Title: Batman: Kings of Fear (2018-) #5
Words: Scott Peterson
Art: Kelley Jones
Colors: Michelle Madsen
Published: December 19, 2018
Publisher’s Summary: Scarecrow’s endgame is in sight! He has created a world without Batman for the Caped Crusader to be tortured by. It’s a world controlled by crime, where fear always wins!
A Gotham City void of Batman is, surprisingly, much nicer than one would think; the Joker is an FBI Profiler, the Riddler designs video games, and Bane, well, Bane never makes it to Gotham. Scarecrow forces Batman to reflect upon the impact that he’s had in Gotham, and while Batman seems to be taking the bait–and taking Scarecrow for his word–I’m not convinced.
Regardless of whether I believe that the Riddler would have ended up as a video game designer if it weren’t for Batman, the ‘what-if’ that Scott Peterson presents is interesting and should resonate with long-time readers. We’ve all questioned the often paper-thin motives of some of Batman’s greatest foes, wondering if Gotham would be better off without the Dark Knight keeping watch. Scott Peterson gets Batman and he gets fans too.
Yet again, Kelley Jones does an excellent job in immersing readers in the Scarecrow’s nightmarish landscape, often making it feel as though those reading are as hoped up on hallucinogens as Batman is.
The tide is turning, and it appears as though we readers are going to get to watch as Gotham’s other King of Fear takes the wheel. There’s only one issue left in this short run, and I can hardly wait to read it. A strong final chapter will cement this run as one of the best Batman deconstruction stories in recent time.
The Bottom Line:
Batman: Kings of Fear #5 is another impressive chapter, and with only one issue left in this run, I’m eager to see how it’ll end.