Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Batman #114 Review


Lame State

Writer: James Tynion IV, Brandon Thomas
Artist: Jorge Jimenez, Jason Howard
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: October 5, 2021

I am sitting here waiting for this Fear State event to get to a point where I can say that it has started. Instead, we've been recapping on repeat, and it still feels like we are in the setup stage of the game.  I felt the same way about the Joker War, and everyone has the right to disagree with me, but I thought that "event" was a bunch of bullshit!  It's not just Tynion, though, since Tom King's City of Bane was also bullshit!  No wonder Gotham is on the verge of an epic collapse; it's being held hostage by shitty story after shitty story!  Let's see if things begin to change as we get close to the midway point of all of this nonsense.

Spoiler alert, it doesn't change much!  Sure we finally get a bit more of Scarecrow, but while Tynion wants to push the epic scope of Fear State, Scarecrow is only concerned with Peacekeeper-01. So is this to work his thesis and put Gotham under his thumb or get back at Simon Saint?  Your guess is as good as mine.  Tynion has laid the psycho-babble on pretty thick at points in these issues, but when it comes down to it, nothing actually seems to be going on, and no matter how hard he tries to gussy it up, this whole story is barely even basic.  Plus, like the Joker War before it, Batman has nothing at all to do.

Well, he does try to stop Peacekeeper-X but fails.  While that's going on, Miracle Molly is doing all the detective work, which boils down to an out-of-nowhere eureka moment she has to tell Batman about... because he certainly isn't going to figure it out himself!  Batman's most significant moment in this issue is yelling, "what have you let loose in this city" after Peacekeeper-X (remember, Batman couldn't stop him) destroys a city block with a damn laser blast.  Maybe the better moment was when he was about to be taken down by Magistrate cybers but was saved when Saint blew them all up, destroying more of Gotham City.  There is a debate that Batman creates all the problems in Gotham, but I didn't think it was because of his ineptitude.  My mistake...

By the end, we get a death that nobody will care about, a still toxined Peacekeeper-01 and Miracle Molly extending a helping hand to Batman like a methed-out Terminator.  Oh yea, we get another Clownhunter backup that does nothing except telling the reader the nothingness will continue in Batman: Urban Legends, where you can spend three more dollars for nothing.  Nothing I tells ya!!!

This issue and Fear State as a whole is just bad.  Bad because nothing happens.  Bad because it has taken over the other Bat-Family books.  Bad because it just feels like Tynion is going through the motions until he goes over and starts sleeping on his pile of Substack money.  That's cool for him, but for people paying for this and all the tie-ins, that sucks.  To put the cherry on this shit sundae,  I didn't even like Jorge Jimenez's art in this issue.  It was more about the fight choreography than anything else, but that's a problem in an issue dominated by fights.

Bits and Pieces:

Fear State continues to be an uninspired mess of a story that makes Batman a bit player in his book and event.  I know it's bad when I'm yearning for the good old days of the City of Bane!


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