Review: Batman #112
With the recent “Alpha” issue of Batman: Fear State acting as a nice primer for those new to the event as well as moving the story along, Batman #112 overlaps it a bit but also sets up the challenge ahead. After months of build-up, Scarecrow and Simon Saint’s plans for Gotham are starting to come together. The issue is, the duo, who were working together, no longer are on the same page. Saint has given Scarecrow what he wants and Gotham is going to suffer.
Writer James Tynion IV delivers an amped up Scarecrow who has moved beyond toxins to inflict his fear. New technology drives this amped up villain who really is proving a challenge for Batman. Add in the fact that Scarecrow has also dispatched Saint’s Peacekeeper-01 and you have a city on the brink of chaos and few able to do anything about it.
Batman #112 is the set-up to the challenge. Tynion uses the issue to focus on how much Scarecrow has beaten down everyone already. Batman realizes there’s something more than toxin going on. Saint realizes that things are off the rails and he needs to get his plan back under control. This is the issue that really sets the bar as to difficult of a fight this will be.
It also overlaps that alpha issue a bit. While that gave a wide view of what’s going on, this issue narrows it down a bit focusing on Batman and Saint. What’s solid is Tynion has built Saint up beyond just some tech-bro with money able to equip his army with the latest toys. There’s a media savvy about him where he uses manipulated perception to get what he wants and move the narrative in his direction. It’s something Batman hasn’t really faced before.
Jorge Jimenez handles the art with Tomeu Morey on color and Clayton Cowles on lettering. The art is fantastic and gives a new take on Scarecrow’s attacks. A lot of artists in the past have delivered trippy visuals that show Batman spiraling out of control as the toxin takes over. While there’s a little of that here, the main focus is in Batman’s eyes and face as he really expresses the fear that’s overcome him. We get the sense that he’s realizing that things aren’t the same as they’ve been in the past. There’s a real sense of tension and chaos building throughout the visuals, they nail the story Tynion is crafting.
Brandon Thomas, Jason Howard, and Cowles deliver a back-up featuring Clownhunter as he takes on Scarecrow. The confrontation feels a little left-field but the story crafted is solid. I’s best to not spoil it but how it plays out is great and feels a bit like a “traditional” Batman story featuring the Dark Knight taking on Scarecrow.
Batman #112 is a really solid start to “Fear State”. It amps up Scarecrow so he feels like a real threat to everyone. Tynion does is best to give us a new take on what we’ve seen before over and over. The visuals too give a slightly different take to what we’ve seen before. And, most importantly, it doesn’t feel like a distraction from the direction the Batman titles are moving when it comes to “Future State” and a possible future Gotham. This is a great example of an event tying into the greater meta story. More of this please.
Story: James Tynion IV, Brandon Thomas Art: Jorge Jimenez, Jason Howard
Color: Tomeu Morey Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review