In a fear gas induced evening of horrors, Batman continues his battle against Gotham's crime and mentoring its youngest citizens, but is what he's encountering real or fear gas induced? Honestly? Who cares. Kelley Jones is drawing Batman.
Limited series like Batman Kings of Fear are a real treat. Especially at this time of year. Some say The Holidays are the most wonderful time of year, but if you leave out Halloween then you're in remiss, but I digress. The spooky season and a Kelley Jones drawn comic book go fit together perfectly.
Jones' artwork is rare among contemporary sequential artists. He has a definite horror bent to his work, but also manages to create a unique aura of humanity around his monsters and super-heroes of the night. His take on Batman, and the Scarecrows', masks are powerfully emotive. The only thing other artist I ever saw bring such a unique humanity to Batman's cowled visage was the late Norm Breyfogle. While Breyfogle's art on Detective Comics was more realism based, and therefore much more distant emotionally, it avoided losing its humanity through Breyfogle's take on the cowl and its ability to reveal Batman's inner emotions.
In Jones' case, his entire environment, as well as characters, are full of emotion and emotional fluidity. Gargoyles on ledges are horrifically visaged. The buildings and bodies that inhabit each and ever panel are contorted and take on their own life and animation. Jones' style breathes life into each and every image in each and every entire comic book he draws, thus telling the story on equal footing through his images.
Kelley Jones' Batman Kings of Fear is just another example of the powerful and unique storytelling ability of one of the greatest sequential artist of this era of the art form. I can't wait for his next project, and this one isn't even over yet.