Batman #112 – James Tynion IV, Brandon Thomas, Writers; Jorge Jimenez, Jason Howard, Artists; Tomeu Morey, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: Hell has been unleashed in Gotham, as the Scarecrow has plunged all of the city into a… dum dum dum… Fear State! The opening segment of this issue is brilliantly tense, as Simon Saint’s eerie propaganda videos where he extols the virtues of the Magistrate program are interspliced with scenes of Batman as he struggles to recover from Scarecrow’s madness. Even the usual anti-fear gas toxin doesn’t work, as the horrifying specter of Scarecrow still invades Batman’s vision even after he’s dosed. He barely makes it back to safety, where he learns about the propaganda being spread that he’s dead. Even some of his own allies were in doubt—and I particularly loved the scene where he and Cassandra Cain are reunited. Nice choice of costume, too.
But it’s not just the heroes who are vulnerable to the fear state—the villains are just as affected. Sean Mahoney’s term as Peacekeeper-One was short, before Scarecrow got to him and turned him into a violent loose cannon—well, more than he normally was. Now he wanders Gotham’s streets, seeing everything as a threat. That leaves Simon Saint able to move to his backup plan—appointing a familiar face as a second Peacekeeper to take out his predecessor. Much of the cast is split around Gotham without too much to do this issue, but coming off the jam-packed Alpha issue, it’s a good break that shows us just how much Gotham’s fabric is collapsing in only a short time.
The backup this month goes to Clownhunter, fresh off his one-shot in Batman Secret Files. He’s up against a Scarecrow goon when he takes a header off a roof, falls to his apparent death—and wakes up in the home of a kindly old woman who he rescued last week. The two of them have a conversation about what’s going on in Gotham and her unique views on crime and punishment. But not all is what it seems, and Brandon Thomas and Jason Howard manage to pack a lot of twists into only a few pages.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.