Review: Batman: Fear State Omega
“Fear State” is one of the best Batman events in years. Not only did it up the villain of Scarecrow in quality, it also introduced so many new and interesting elements to the series and Gotham. Impressively, the “Fear State” also balanced “Future State” teasing out the future Gotham we witnessed in that mini-event. As much as we got to enjoy what Scarecrow’s plans were, we also sat back to see if Simon Saint’s vision for Gotham becomes a reality. A lot was going on and the storyline balanced all of its elements really well. Batman: Fear State Omega wraps up the event with a bit of a kicker issue taking us through the fate of the characters in the story.
Writer James Tynion IV wraps up the event with Batman driving Scarecrow to the new facility he’ll be held in as the two discuss what has happened and what might have changed. Much like the final issue of the event, Batman emphasizes his hope for the future rejecting the dark brooding cloud that we associate with him. This is in juxtaposition to the Scarecrow who only “fears” what the future brings. It’s some interesting banter but it’s the fate of all of the characters from the event that’s more interesting.
Tynion touches on a lot of the key players from “Fear State” including Simon Saint, Miracle Molly, the Gardener, Harley and Ivy, Magistrate-01, and the Unsanity Collective. Much like the event, there’s a lot to go over and each is given just enough time to either wrap up their role or set up what’s to come. And in many ways, that’s what this issue feels like, a bridge from what was to what’s next. For better or worse, it’s handled in this single issue instead of the main series, and in some ways it feels a bit like filler. But, it does what it needs to, lets the reader know where things stand in so many ways.
The art is handled by a group of creators, Riccardo Federici, Christian Duce, Ryan Benjamin, and Trevor Hairsine. They’re joined by Chris Sotomayor on color and Clayton Cowles‘ lettering. The art is decent though with so many involved there’s some clash of styles as the issue shifts its focus. None of the art is bad at all, it’s just not all of it works together creating some rough transitions between styles. The issue likely would have been stronger with a single artist instead of the rotating team.
There’s nothing inherently wrong or bad about Batman: Fear State Omega. It acts as a real finale to the event letting readers know what the fates of so many characters are. But, beyond that, it doesn’t quite feel like it does anything shocking or interesting that the finale in Batman didn’t already. Whether it needed to be a one-shot instead of just another issue of Batman is the real rub. While it delivers some closure and sets up a lot to come, it doesn’t deliver as memorable an ending as the “end” of the event in Batman #117.
Story: James Tynion IV Art: Riccardo Federici, Christian Duce, Ryan Benjamin, Trevor Hairsine
Color: Chris Sotomayor Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review