Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Batman: Kings of Fear #1 by Scott Peterson - Comic Book Review

From the publisher: Legendary artist Kelley Jones makes his triumphant return to the Dark Knight in this explosive miniseries written by former BATMAN editor Scott Peterson! Batman’s been overseeing Gotham City for years now and isn’t sure how much of a difference he’s making. Doubt, fear and insecurity are starting to take over. And as all of those negative feelings set in the Scarecrow orchestrates a riot at Arkham Asylum to give the Dark Knight one of his greatest challenges yet! This six-issue miniseries will see the Scarecrow in a horrifying new way that you’ll have to read to believe. 

Having read Batman: Kings of Fear #1 by Scott Peterson, I have to say I was underwhelmed. There have been so many excellent, engaging Batman series available recently, that I was disappointed in reading this first issue.

First, a quick summary. Batman has a run-in with a psychotic and murderous Joker, resulting in his capture. Batman then takes Joker to Arkham, so Joker can be admitted/incarcerated. While there, Batman meets a new doctor, who opposes his treatment of the villains he encounters. Then, lots of villains attack Batman. And that's basically it.

I was looking forward to a new, scary take on Scarecrow; he was barely in the issue. I was looking to continue the current run of terrific Batman stories, or even a different view of the characters. I felt like I was reading something from the mid-80's, before comics began really telling engaging and creative stories again. This felt like more of the same ol', same ol', and not in a good way. At least in this first issue, Peterson didn't really break any new ground, he just retread over stories and character types that've been seen over and over. Angry doctor who disagrees with Batman's methods, check. Joker not doing anything creative, just pushing Batman's buttons, check. Villains break out of Arkham, check. The Batman bar has been set very high, particularly with the characterization of Batman and his rogue's gallery.

I don't really recommend Batman: Kings of Fear #1. Scott Peterson's story fell flat for me. There is still plenty of room for it to grow, and I may yet read the rest of the series, but I'll be waiting until the collected edition is out and I've seen some full series reviews. If you are a diehard Batman fan, I suppose you might like this, but this fan did not.

I received a preview copy of this book from DC Comics in exchange for an honest review.

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