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4.3 out of 5 stars23
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 2 August 2013
With the launch of the New 52, there are a number of Batman titles including Batman, Detective Comics, Batman Incorporated, Batman & Robin and this title Batman The Dark Knight. We now reached volume 2 on most of these titles and in most cases, the second volume has not been as good as the first - Cycle of Violence is the exception to this trend. First off, there is a complete coherent storyline as Batman goes up against the Scarecrow and as a result, this book stands up as a graphic novel in its own right as opposed to just being a collection of individual issues. The storyline explores the back story for both Bruce Wayne / Batman and Jonathan Crane / Scarecrow and manages to do so in an interesting way despite the Batman origin being extremely well trodden ground. One small quibble is that Batman also faced the Scarecrow in Batman The Dark Knight Volume 1, although the treatment here is superior to that in the earlier volume. There is also plenty to admire here on the art side with some stunning action sequences.

Finally, we get a zero issue as an extra in this collection and learn the story of Bruce Wayne and Joe Chill. I am glad that this issue was included as it is a nice way to round off this collection, although it is one of the weaker Batman zero issues.
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The story running through issue #10-15 of the New 52's Batman The Dark Knight is collected, along with issue #0, as Batman The Dark Knight Volume 2: Cycle of Violence HC (The New 52). This is a sort of secret origin of the Scarecrow story, as we get to see into his childhood as he starts experimenting with a new fear toxin, harvested from children, and tested on Batman and Commissioner Gordon. It is an excellently written and illustrated story, delving into the early life of both the Scarecrow and Bruce Wayne, and revealing new aspects, even of the young Bruce Wayne. Although there is some conflict in each episode, it can best be described as psychological horror, until we reach the climax involving a fear-toxin attack by the Scarecrow on the Gotham Christmas parade, from an airship, when we move into widescreen action, again

Issue #0 is a straightforward tale of the very young Bruce Wayne setting out on his path of vengeance, starting with the hunt for Joe Chill, and is excellently written and illustrated.
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on 21 July 2014
Once again great art work from David Finch. The story is but I think it was a little over done. I could have been a couple of issues shorter, or more could have been done with the plot to justify spending 6 issues, 7 if you include issue 0. It is the usual Scarecrow story, new fear toxin, tries it on Batman the man with no fear. The thing that made this comic 3 stars plus for me was the art work. The Scarecrow really looks scary, and the children look traumatised. The other thing that I did not like was there were things left undone from the last volume seem to be ignored in this volume. No continuity even though they are from the same series.
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on 30 August 2014
I've been a huge batman fan for a few years now and Scarecrow is probably my most liked villain, however, there has always seemed to be a lack of comics with him as the main antagonist. Cycle of violence really lives up to what i would expect from a comic about scarecrow, it shows his cruelty, determination and in some ways you feel sorry for him as it lives through the past of Jonathan Crane.
This Comic also shows the difficulties that Bruce Wayne has separating his secret life as batman from the people he cares about. The comic itself is beautifully illustrated and layed out. This is a must read for any batman or scarecrow fan.
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on 15 August 2014
Definitely not as adventurous as the vol. 1 but a good way to carry on with scarecrow being the main villain as you do not see that much of him or bane in vol.1 and that's were you start to reflect on it. The story was decent and so was the plot but there was not enough action. When there was it was brutal and kept you on the edge but you did feel like they were really pushing it to the limit on stuff they haven't done or roughly before.

Still nothing wrong with it but not as exciting as the last
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on 28 February 2014
I read a library copy of the paperback.
I’m not that familiar with the Scarecrow and after being featured in the first volume I thought it was pushing it a bit seeing him as the main feature in this volume.
I briefly wondered where the White Rabbit went but I didn't lose sleep over it.
I nearly lost sleep over the Scarecrow though. Nightmarish indeed.
This is another well put together Bat volume new52.
The art is a joy the writing draws the reader in and holds you.
I thought the ‘0’ issue would be another dull retelling of Batman’s well-worn origin but credit to the spin put on it here.
Good solid stuff.
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on 3 December 2015
No Spoilers. Firstly, could they make the title any more confusing? So Scarecrow is kidnapping kids, we have flashbacks to Scarecrows childhood but also to Batman’s and how they reflect each other and the nature and response to Fear. Fast moving plot, good dialogue, very glossy and deeply detailed artwork should make this a must read. But if you’re even a moderate Bat-Nerd you’ve heard this story before. Don’t get me wrong, it tells it well and has some interesting insights and really nice touches and true Bat-fans will still enjoy it but it’s only Essential Reading to Newbs.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 8 November 2014
The first volume of The Dark Knight didn’t do much to separate itself from the other Bat-titles but, judging by that first entry, you’d think this was a dumping ground for all of David Finch’s bad ideas - that lingerie-wearing bunny character sticks out as one of the most horrendous additions to the Batman universe in quite some time!

But with Gregg Hurwitz jumping on board to write, the title seems to have some focus as a series that looks at Batman’s rogues gallery, specifically the lesser characters. I’d already read The Dark Knight Volume 3 before this one (it doesn’t matter, each volume is self-contained and can be read in order or not) and that one was a Mad Hatter story that, believe it or not, was really good.

Hurwitz seems to be DC’s go-to guy for writing Batman villain books. Besides the Mad Hatter, he wrote an excellent miniseries called Penguin: Pain and Prejudice, both of which I recommend. So, The Dark Knight Volume 2: Cycle of Violence is Jonathan Crane aka Scarecrow’s turn - and unfortunately it’s not as good as the other villains’ books.

The story is that Scarecrow is abducting young kids and messing with their heads; Batman has to stop him. I should emphasise the “dark” part of the title because this is an excessively bleak and grisly book even by Batman standards. Scarecrow’s sewn his lips together just enough so he can talk for no other reason than it’s disgusting and it makes him look more like a scarecrow. And then there’s the kid element where you have to watch as Crane plays sick head games with the poor little buggers. It’s a very unpleasant read.

Hurwitz attempts a half-assed revision of Batman’s psyche, that Bruce chose to be a dark hero than a light one because he’s as dark and nutty as any of his rogues except Hurwitz doesn’t really go much deeper than this so it’s not a very convincing argument. And the final issue that looks at Bruce’s first encounter with Joe Chill, his parent’s murderer, was underwhelming when it should’ve been a more emotionally charged meeting.

The supporting cast play their usual roles (Gordon needs Batman, Alfred is the competent servant, etc.) while there’s another bland love interest for Bruce in the form of Generic Eastern European Concert Pianist Who Loves Bruce and He Loves Her Because Plot. Never met this one before but it doesn’t really matter.

It’s surprising Hurwitz is able to squeeze almost an entire book from the Scarecrow given how linear and one-note the story is. There are a few flashbacks to Crane’s childhood explaining how Crane got so weird but it’s not a great origin. And just when I thought the book couldn’t get any more grim, the finale happens and I was unexpectedly HOWLING with laughter!

Anyway, Cycle of Violence was too simplistic a story and much too dark to be enjoyable. The horror came off as dumb, especially the ending, and I was glad to put the book down at the end. I don’t like David Finch’s art either which uses too much black and makes the figures look grotesque, but I suppose it fit the script.

If you’ve ever wondered why Scarecrow doesn’t usually take centre stage, here are all the reasons in this one book. While this second volume is a bust, like the first, do check out the third volume of this series which is also dark but kinda brilliant too.
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on 5 February 2014
Great art style, great story and overall great comic.

Along with the rebooted New 52 BATMAN series, The Dark Knight series ranks among my highest rated DC series since the relaunch a couple of years ago.

An outstanding read with the caped crusader!
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on 17 February 2014
I read this title through the comic books and I loved itc! David Finch's artwork is simply amazing. This is a dark amd intracately written title and I would recommend to any Batman fan out there!
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