Batman: Kings of Fear #1 Review
Batman: Kings of Fear #1 is a Creepy 90’s Throwback Story
Art by: Kelley Jones
Written by: Scott Peterson
Published by: DC Comics
Kelley Jones, the iconic 90’s Batman artist, is back with a new miniseries that kicked off this week with Batman: Kings of Fear #1. The six-issue horror miniseries promises that you, “will see the Scarecrow in a horrifying new way that you’ll have to read to believe.”
The miniseries’ writer and former Batman editor, Scott Peterson (Batgirl) sets up the series with a fairly standard first issue, with only minimal scenes that allude to this being a horror-based series. The issue is fairly straightforward; Joker does bad – Batman captures Joker – Batman takes Joker to Arkham Asylum – villain escapes Arkham and attacks Batman. Wash, rinse, repeat. First issues typically fall into one of two categories. Either they’re boring and they set up the upcoming story, or they’re action-packed and aim to keeping the reader anxiously awaiting the second issue. Batman: Kings of Fear #1 falls heavily into the former category.
Batman displays very little character in this issue other than moderate annoyance with the Joker attempting to conversate with him. He’s more of the Batman from the Batman: The Animated Series who’s more of a dark robot than a damaged billionaire. Aside from the Joker, the villains are the same way. All of his biggest villains gang up on him in one scene, but all you see is them falling as he attacks them. Other than their looks, there’s nothing that demonstrates their uniqueness.
Jones work is really special in a nostalgic way. If you’re not a kid from the 90’s, you may not appreciate his artwork. He does an adequate job replacing the lack of dialogue with detailed scenery and expressing what the characters want to say with expressions.
The series is likely to pick up it’s action and storyline with the second issue. It truly can’t be as dull as the first. Any Scarecrow-led horror series with veteran creators attached to it has to be a great series. I’m holding judgment until the series concludes, but the first issue was a dud. Readers who haven’t picked up the first issue can wait to get into it until the second issue is released. Or they can just wait until it’s all released as a graphic novel.