Batman: Fear State Omega #1 – James Tynion IV, Writer; Riccardo Federici, Christian Duce, Ryan Benjamin, Guillem March, Trevor Hairsine, Artists; Chris Sotomayor, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: Fear State is over, but this oversized epilogue issue puts a bow on James Tynion IV’s time on Batman by taking it back to where it all began—a one-on-one confrontation between Batman and Scarecrow. Jonathan Crane has been captured and is being taken to a new, more secure prison. Naturally, he has some other plans—ambushing the transport van with fear cultists. That’s something Batman has planned for, and Bruce decides to escort Crane personally as the two try to manipulate each other psychologically and undermine each other. Amid all this, we cut away to the various fates of the players who factored into Fear State—both the unlikely heroes and the dangerous villains who worked with Crane.
Some have made sacrifices, like Miracle Molly choosing to give up her freedom to protect the rest of the Unsanity Collective. While she’s sacrificed herself with her eyes wide open, someone else is still mired in the Fear State. Peacekeeper-01 is permanently bonded to experimental technology and is convinced he’s the only person who can save Gotham—and seems to be set up as the next-generation Bane for Batman. His boss Simon Saint, meanwhile, is disgraced and in Blackgate Prison—until another villain decides to step in and see if she can use him. It all adds up to Gotham becoming a more dangerous and unpredictable place in the aftermath—and Batman may not be fully prepared.
There are some interesting developments for allies as well. Batman essentially plays mentor-matchmaker for Ghost-Maker and Clownhunter, while keeping an eye on the presence of another mystery Bat in the city. And Gardener has achieved her goal of restoring Ivy—but it may cost her everything personally. And in the main narrative, Batman delivers a devastating rejoinder to Scarecrow that puts an ideal bow on this storyline. The presence of a surprising ally in the last pages adds some new wrinkles, and as a last act, Tynion seems to be asking some serious questions about Gotham’s future. It’s a strong epilogue that leaves Joshua Williamson and Mariko Tamaki with a lot of fascinating elements to work with.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.