Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Batman: Fear State: Alpha #1 Review


I am Scared Now

Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Riccardo Federici
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: August 31, 2021

Fear State is finally here...almost.  I say that because this book is a setup issue for the whole thing, and boy, if you could get a nickel for every time that 'fear state" and "future state" are said in this alpha issue, you might have as much money as James Tynion is getting for going over to Substack! But, of course, if the rumors are true, that would be impossible!  So, how does the start of James Tynion's last Batman story fare?  Let's find out...

The issue begins with the start of Simon Saint and Scarecrow's doomed relationship, and it makes you wonder how Saint ever thought he was going to be able to control Crane.  It also gives more hints that they were responsible for A-Day, but that has been pretty much the guess all along.

We then go to the Scarecrow tormenting Batman like we've seen for months now in the first couple pages of Batman while getting talking heads giving us a layman's version of the Scarecrow's origin story and updates on what's been happening in Batman since the Joker War.  The feeling that this Alpha issue was to make sure everyone is up to speed on things continues by showing Peacekeeper-01 drugged out of his mind and running scared through Gotham.

After seeing that Nakano is all in with the Magistrate and has allowed them complete control of Gotham media for some reason, we get to some newer stuff that was interesting enough.  A newer Oracle (spoiled by almost all of the Fear State solicits) jumps into the fray to preach the truth to Gotham and casually drops the information that Batman is dead.  While the Batman Family doesn't seem fazed, it does cause a Second Son to at least contemplate suiting up.  Seriously, if you thought that Future State was coming up too quickly, this puts things into overdrive.

Everybody gets their spotlight, so it's off to see Harley Quinn and the Unsanity Collective hiding in Ivy's Eden.  There is a nice moment with Queen Ivy and Harley, but this really only sets up Harley and the Gardener's Fear State team-up to save both Ivys...which leads the book to remind us that the other Ivy is with Catwoman in Alleytown.

Overall, this was a boring issue full of recap and seemed to exist only to remind everyone involved in Fear State and show where they are as it begins.  This issue didn't get me pumped up for the big story at all, and in fact, has me worried that after all this setup, we may not get a grand exit from Tynion.  It's way too early to tell, though, so I still have my fingers crossed.  As far as the art goes, I am not a fan of Riccardo Federici, and his pencil-heavy style through me off after getting such good art on Batman for so long.  

Bits and Pieces:

While Batman: Fear State: Alpha #1  seems intent to catch everyone up to get them into Fear State, I was bored reading it.  I didn't care for the art and hope that this is just a minor detour before getting to the fireworks factory.



  1. Riccardo Federici's art did seem off. It was better on Aquaman and The Last God by Phillip Kennedy Johnson.

  2. I liked it more on Last God. I remember not liking it as much on Aquaman even though it fit that "underwater game of thrones" feel a bit more