I wasn't originally going to get this issue, but after deciding to get all of the Villains Month issues from Detective Comics, as well as the fact that this will follow into Forever Evil: Arkham War I thought I'd give it a try.
This was a good issue, being better than the last Detective Comics Villains Month issue, but still nothing overly brilliant. Peter J. Tomasi did a great job of setting up the upcoming Forever Evil: Arkham War series in this issue, but at the same time it took a little away from Scarecrow as a character, which will upset fans of the character who aren't bothered about Arkham War. I did however like the direction that Tomasi is taking Scarecrow in, as although he didn't delve into his characteristics too much, he's shown him in a more powerful position, as over the last few years he's been rather pathetic. I also loved how this wasn't an origin story as we already had plenty of that in Batman: The Dark Knight: Cycle of Violence.
I wasn't too happy about the artwork in this issue, as although I've enjoyed Szymon Kudranski's art in the past, I didn't like his artwork on Scarecrow, and with him being the main character in the issue that's a big problem. The rest of Kudranski's art was very good, and I especially enjoyed his artwork on Mr. Freeze in this issue, but Scarecrow himself looked like a common robber, which I didn't like. I also felt that it was slightly too dark at times, as although that suited the issue as a whole, it didn't suit other characters such as Riddler. I did however love his layouts, and if he had drawn a better Scarecrow it would have been some of the best artwork of this week, but unfortunately that wasn't the case.
Due to Scarecrow going around trying to recruit villains to fight alongside him in his upcoming war there was a lot of cameo appearances, all of which I enjoyed. The two that I personally enjoyed the most were Mr. Freeze and Riddler, as although Tomasi got all the villains characteristics right, it was the interaction between these two and Scarecrow that I enjoyed most. I did however also enjoy seeing Poison Ivy and Killer Croc, though I did feel that Croc's entrance was slightly sudden, even though there was a key hint the page prior.
Scarecrow wouldn't be alone in this issue, as besides talking with other villains he would have somewhat of an assistant in the form of Hudson. Now Hudson is never going to win lackey of the year, but he was a brilliant addition, giving Scarecrow someone slightly less complex to work off, as well as someone who's going to agree with his actions. I also loved how Hudson would get the short end of the stick at times, which really amused me, even though it was simplistic.
As I said this issue was mainly set-up for the upcoming Arkham War, but it hasn't half got me excited for it, as well as next weeks Bane Villains Month issue, as it would appear that he'll be Scarecrow's main competition in the series. I also love the concept of the series as although we've seen both sides fight alongside, and against each other in the past, it will be interesting to see it without Batman's presence. I also loved how the issue would have the upcoming war as it's main concept, and I especially enjoyed the small additions like Riddler pulling out Art of War by Sun Tzu.
A brilliant set-up for the upcoming Forever Evil: Arkham War series, but not the best Scarecrow issue character wise. The issue did however have plenty of brilliant cameos, also being suspenseful, and dramatic. It was however simply too much set-up, which although interesting meant that it wasn't anything special, and due to this I'd only recommend the issue to anyone who's getting Arkham War when it's out, and wouldn't recommend it to someone wanting an amazing Scarecrow story, or a story that shows the best of Scarecrow's characteristics.