Review: Batman #117
“Fear State” wraps up with this issue that brings everything together for a rather satisfying ending. Batman #117 is full of action, emotion, and… hope? Yes, there’s a bit of a sunny side to the issue ending an event that’s been one of the best Batman event in years.
James Tynion IV‘s run on Batman honestly began rather shaky. Story arcs didn’t feel complete. Instead, they just ran into what’s next feeling more like preludes of things to come. That was “Fear State” which saw Scarecrow attempt to remake Gotham while Simon Saint attempted to close his grip on Gotham with his Magistrate program. In it, we got interesting new characters and the “return” of some classic ones. What started as a bumpy run turned into an entertaining event whose whole has only gotten better as it has gone along. Tynion has stuck the landing.
Batman #117 wraps things up nicely with Simon Saint’s current story coming to a close in a logical way (though a lot is off page in other series), Batman takes on Magistrate-01, Ivy and Harley have their moment, Miracle Molly takes center stage for a bit. There’s a lot packed in. Beyond Simon Saint’s downfall, everything feels like it receives the right amount of time to shine.
What’s surprising though is the emotional impact that Tynion focuses on. Batman, for all his brooding, actually delivers moments of hope. He not only takes on Magistrate-01’s vision of what he represents but he also challenges Molly’s vision too. He gives us a reason that he does what he does. It’s one beyond some psychological need. There’s actual belief that tomorrow will be better and that the people as a whole are good. Tynion seems to emphasize this especially with Ivy who sees her two sides come together and the choice she makes after. The whole is made up of individual parts and you can’t have the whole without those individuals. And the whole will in the end do what’s right. That’s some schmaltzy stuff right there.
The art by Jorge Jimenez continues to impress. With color by Tomeu Morey and lettering by Clayton Cowles, the look of the comic is fantastic. There’s some amazing individual panels, full page layouts, and two page spreads. It all comes together for what feels like a real epic visually. There’s memorable moments here with art that just hits you in the right way. There’s panels that are sure to become favorites, one in particular featuring Ivy and Harley. This issue, in other words, will have art that’ll last for a while with fans.
Batman #117 is a satisfying ending to a multi-arc story. On its own, “Fear State” has truly delivered an event that feels like it was something new, and it was in so many ways. Much like this final issue, it really packed a lot in. And, like this issue, it feels like everything got its time to shine. If you’ve missed out on the event, this is one that’s well worth going back and checking out.
Story: James Tynion IV Art: Jorge Jimenez
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