Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Batman #110 Review


Back to the Future State of Fear

Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Jorge Jimenez, Ricardo Lpez Ortiz
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: July 6, 2021

We just did our $25 Do-or-Die Pull List segment on our Patreon-Only Podcast Ep 368 last week, and it was the first time I haven't had either Batman or Detective Comics on mine.  I believe you should always pull one of those because... well, because it's Batman!  Maybe once Fear State starts, I will change my tune, but I think it will take averting Future State and ditching the Magistrate stuff to do it.  I didn't mind Future State but was happy to leave that "possible future" behind only to get it shoved down my throat even more once it (seemingly) ended.  So, does James Tynion make things more interesting as we prepare for Fear State?  Let's find out...

The issue begins again with Batman under the control of Scarecrow, but here, we see him break free...or does he?  We will have to wait until Fear State to see what goes on there, it seems, because this issue is all about non-stop, over-the-top action, and I am not so sure that is a good thing.

For most of the issue, we get a royal rumble between Batman and Peacekeeper One.  It looks great thanks to Jorge Jimenez's art, but the dialogue is not clever or fun. Instead, it's a bit of the tired same old same old that we have had in Batman a hundred times before.  "Gotham's better without Batman because Batman created the masked villains and lets them continue destroying Gotham" is the generic gist of it.  Pretty boring stuff.

In the meantime, we see the Batfamily on high alert, the Unsanity Collective set up for a big fall, and Ghostmaker swooping in to save Batman's butt.  Behind everything is Simon Saint, using all of this and the Scarecrow's fear attacks to force Mayor Nakano to agree to anything, which means the Magistrate.

As far as all that goes, a big crossover is coming up, so of course the Batfamily will be involved. The Unsanity Collective isn't a group I am attached to, so blaming a bombing on them doesn't matter much.  I like Ghostmaker for the most part, but he seems to be here for his fancy technology, which negates the whole deal of Bruce losing his money. Finally, I already told you that I'd love to kiss the Magistrate goodbye for good, yet here we are, seeing again...for the first time.

If you read the Future State Batman books, you already know enough about the Magistrate and the Peacekeepers for this to feel redundant.  Sure, we see Simon Saint setting it up, but it's still the same old song and dance with a couple of tiny gaps filled in.  I think that Tynion is hoping the first wave of the Magistrate hitting Gotham is a wow moment, but it wasn't.  At least Batman shows that he doesn't just send messages and orders by slapping Robins in the face (thanks, Tom King), but also sends morse code by blowing up buildings!

There is a Ghostmaker backup, but it seems to be there only to raise the book's price by a dollar, and I am a Ghostmaker fan.  I wonder how non-fans think of it!

Bits and Pieces:

This is an action-packed issue that will give Future State readers a bit of deja vu.  Tynion gets the Magistrate up and running in time for Fear State and not much more.  It looked good but was not that interesting overall.


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