“Fear State” continues in part 5 that has everything coming together as Batman and Miracle Molly confront the Scarecrow. Batman #116 is fully of action and drama with some fantastic moments.
James Tynion IV does an excellent job of bringing so much together in Batman #116. There’s really dramatic and “cinematic” moments that highlight an issue that at times feels epic at scale. Balanced well are Batman and Miracle Mommy taking on Scarecrow, some more on Magistrate-01, Ivy, and so much more. It’s an issue that’s bursting from the seems with so much packed in. So, lets take each moment at a time.
Saint’s forces have invaded Ivy’s lair. Standing against them is Ghost-Maker who brings a swashbuckling classic style to the fight. For a character that was a shrug to start, he’s grown into one I really like delivering an over the top style in everything. But, this is all going on in Ivy’s lair. She’s not too happy with it all and the series has hinted that we should expect something big for her in the future. That begins here in a moment that feels like it should be on a movie screen. Epic is an understatement and could be an entire issue and event by itself.
Batman and Miracle Molly’s adventure has them confronting Scarecrow. Tynion delivers a lot of emotion with that as Scarecrow does his thing. But, it also turns into a rather shocking moment as well. It leads to a new confrontation between Magistrate-01 and Batman and a double-page spread of action that’s fantastic. One panel in particular is amazing as a blade gets a bit close to Batman. This has summer popcorn film all about it.
And that’s just a small bit of an issue that feels like a popcorn flick on the printed page.
The art by Jorge Jimenez is fantastic. With color by Tomeu Morey and lettering by Clayton Cowles, the issue’s visuals are everything you’d want from a comic book. It pops in every sense with amazing colors and a great flow to it all. What’s great is that the team gives us some visuals that feel like “traditional” Batman while putting on their own spin. Magistrate-01 confronting Batman is fantastic with two moments really standing out visually. Scarecrow’s mask being taken off feels terrorizing for a brief moment, the madness unleashed. The series has a style that’s all its own blending the past with the neon manga-inspired style of “Future State”.
We also get a backup story by Becky Cloonan and Michael W. Conrad with art by Jorge Corona, color by Sarah Stern, and lettering by Becca Carey. Stephanie and Cass are in the tower with Barbara long gone. They’re confronted by Simon Saint’s team who do the unthinkable. It’s a sliver of a story but the impact feels like it’s one that’ll reverberate for years to come. It also sets up an intriguing dynamic for everything to come. It also again shows the extreme that Saint and his forces will go.
Batman #116 is another solid chapter of “Fear State”. There’s an epic scale to it all yet also feels like so much is packed into the issue. None of it feels shorted at all. It’s an impressive balancing act and a highlight of one of the best Batman storylines in years.
Story: James Tynion IV, Becky Cloonan, Michael W. Conrad Art: Jorge Jimenez, Jorge Corona
Color: Tomeu Morey, Sarah Stern Letterer: Clayton Cowles, Becca Carey
Story: 8.75 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
Purchase: comiXology – Kindle – Zeus Comics – TFAW