Gotham is falling into chaos. The Jokerz are rioting in the street, but they're not alone. Normal everyday citizens are also wreaking havoc across the city. Batman is out there trying to sew the peace, but it's not helping. Everyone just sees him as a monster. Thankfully, Bruce Wayne sends out the new Robin to save Batman. Meanwhile, Jack Ryder is looking for an associate, Adalyn Stern. What he finds in her apartment frightens the anchorman.
Batman Beyond #22 is finally bringing my favorite Batman villain into the Beyond canon: The Scarecrow. Some like the Joker, some like the Riddler, Poison Ivy, Catwoman, Two-Face, the Penguin—and they're all great. However, for my money, the Scarecrow will always reign as the king of Bat-villains.
Even if the cover didn't spoil it, the MO of this whole catastrophe has the wonderous Scarecrow written all over it. The fear, the chaos, and the violence are all hallmarks of a good Scarecrow plan.
It's nice to see the new Robin in action, and the suit looks quite good. Batman's struggle is quite compelling too; he's trying keep the peace without punching out a random civilian.
The one major flaw is this little girl that is amid the chaos and her awful, "O'tay" and "I'm ahfwaid." I don't care that some children actually talk like this, it's pretty hackneyed and borderline cringe-inducing.
That's a small flaw, and most of the comic gels pretty well. Among these positive qualities is the artwork of Will Conrad and David Baron. Conrad's 3-D style suits the futuristic setting of Neo-Gotham well, and it makes the Batman Beyond suit look even cooler. Baron's color work is dynamic and well-balanced, giving the neon glitz cast against noir-like shades that this book needs.
Batman Beyond #22 is a solid damn read. Dan Jurgens shows his expertise in this field tempered by decades of writing, and Conrad and Baron make the book look great. This one earns a recommendation. Check it out.