Ray: Dick Grayson has been busy in Bludhaven—finding his long-lost sister, battling Blockbuster, and even starting his own charitable foundation in Alfred’s name using his inherited wealth. But that’s about to come to a crashing halt as Fear State sweeps over Gotham and he has to head back to his hometown. After leaving his beloved dog with a returning supporting cast member from the first Bludhaven run, Dick gets an encrypted message from Oracle that sends him to Crime Alley in Gotham to find Barbara. As he returns to the city, we see an outsider’s perspective on just how bad Gotham has gotten. Terrifying UFOs hover overhead, fascist robocops patrol the streets, and even the slightest wrong move can get you arrested and brutalized without trial. It’s rare that Bludhaven is the less-disturbing city in the equation, but Gotham’s going through some stuff.
As soon as he arrives, it becomes clear this isn’t what it appears to be. We know that Oracle has been hacked, but he doesn’t know that, and this issue’s crash course for Nightwing continues. The attack of dozens of Magistrate bots and drone leads to a tense fight as Batman and Nightwing fight side by side again. The action moves fast, but the issue is done almost before it even gets started in some ways. Where Taylor excels as usual is in the dialogue, as his Bruce has a lot more nuance than we usually see. I know Barbara’s role in this book has received some controversy, but I’m almost wondering if the dialogue indicates that this could be a last hurrah for her as Batgirl. She can only push that chip to the limit so many times. Overall, this issue is probably the weakest of the run, but that’s a high bar to meet. This run has been exceptional, and pulling it away for an event tie-in detracts—but only a little.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.
This post was last modified on September 20, 2021 3:31 pm
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