Published on August 25th, 2018 | by Mark McKechnie
Batman Beyond #23 Review
Summary: Batman Beyond #23 is well paced and has a great cliff-hanger ending.
Target: Batman Part 4
In this issue of Batman Beyond the battle between Batman and Scarecrow takes a new turn. We learn the identity of Scarecrow, and how Scarecrow is controlling the crowds. Though it is the fourth issue in this arc, it is still a pretty friendly read, largely due to the sheer amount of action involved within.
There are two covers to this issue: a standard and a variant. The standard cover is drawn by Viktor Kalachev, and features Batman and Robin in a boxing ring. They are sitting in opposite corners, resting between rounds. Scarecrow stands in the middle, serving as the referee, even wearing a classic boxing ref get up. Scarecrow is clearly enjoying the bought, and seems to be responsible for the conflict between the two. The cover even has the feel of an old-time boxing poster.
The variant is drawn by Dave Johnson, and features the villain prominently, with Batman trying to escape from the straw in Scarecrow’s chest. It features more contemporary feeling art, and doesn’t foreshadow the conflict within the issue to the same degree as the standard cover.
The world of Batman Beyond as drawn by Will Conrad is one of fire and violence. The art feels a little cleaner, more refined than the usual Bat-books. This is a nice touch, setting Batman Beyond apart in the greater Batman Universe. The action in this book looks great. It’s crisp, and engaging. There are pages where you can almost see the characters moving. The looks of Batman and Robin from the perspective of the mob is also pretty impressive. Both appear as very well detailed demons, and one can understand the mob’s fear of them and belief that they must be killed.
The issue begins with Batman facing off against a mob controlled by Scarecrow. Robin is en route with a plan devised by Bruce Wayne, and the duo face off against the mob. They draw them in close and release sleeping gas, incapacitating the mob without hurting anyone. Scarecrow makes an escape and the duo return to the Batcave. The big mystery throughout the issue is the question of how Scarecrow is controlling the mob. Some of the mysteries from this story arc begin to be unveiled in this issue. We learn Scarecrow’s identity, and we get a hint at how Scarecrow is controlling the populace of Gotham.
This was a pretty good issue. Though it was the fourth issue in this story arc, it still feels remarkably friendly to a new reader. This is due to the high pace of the action and how well the story flows. It also provides background on what’s been happening previously, and does a good job of setting up the next issue. The art supports the story well, and definitely adds urgency to the need to stop Scarecrow soon, with the ending of the issue placing Batman in a vulnerable position as it heads into the conclusion.
The issue puts Batman and Robin into a difficult situation, and while they experience some success early in the issue in their battle against Scarecrow, things get progressively worse as the issue goes on. The issue ends with Batman facing his potential doom, so it will be interesting to see how he survives in the next issue. As well, this issue strongly hints at how Scarecrow is controlling everyone, so how that is stopped by Batman and his team is going to be interesting.
Overall this is a good issue. It’s well paced and has a great cliff-hanger ending. Batman Beyond #23 is 3.5 out of 5 stars.