DCAU #140: Knightmare

IN THIS ONE... The Scarecrow tries to takes over a television broadcast to send fear waves to America.

CREDITS: Written by Ty Templeton; art by Brandon Kruse and Rick Burchett.

I love love love the Dynamic Duo being terrified by a giant 13 on the cover, but the interior story simply has too much going on to achieve greatness. Specifically, Batman's hallucinations and maintained paranoia after being dosed by fear gas has nowhere to go. Had this been a two-parter that left his attitude as more of a mystery, but in a one-off, I'm afraid (ha!) these become simple interludes that keep the Bat from doing his job. There's an attempt at blurring the line between dream and reality, but it's not entirely successful. At its best, the idea gives us Alfred's great line "In case you're tired of living entirely on fear gas and adrenaline, I have Dijon chicken with pasta..."

As far as the Scarecrow's plot goes, it requires a touch of detective work to figure out, which is good, and for once aims for bigger than simply Gotham. The broadcast off which he wants to use to piggyback his fear signal is essentially a Beatles reunion (these "Beat Brothers" don't fool me, especially the way they're drawn), which now never happens because they band was spooked by the whole incident. Naturally, the network exec won't let Batman interfere because $$$, and also $$$$, so it all has to end in the clichéed destruction of a computer panel. Well, okay. Nice coda with Crane facing angry prison inmates who badly wanted to see the band's reunion though.
REREADABILITY: Medium - Fun enough, but if we're going to go inside Batman's head, it should be for a reason, not as a delaying tactic.



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