When it comes to mind control you can almost always expect Scarecrow or the Mad Hatter to be behind it all. This time around we have Scarecrow, who has drugged all of Gotham into complacency. John Layman has done a great job creating a story for Scarecrow that feels fresh and new. Scarecrow drugging everyone to rid them of their daily fears and stress, in order to create the purest fear toxin, is a wonderful twist on an already twisted character. The cliffhanger isn’t the most surprising of cliffhangers; however, any time Batman is pitted up against his own Bat-Family it is always a great read. Aaron Lopresti, with Art Thibert and Blond, do a terrific job on the art duties. They have illustrated an easy to follow, dynamic book that is gorgeously paired up with Layman’s story. 4.5/5
After what seems like forever, the end of DC’s largest crossover since the New 52 began is nearing its end. The issue saw a large scale battle amongst villains, with the rebellion coming out on top at the end. A ragtag team including Lex Luthor, Bizarro, Catwoman, and others, led by Sinestro have joined together to make one final stand against the Crime Syndicate. Batman, outnumbered and out powered, is forced to follow along with the villains in charge, while Dick Grayson’s fate is on the line. While the issue wasn’t exactly exciting, readers were given a nice bit of action and decent plot progression. However, the event itself feels like it has been dragging on for far too long. With two issues to go and so much on the line, we can hopefully expect a riveting conclusion from Geoff Johns. 3.5/5
Alec Holland has cut off the Parliament of Trees from the Green, and that is quite possibly the best decision he’s made since this series began. The Parliament had lost touch with humanity, and as a result had become inefficient in maintaining balance. The situation here is remarkably similar to the Guardians’ control over the Green Lanterns, however, unlike in that situation, Charles Soule proactively wrote them out of the equation. This issue marks a great turning point in that Swamp Thing is now free to police the green as he sees fit, without any outside interference. Capucine’s story, which had been put on hold for a brief moment, is back in the forefront as she prepares for Etrigan’s return. Capucine is a great character and hopefully she’ll make it out alive on the other side of the impending battle. Javier Pina and Matthew Wilson are an artistic force to be reckoned with. The combination of their illustrations and colors creates an absolutely gorgeous book. 4.5/5
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