Freddy Krueger is back and he's moved to a new neighborhood where fear and chaos take up most of the population. The only things standing in his way are Batman and an old victim who has also moved into Gotham. After Freddy marks Batman and the villains of Arkham as his new prey, it's a battle between the masters of fear and Fear, himself.
Tropes in this fic:
- Defeating the Undefeatable: The Joker does what so many have tried and failed to do, and permanently kills Freddy Krueger. When the Joker battles Freddy in the dream world, Freddy's powers don't work on him — as the Joker explains, he is the complete embodiment of pure insanity, which is actually way worse than the embodiment of fear that Freddy is. With absolutely nothing to exploit from the Joker, Freddy's power of fear is rendered completely useless against the Joker's chaotic, twisted mind. This gives the Joker all the edge that he needs to beat Freddy in battle.
- Everyone Has Standards:
- When Batman is investigating the Scarecrow's death, Alfred points out that while his death was tragic, as is any death, this will make his work a little easier, with one less fiend to worry about. Batman says that while it is true, he points out that his goal isn't just to save Gotham from these crazed madmen; it's also trying to save the crazed madmen from themselves. If he took pride in the Scarecrow's death, as the Scarecrow would have done with his, he'd be the same masked criminal that the Scarecrow was.
- Batman, who deals with madmen on a daily basis, is completely horrified and disgusted with Freddy Krueger's crimes when he learns of them: that he murdered and mutilated hundreds of children, and his crimes were the most horrible he ever heard of. When he read a report of a police officer who almost shot Krueger and his wife asked "What stopped you?", Batman almost agrees with her. When Batman learns how Krueger was burned alive by Springwood residents, he wonders if he would have stood alongside them as they sent this unholy abomination to Hell where he belonged. The only villain that got Batman this angry was the Sewer King, and he even admitted the The Joker hadn't even displayed the amount of sadism that Fred Krueger had.
- Eviler Than Thou:
- One fascinating truth about the Batman comic and the "villains" inside it is that there really are no bad guys per se. Yes, there are people who do evil deeds, but all of them are also victims of society themselves once, just like Batman. That's another important connection that links them all together. Freddy Krueger, on the other hand, chooses to be evil from the start, and the twisted methods he uses to kill the "villains" of Arkham by targeting their tortured pasts really highlights how human they really are. And When Batman goes up against him, he actually proves to be just as vulnerable as the rest of his victims because of his relatable flaws and fears and the tragic events that molded him into what he is. But then Freddy comes face to face with the Joker.
- The only villain in the Batman universe that actually deserves the title of "villain" is the Joker. The Joker has no credible backstory, no clear motivation, and no reason in his decision making. He is the complete embodiment of pure insanity, which is actually way worse than the embodiment of fear/evil like Freddy. The main difference is, evil is predictable. People who are evil have clear motivations and will stop at nothing to carry them out, no matter who or what has to suffer for it. Fear can easily be overcome by a willing victim, but insanity is a whole different story. There is no predictable pattern when it comes to insanity, and sometimes not even a motivation. Insanity can sometimes be treated, but it can never be fully cured or even completely understood. This is how the Joker is able to turn the tide against Freddy. With absolutely nothing to exploit from the Joker, Freddy's power of fear and evil is rendered completely useless against the Joker's chaotic, twisted mind.
- Irony: As Batman noted, the Springwood citizens had done the one thing Batman had sworn he would never do: they killed a person who probably deserved it more than anyone he had ever encountered and it had supposedly led to the same results as the ones that forbade Batman from going to such extreme measures: the creation of an even greater evil.
- Not So Different: Having been victimized by Freddy Krueger in the past, Alice shares the connection of loss with Batman, who also tragically saw the death of the ones closest to him. In the beginning, however, Alice actually sides more so with the people considered "villains" in this story, mostly because she almost went down the same path and could have possibly become one of them. At the same time, being among them allowed her to see a more human side to them, and she connects with all of them because they too have experienced pain, loss, betrayal, etc. What sets Alice apart from them is that she is actually able to see them, as well as see herself, as all victims of the world. Batman has also come to this conclusion, but his method of approach initially comes off as extremely hypocritical to Alice because he seems just as insane as the rest of them and yet he seems to view himself as more noble. In these ways, Alice and Batman are both in the same mind and the opposite mind.