The story starts with Batman beating the snot out of the Scarecrows henchmen in a Hammer Horror style graveyard, as he makes his way to the inevitable confrontation with the master of fear, telling him his toxins don’t work on him as he’s built up resistance and is also wearing nose plugs. Unfortunately for bats the Scarecrows latest toxin is absorbed through the skin stopping Batman in his tracks, now this is where the story really kick in and takes the reader on a journey they didn’t expect (well I didn’t).
Bruce wakes up to find himself in his bed with Alfred tending over him as he has seemingly lost the use of his legs and several years have now passed, Bruce has to come to terms that the years of fighting crime have left him both mentally and physically injured beyond any hope of healing. Alfred explains that he now slides in and out of lucidity and for the short time he is lucid he has forgotten what happened to him and Alfred has to explain it to him all over again, as you would expect Bruce is having none of this saying no matter how hurt he was he would find away to go out and fight crime. Which is the cue for Alfred to vent his anger telling Bruce if he had helped people with his inventions instead of fighting crime the world may have been a better place, pointing out he could have saved millions and improved society if he had directed his energies into creating vaccines for diseases, instead of creating anti toxins to protect himself from his enemy’s. It’s a valid point and one that is improved upon by Jim Gordon who comes around every time Bruce is lucid with unsolved crime files he needs help with, Jim tells Bruce that since his enforced retirement things had improved dramatically in Gotham. With no Batman to fight or focus on the madmen have all left they city and the ones that didn’t were mopped up by Batman friends, as Jim points out Scarecrow is no match for Superman.
The most damming news is that Bruce was responsible for the death of Robin during one of his psychotic episodes believing he was Clayface in disguise, its news that just about pushes Bruce over the edge not only is his purpose for living now gone but he is responsible for the death of his partner.
Just when you think all hope is lost the Batman never give in never surrender attitude begins to kick in, and reality starts to intrude on the fear induced dream and we once again find Batman face to face with a disbelieving Scarecrow who is quickly dispatched. The Scarecrows new toxin makes its victims create an artificial life built on their own fears and dreams, but as Batman points out if he was going to have a fantasy life it would have been better than the one he has at present.
This is one of the best Scarecrow story’s I have read in a long time making the Scarecrow scary again, it asks some very interesting questions like would Gotham be better off without Batman and would society be better if Bruce's focus was more humanitarian than vigilante. They are interesting questions that most comic fans would have an opinion on, but they not an argument anyone would ever win or agree on believe me I've had enough of these discussions to know.
The second story in the book has Batman tracking down Catwoman who is breaking into Gotham's newest billionaires home using cold technology from Mr Freeze, all is not what it seems as Catwomans intentions are noble (sort of) as the billionaire is an anti-establishment nut who is funding terrorists and she is trying to get proof. Now if she can help herself to a few million in Bearer Bonds in the process then more power to her, as she points out ''its not cheap being this cool'' a sentiment I can relate too but I usually wait until the Debenhams Blue Cross Sale. The final panel shows why Catwoman is such a perfect foil for Batman, and why like all cats she cannot be trusted as no matter how much they purr they always have their own agenda ad sharp claws. The story is fast paced and the artwork flows so well it’s like watching an animated film, so congratulations to Stephane Roux on the art and Ray Fawkes on the writing.
Now with all that’s been going on in the other DC books I have had Legends on the back burner, but after reading this issue there is no way it is going to stay there. Legends for me is simply the best of the Bat books out there at the moment and I cannot recommend it higher, it comes out in digital format weekly then is printed in paper form toward the end of the month which is how I get it. The beauty of this book is that the story’s tend to be one shot and don’t tie into present continuity some don’t even tie in to any continuity, so you can pick up any issue and not feel lost as the story your reading may have happened or they may not have, after all they are just Legends.