The first thing that needs to be addressed is the monstrous $5.99 price tag. Ouch, DC. A bit much there?
I can't help but feel a bit disappointed by this offering, especially given the monstrous Halloween price tag. (Definitely a trick, I just wish there was more of a treat attached.) I love the set-up, but on the whole it left a bad taste in my mouth.
The set-up is Arkham, on Halloween night. A bunch of the inmates, lead by the Joker are breaking out. They're holed up in a control room waiting for a shift change to let them slip out without triggering any alarms. To pass the time, they tell each other scary stories. It brings to mind the Almost Got 'Im episode of Batman: The Animated Series, one of it's single greatest episodes.
The problem is that most of the stories are just way too short. Now, I love a good anthology format, and shorter stories aren't always a bad thing... but three pages? The end result is that any of the stories that you like are over before you know it. And most of the stories just really failed to impress me.
Of special note, in that regard, is a story that riffs on the classic It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. (It's the Blue Devil/Enchantress story in the book.) It strikes me as one of those ideas that seems absolutely brilliant before you go to bed, but if you take a good look at it under the harsh light of day, you see it's really not as funny as you thought. Here's the gist: stand-ins for a grown Charlie Brown and Linus sacrifice Snoopy (off-panel, thankfully) to summon the Sinister Pumpkin to get their revenge on Danniel Cassidy.
If they hadn't pushed to squeeze 13 stories into one book, there might have been a better outcome. As it stands, the only story that really stands out for me is Phobia recounting how she scared Lobo. Maybe Lobo's fear is well known to folks who've been reading comics longer than I, but I didn't know it, so I got a few chuckles.
All told, I'd rather have my $5.99 back.
Late breaking update - while putting this monster into the database, I noticed that the Sinister Pumpkin story was written by none other than DC EiC, Dan Didio. That explains a few things.