Batman 373 – Batman fears Robin’s death

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Gene Colan joins Moench and Alcala for the return of the Scarecro in Batman 373 (July 1984), none too pleased after being used by the Joker in his last outing, the previous year in Detective Comics.

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Julia Remarque approaches Vicki Vale about getting a job at her paper. Despite the tension between them, and Vicki’s crazy jealousy over Julia, she hire her anyway.  One almost expects this storyline to turn into Vicki trying to kill Julia, but alas, that not where it goes.

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The Scarecrow ha another fear-stimulating device, this one emanating from a skull.  It causes visual hallucinations, evoking the person’s greatest fears, and even works well against Batman and Robin.

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Moench emphasizes the Scarecrow as a scientist in this, and gives a complex explanation as to how his new fear machine works.  It’s all a bit of science mumbo jumbo to me, but does make Jonathan Crane sound really smart.

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The device makes Batman see Robin, and others close to him, dying a a result of his actions.  Knowing how powerful the machine is, Batman forbids Robin from accompanying him as he pursues the Scarecrow.  But as usual, Robin disobeys and trails along after.  The issue ends as Batman falls into a pit of alligators, avoiding hallucinatory images, and Robin gets attacked by the Scarecrow himself.

The story concludes in the next issue of Detective.

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