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Some people just love to scare. Whilst other people like to sit down on a chair. Take my old mate Crane - he loves to inflict pain - especially on those people who don't wash their hair. Well, that it unless it's this shampooed creative team of David Finch and Paul Jenkins, with Publisher: DC Comics in February 2012.  Because they are worth it.

So what’s the STORY morning glory?
'Handful of Dust' is basically a two strand story, conceptualised in both parts by hallucinations and confrontations.

HALLUCINATIONS: Because the Scarecrow is within his sights, all that Batman thought that he had to do was nab him and his case would come to an end.

He was wrong.

You see, the Scarecrow suddenly douses the Dark Knight with his fear toxin, thus propelling Batman's world into a hallucinatory experience full of paranoia, doubt, and confusion. Then, once this toxin has its clutches firmly within Batman's brain, and he has collapsed onto the floor, the Scarecrow injects him with another toxin that 'empties his soul'.

CONFRONTATIONS: The Scarecrow quickly makes his escape when he suddenly hears someone approaching him from behind. And who could that be? Superman. Great news, right? No - not for this Kryptonion - because he has to deal with a drugged addled Batman whom attacks him at every turn he makes.

Thankfully, though, Superman find's a way to calm this situation down, POW!

What is the most memorable SENTENCE OR CONVERSATION spoken in this issue?
I liked the poetry in the Scarecrows words when he said to Batman "Fool! I open a door to the liberation of your soul and you cower outside it with your eyes shut".

To me, this sounds like a lyrics from some hippy beatnik song. 

What was the BEST thing about this issue?
Difficult to say really, because this was not my favorite issue at all. But Superman's splash page cameo was very nice to look at - especially when 'The Man of Steel' first appeared in silhouetted form.

What was the WORST thing about this issue?
The story is yawn-some to say the least, and I was not overly keen on how simple it was for Batman to punch Superman through a wall either. So far this month we have seen Red-Robin kick Superboy in the face without so much as a flinch, and now we see Batman smack the 'S-man' without so much a peep. What next? Are the Bat-family and the S-family going to have a gang-bang? These points either need addressing or ignoring.
What was the most CREATIVE thing about this issue?
STORY: Yawwwwwnnn. We have seen all this done before. Scarecrow gives Batman some fear toxin. Batman goes nuts. Another hero turns up and there is an encounter. Yadda-yadda-yadda. Say no more.

ART: I really did like the art on this book. My personal favourite was the psychedelic splash-page were Batman sees' some of his villain's before him, plus that whole Superman fight scene - very bold.

If you had to CAST TWO CHARACTERS in this comic book, who would they be and why?
SUPERMAN: To me, David Finch's depiction of the Last Son of Krypton does look a lot like Dean Cain from the Superman serialisation 'Lois and Clark'. Don't you think?

SCARECROW: Ever since I'd seen Rhys Ifans doing his nut-job thing in 'Hannibal Rising', I always thought that he was the spit for old Doctor Jonathan Crane.

If this issue had a MOVIE TAG LINE, what would it be?
In A World That Knows Fear - Batman Knows Thai-Chi.

If this issue were a MOVIE, an OBJECT, or a piece of MUSIC, what would that be and why? 
OK, so this story was a bit naff. People fought in it for no apparent reason what so ever, and it used a tried and tested story-line that has been used many times before. Therefore, in my opinion, this issue is 'Wrong Turn 2: Dead End'.

FINAL thoughts...
I am happy to say that DC has recently announced a new writer for this book with issue 10, Gregg Hurwitz. Now I am sorry for saying this with such a cheery disposition David and Paul, but as demonstrated in this issue, there is no new direction on this book, unless that direction is down. Still, at least David is staying on art duties - so that's a good thing.

MARKS out of 10? 6.5

THE DARK KNIGHT #5 THE DARK KNIGHT #5 Reviewed by David Andrews on February 16, 2012 Rating: 5
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