|"City of Fear"|
|First Published:||September 18, 2013|
|Previous Issue:||Harley Quinn #1|
|Next Issue:||Man-Bat #1|
"City of Fear"Edit
Following the Crime Syndicate's creation of the Secret Society of Super-Villains, Gotham City has been carved out into districts by the new Mayor - Oswald Cobblepot - and each district is menaced by each of Arkham Asylum's most dangerous escaped criminals. Now, Jonathan Crane, the Scarecrow, is trespassing in Mister Freeze's district. Though the criminals are at peace, there is a new threat about which Crane is warning each district's master. The prisoners of Blackgate Prison are coming, and they have machinations for owning the city. Though he is unmoved by Crane's attempts to beguile him, Freeze agrees to be ready when war comes.
The Scarecrow was tasked by the Crime Syndicate with personally recruiting many of Gotham's villains into the Society. Despite the fact that many of those criminals narcissistically believe that they are Batman's greatest foe, they are being wooed with the prize of a silver coin, which bears the promise that whatever plan comes, has real muscle behind it - for the first time. All the same, when that "real muscle" is strong enough to move the moon around, it's a little too easy to scare people, for Crane's tastes. Fear works best as a contrast to the status quo, not when it is the status quo.
Scarecrow stops in on the Riddler at the Gotham Public Library. He anticipates the warning of coming war, but responds with clues to something more hidden beneath the surface of his words. By the time they extricate themselves from the meeting, Crane and his companion Hudson already know that their next stop must be to Poison Ivy.
After waiting around in Ivy Town, hoping she would show up, Scarecrow gets frustrated and decides to be a bit more aggressive, by pulling one of the many plants overrunning the area up by its roots. This is met with a response from Hudson's enraged cousin Mike, a Blackgate inmate whom Hudson had earlier stabbed with a rusty screw-driver - to no avail, apparently. Mike's raucous behaviour attracts the attention of Killer Croc, who deals with the annoyance brutally. Scarecrow explains that incursions like Mike's will soon be the norm if nothing is done about the Blackgate prisoners. Despite the fact that he already has his own district of Gotham to himself (and numerous followers in the Religion of Crime), Croc' agrees to be ready for the fight.
Croc's return to the sewers is followed immediately by Ivy's appearance, as she warns Crane never to harm her plants again. Crane is insincerely apologetic, and she warns him again, to shut up, and get to the point. He reiterates the need for vigilance against Blackgate, but adds the new information he learned from the Riddler: Bane has been giving Venom to the Blackgate escapees - Mike was no exception. Aware of the plight that Ivy is in, trying to grow plants in absolute darkness, thanks to the continuous eclipse created by Ultraman, Scarecrow piques her interest in joining in preparing for war by revealing that a strong power source has been hidden beneath Blackgate. Though it was once the property of the Court of Owls, it could be hers, if she joins with the Society.
With the Arkham rulers at his side, nothing remains for Scarecrow except to cure Hudson of his fear of heights. What better way to do that than to face that fear? Tossing Hudson to his death, Scarecrow looks over the city as it now exists, and declares that soon, it will be his.