Batman Beyond #23 Review: The Identity of the New Scarecrow

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The new Robin joins Batman in holding off the crazed denizens of Neo-Gotham. The new Scarecrow has somehow caused all this, and Batman and Robin can't hurt the people of the city. Bruce Wayne and Jack Ryder try to offer support from the Batcave, but they're unsure how Scarecrow has caused this. There is no gas present in the streets. Plus, Ryder's friend, Adalyn, is still missing.

Batman Beyond #23 cover by Viktor Kalvachev
Batman Beyond #23 cover by Viktor Kalvachev

If you can't put together the identity of the Scarecrow…well this comic is there for you. I like the broad strokes of this story, even if it would be nice if some of Batman Beyond's rogue's gallery weren't just a new version of an old Batman villain. That said, Batman Beyond #23 keeps trying to play cute with the new Scarecrow's identity. I thought we were supposed to have figured it out last issue, but this book tries to red herring it once too.

That aside, this book is still a tense tale of the entire population of the city coming together to try and kill Batman. The situation has a nice and steady worsening as the story goes on, finishing in a situation where it looks like Terry McGinnis could genuinely not get out of this one. He will of course, but it feeds the suspension of disbelief well.

Batman Beyond #23 art by Will Conrad and Ivan Nunes
Batman Beyond #23 art by Will Conrad and Ivan Nunes

Will Conrad and David Baron give this book another good treatment, with Conrad's slick and 3-D rendered style suiting Neo-Gotham perfectly. The texturing is especially impressive. Baron's color work balances the bright and dark colors to such extremes as to complement the noire/cyberpunk aesthetic that Batman Beyond has always carried.

Batman Beyond #23 is a little goofy in how badly it tries to not admit that the person you know is Scarecrow is, in fact, the Scarecrow. However, the book is a solid read on the whole and is worthy of a recommendation. Feel free to check it out.

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About Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.
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