"The God of Fear: Part One of Three": Some students at Gotham University discover a poster offering $50 to participate in a psychological experiment. Two bullies force a young man named Herold who has a stutter into participating as well. In the room that the experiment is to take place, the
- I have it on good authority-- Ben Johnson's in fact-- that "Twas only fear first in the world made gods." So it is fitting the vacancy be filled-- and you, my raggedy minions, are going to help me fill it!
- -- Scarecrow
Appearing in "The God of Fear: Part One of Three"
- Robin (Tim Drake)
- Phil Herold (First appearance)
- Paul Herold (In a vision) (Dies)
- Ms. Stopes (Single appearance)
Synopsis for "The God of Fear: Part One of Three"
Some students at Gotham University discover a poster offering $50 to participate in a psychological experiment. Two bullies force a young man named Herold who has a stutter into participating as well. In the room that the experiment is to take place, the students are excited to see that it involves some kind of virtual reality helmets. Meanwhile, Jonathan Crane has set up the experiment as part of a plan to take revenge on Gotham City.
At Wayne Manor, Tim Drake is surprised to discover Jean-Paul Valley wearing the Batsuit on the balcony. He warns that Bruce Wayne has a rule against wearing costumes in the manor outside of the Batcave. Jean-Paul is unconcerned, and deliberately flouts Bruce's rules, stating that he will take up the Batman's mission in his own way. He storms off into the cave, adding that Robin's services will not be required. Tim worries that his dream life as partner to his hero is going down the toilet.
Dr. Crane - under the pseudonym of Professor Rance - begins the experiment, but Herold recognizes him as the Scarecrow, and the man who killed his father. Annoyed, but not put off, Crane sprays Herold and the supervising teacher Ms. Stopes with knockout gas, and forces everyone into their virtual reality helmets. Herold has a series of nightmares culminating in watching the Scarecrow shoot his father right before his eyes.
Meanwhile, Lonnie Machin has escaped a juvenile detention centre, and enacts his plan to bring down the elites of the world by taking them on as Anarky. He becomes disgusted with the number of criminals loose on Gotham's streets following the breakout at Arkham Asylum. He fires up a flare to attract the attention of the Batman, and then observes as he systematically beats a group of thugs up.
With his hypnosis experiment complete, Scarecrow ensures his control over the students by forcing them to stand, sit, bark like dogs, and finally to have one of the students kill another in cold blood. Satisfied that he has their obedience, he orders them to get their costumes out of his van.
As he watches Batman take out the crooks, Anarky comes to the conclusion that the evil of Gotham City is Batman's fault, having set himself up as a vigilante. His implied challenge to villains to take the city away from him leads criminals like Joker, Two-Face and Mister Zsasz to threaten Gotham. Having decided this, Anarky vows to bring Batman down.
Scarecrow has each of the hypnotized students dress in similar scarecrow costumes to his own, and reveals that he intends to become a living god of fear, with their help. Before leaving, he instructs Ms. Stopes to release fear gas into the vents of the university at precisely ten o'clock.
- This issue ties in with the ongoing crossover of the "Knightfall" Saga.
- While this is not a numbered chapter in the "Knightfall Saga", it and the next two issues take place sometime after Detective Comics #665 and before Batman #499, given that they take place after Jean-Paul Valley becomes Batman, but before he designs his new power gloves. It is reprinted in the trade paperback Batman: Knightfall Part Two - Who Rules the Night, Batman: Knightfall Volume One and in Batman: Shadow of the Bat Volume 2.
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|Knightfall Saga Crossover|
This comic issue is a part of the massive Knightfall crossover event. Knightfall consisted of three parts, Knightfall, Knightquest, and KnightsEnd. The trilogy involved Batman's back being broken by Bane, the debut and subsequent descent into madness of Bruce Wayne's successor Batman Jean-Paul Valley, and Bruce Wayne's recovery and reclamation of his former title, combatting Valley himself. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Knightfall Crossover" category.