Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Batman #117 Review


Such a Sad State of Affairs

Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Jorge Jimenez, Tomeu Morey, and Clayton Cowles
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: November 16, 2021

Batgirls Backup
Writers: Becky Cloonan & Michael Conrad
Artist: Jorge Corona, Sarah Stern, and Becca Carey

It's time for the Fear State finale, and if you are like me, you've been waiting for it to start! But, unfortunately, the concept and actual villain of Fear State has been a convoluted mess, and while there are a bunch of tie-ins involved, there was never much for them to do since this main book didn't do much of anything itself.  So, do things suddenly change and give us an ending that makes it all worthwhile?  Let's find out...

How many issues have started with Simon saint losing his mind, screaming, and yelling, only to get a call from Mayor Nakano?  At least he doesn't throw up in a hallway this time, but what does it matter since Batgirl, Nightwing, and company show up and shut the Magistrate down.  I know it's hard sometimes to get an accurate scope of a scene in a review, so I want to point out that Simon Saint, one of the big bands of this "event," gets taken down primarily off-panel.  I guess Tynion thinks a"Hero Pose" page and a news report are enough for readers who have invested this much time and money into the story.  Saint does get more page space than Scarecrow, though, since he was already taken down and is conscious for two small panels in this finale!

So, what of the other Fear State villains?  Well, Peacekeeper-01 trash talks a little, but Batman knocks him out, and even though the Magistrate UFO ends up in the Gotham Bay, the Seer must have escaped and is now a Batgirls villain.  

With all that, how does Fear State end?  I don't want to spoil too much here, but if you have been reading, you won't be shocked at who the hero is, but you may be surprised with how easy everything came together.  Without any setup to lean on, there is a lot of "this happened before, you just didn't know it until now" exposition and forced ways to tie up things.  At least three times in this issue, I laughed out loud at how basic this finale ended up being.

I wonder how this ending affects the Future State possible future we saw and if DC or any other writers will even address that, but we will have to wait and see.

As far as the Batgirls backup goes, Cloonan and Conrad finish up their sneak peek at what their monthly book will be, and I am just going to wait until the #1 comes out to decide if it's for me or not.  I don't love that the Seer might be hanging around for a while since I want it to be its own thing, but I love Steph, Cass, and Babs so I will give it a chance.  I have enjoyed the look of this backup, and while this finale was a bit wordy, I didn't mind it.  I said it on our podcast, but I will repeat it here; I was already excited to get a Batgirls book, and this backup story didn't change my mind positively or negatively.

Bits and Pieces:

James Tynion gives fans a blink, and you might miss it ending to Fear State that seems to show there wasn't much of a story here all along.  The Big Bads all get taken down too quickly, and heroes win with forced narratives and exposition.  The issue looked fantastic, but I think fans will remember Fear State for what comes after it, then the nothing of a story within it.


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