it that important to confirm the Scarecrow could not build these high tech machines alone? If that secondary villain had turned out to be JLA villain Dr. Destiny, at least. But we don't even learn his name. One minute Batman is detecting a suspicious transmission, the next he's discussing it with the nonplussed man. I also take issue with the way Batman figures out the fear only comes from the IMAGE of the Scarecrow. You see, he runs into a dark room, but that should only make his OWN image impossible to see. The Scarecrow highlighted in the doorway is quite visible. Ah well.
IN THE MAINSTREAM COMICS: We still don't see the Waynes get gunned down, but the fateful night is represented as per Batman: Year One, with The Mark of Zorro playing at the theater. Crime Alley is shown to be off Kane Boulevard, named after Batman's creator, Bob Kane. One theater is showing a production of Hamlet starring K(evin) Conroy, the voice of Batman.

REREADABILITY: Medium - Plotting stumbles can't quite nullify the fun Scarecrow bits and the emotional ending.


LiamKav said...

"named after Batman's creator, Bob Kane"

Kinda. Just about. Ish.

Siskoid said...

Well, you know, according to the paperwork ;).


Blog Archive


5 Things to Like Activities Advice Alien Nation Aliens Say the Darndest Things Alpha Flight Amalgam Ambush Bug Animal Man anime Aquaman Archetypes Archie Heroes Arrowed Asterix Atom Avengers Awards Babylon 5 Batman Battle Shovel Battlestar Galactica Black Canary BnB 2-in1 Books Booster Gold Buffy Canada Captain America Captain Marvel Cat CCGs Charlton Circles of Hell Comics Comics Code Approved Conan Contest Cooking Crisis Daredevil Dating Kara Zor-El Dating Lois Lane Dating Lucy Lane Dating Princess Diana DCAU Deadman Dial H Dice Dinosaur Island Dinosaurs Director Profiles Doctor Who Doom Patrol Down the Rabbit Hole Dr. Strange Encyclopedia Fantastic Four Fashion Nightmares Fiasco Films Within Films Flash Flushpoint Foldees French Friday Night Fights Fun with Covers Galleries Game design Gaming Geekly roundup Geeks Anonymous Geekwear Gimme That Star Trek Godzilla Golden Age Grant Morrison Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction Green Arrow Green Lantern Hawkman Hero Points Podcast Holidays House of Mystery Hulk Human Target Improv Inspiration Intersect Invasion Invasion Podcast Iron Man Jack Kirby Jimmy Olsen JLA JSA Judge Dredd K9 the Series Kirby Motivationals Krypto Kung Fu Learning to Fly Legion Letters pages Liveblog Lonely Hearts Podcast Lord of the Rings Machine Man Motivationals Man-Thing Marquee Masters of the Universe Memes Memorable Moments Metal Men Metamorpho Micronauts Millennium Mini-Comics Monday Morning Macking Movies Mr. Terrific Music Nelvana of the Northern Lights Nightmare Fuel Number Ones Obituaries oHOTmu OR NOT? Old52 One Panel Outsiders Panels from Sheena Paper Dolls Play Podcast Polls Questionable Fridays Radio Rants Reaganocomics Recollected Red Bee Red Tornado Reign Retro-Comics Reviews Rom RPGs Sandman Sapphire & Steel Sarah Jane Adventures Saturday Morning Cartoons SBG for Girls Seasons of DWAITAS Secret Origins Podcast Secret Wars SF Silver Age Siskoid as Editor Siskoid's Mailbox Space 1999 Spectre Spider-Man Spring Cleaning ST non-fiction ST novels: DS9 ST novels: S.C.E. ST novels: The Shat ST novels: TNG ST novels: TOS Star Trek Suicide Squad Supergirl Superman Supershill Swamp Thing Tales from Earth-Prime Team Horrible Teen Titans That Franchise I Never Talk About The Prisoner The Thing Then and Now Theory Thor Thursdays of Two Worlds Time Capsule Timeslip Tintin Torchwood Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms Toys Turnarounds TV V Waking Life Warehouse 13 Websites What If? Who's This? Whoniverse-B Wikileaked Wonder Woman X-Files X-Men Zine