Review: A Race Against Time In ‘Batman’ #113
by Tony Thornley
The Fear State crossover is in full swing and the Dark Knight is scrambling to save Gotham. He has a war to fight on multiple fronts in Batman #113, and he may not be able to do it alone.
The crossover is starting to heat up and close out an era of the Bat-titles at DC. It comes from the team of James Tynion IV, Jorge Jimenez, Tomeu Morey, and Clayton Cowles.
Gotham is being torn apart by the Scarecrow, and it’s getting worse thanks to the Anti-Oracle and Peacekeeper-01. Batman has only hours to stop the villain before he tears the city in two, and he can’t trust himself to do it thanks to Scarecrow’s manipulation. Can he break free of the Scarecrow’s influence with the Ghost-Maker’s help?
This entire issue is build-up, but with a more cerebral foe like Jonathan Crane, that makes sense. With Tynion first marshaling Batman’s allies, then placing the Dark Knight in the way of Crane’s machinations, it’s an unusually paced issue. But this is how he shouldn’t be fighting the fear-manipulating psycho. Will the punching come eventually? Probably. But Scarecrow is using psychology, misinformation, and other manipulation to tear Gotham apart — of course Batman needs to be more cerebral to fight it.
There isn’t more that really can be said about Jimenez and Morey. They are just a spectacular team together. With Tynion leaving the title next month, I really hope that Jimenez and Morey don’t leave with him. Jimenez’s figure work is stellar, but he also switches up the page layouts with the different tones of the story. As Anti-Oracle spreads misinformation, its chaotic and jagged. When Batman fights the Magistrate, misshapen panels suddenly jump from nowhere like a punch to the gut. Morey shifts his palette with each of these scenes as well, bringing Jimenez’s Gotham to vibrant life.
I’m excited to see what remains of this run. It’s going to be tough to live up to, but this story arc is one hell of a way to go.
Batman #113 is available now from DC Comics.
The Dark Knight’s darkest hour gets intense. It’s a great chapter for one of the most interesting creative teams working in comics right now.