Infinite Frontier: Fear State | Book Discussion

They did, but if you schedule things correctly, that doesn’t mean you have to have an artist shift.

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Okay, I just saw this take on Simon Saint over on Reddit and had to share it:

After a couple whole arcs about both Bane and Joker hatching flawless plans to utterly break Batman, it’s refreshing to have someone whose plan just completely collapses before it even begins, forcing him to madly scramble through the rubble for at least a semblance of damage to control. Just watching him flail around, flop sweating over the mountain of bad choices into even more bad choices is one of my favorite parts of Fear State so far. Just an absolute failman, I love it.

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I am a bit disappointed that Simon Saint wasn’t more of a Grand Admiral Thrawn type of villain, but he is kind of hilarious in his collapse.

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Especially at the point we’re at in the event. He went from “I will save this broken city from itself” to “BURN THE CITY AND SALT THE EARTH” real quick.

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Yeah. Part of me wonders if Simon Saint was intended to be a longer-term villain, since we know that Fear State was going to be an event, but maybe Tynion had more plans for Saint later that he wrapped up early. Dunno!

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Batman Secret Files: Peacekeeper 01 #1

While we got the broad strokes of what Sean Mahoney’s life was like before becoming Peacekeeper, it was interesting to see it from his perspective. From the first flashback, where we see Sean’s father tell the story of how their ancestor was screwed over by the elites of Gotham, giving them the lesson always to take what is owed to them, definitely helps explain a lot of his motivation we see from the character during this scene.

It was also interesting to see someone who is more outside of the traditional circle of Batman characters. You normally just see these corrupt cops that Gordon takes out of the force as just simple bad guy fodder, but it’s interesting to see their perspective of suddenly having to find a new way to provide for their family. It’s even harder to see the system of Arkham being anything but utterly inept from the side of the guard who has to deal with these super-criminals. It was also cool to see Dr. Joy from the Arkham City mini-series in the Arkham sequence as well.

Overall, not a bad one-shot. It doesn’t do anything revolutionary or surprising for the character, but it does help better fill him out.

Catwoman #36

A good continuation of what happened last issue. It was cool to see Selina teaming up with all these morally grey villains for the heist to rescue Ivy. I do feel like this was a bit of a Flanderized version of Harley in this issue – a little too quirky and not really funny. But that could just be from the fact that there’s so many characters and she’s not the main focus.

Nightwing #85

Really, this issue feels like it should be called Batgirl #85, because it’s mostly Barbara’s story and perspective. It’s rather appreciated, because at this point Barbara had mostly been a supporting character and hadn’t had her own ongoing for…almost a year if I’m looking at these books right.

And what’s cool is that it kind of deconstructs and asks interesting questions about Barbara and her activities as Oracle – with Seer now in control of Babs’ vast surveillance network, you can see how easily such a person with that kind of power could become corrupt and dangerous.

As much as I’m enjoying the Batgirls title right now, as well as her role in the Nightwing title, this does remind me of how much I miss Barbara having her own title.

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I was really surprised at how much I liked the Peacekeeper one shot. I think the fact that it diagnoses so many problems without preaching for one solution (though it definitely preaches against a couple :wink: ), and that even though Sean is a horrible person, it creates a good connection between him and the reader. Plus, it really fills out the backstory we’ve seen Tynion slowly building through Joker and Batman.

I feel that Babs is starting to take the right place in the Batgirls title. I think everyone here knows that I’m a Steph fan first and foremost, but I love Cass and Babs too, and I was concerned when they advertised Batgirls as “two is better than one” - when I think they should have gone with “three is better than one”. The fact that they seem to be on board with this now is the right way to go, and I hope that they can find a good balance for the trio - Babs not taking all the focus, nor the other two - all three being equally important.

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Detective Comics #1044

It’s funny, I believe last issue I complimented how they were able to add the Vile elements from the previous arc so that it feels like a continuation instead of just swerving for the big crossover event. While I mostly still think that, the complication added at the end of this issue of the vile parasites coming up from the sewers almost feels like too much. Like, we already got the Magistrate and Peacemaker 01 causing chaos, Seer using disinformation and lies to make it that no one believe anyone, and Scarecrow’s doing his thing, do we need the Vile parasites flopping around too?

The back-up setting up Arkham Tower and the upcoming Shadows of the Bat event works well enough, though I do find it odd that they use the “Now” script text when showing stuff like Nakano talking about Arkham Tower, because “Now” should be the Fear State story. Then it mentions the fact that Arkham Tower is based off of Hugo Strange’s S.A.F.E. building from the Harley Quinn book, which implies that it should take place after Fear State. Kind of funny to have a story that takes place after the event – I mean, we all knew that characters like Batman would likely survive, but still.

Harley Quinn #8

You would think that a Harley Quinn book would be the one least connected to the events of an event and just do it’s own thing around it, but I’m honestly kind of surprised at how it not only connects, but feels vital to the events of Fear State, while not losing mark of what the series was doing before.

I enjoyed the stuff with the Gotham City Sirens reunion + Gardner, and how Keepsake comes in to add to the chaos. There’s some good funny gags here (did…did we just witness Harley and Ivy roleplaying as Green Arrow and…Speedy?), and great action.

But I think the bit that I really liked was the exploration of Kevin. It was sweet seeing him try to help the city while using Harley as an inspiration, and seeing him recognize where he went wrong in life, how his being ostrasized took him down the wrong path and looking to redeem himself.

I’m fairly certain I’ve read solicits after the event that mentions Kevin, so I’m pretty sure he comes out of this alright…but if he doesn’t, I’m rioting.

Task Force Z #1

It’s weird, for a book that’s labeled as part of an event, we really don’t see a lot of the stuff that’s in the event. It’s almost as if they cynically added this book to the event checklist to get unsuspecting people to buy it! :thinking:

Seriously though, while the Fear State connection is tenious at best, this was a decent start to an intriguing sounding series. The idea of Red Hood, the “Robin who died,” dealing with zombie supervillains is a bold one and can either be really cool or really dumb depending on the creative team. So far I would say there is just enoug of intriguing mystery to want to see where this is going, which is probably what the intend was.

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I agree that the Vile parasite doesn’t really add to Fear State, but I kind of feel like that storyline went on too long. Tamaki’s Tec run is great, but that particular part of it should have ended a lot sooner than it did.

The Phillips Harley run has been quite good! I just wish I could figure out how to put the whole Fear State run together in order - I THINK it happens after the Ram V Catwoman arc, but I’m not 100% sure. Kevin is such a great creation from the run!

I wouldn’t count Task Force Z at all - surprised that it is. Weird! The series is quite fun, though! Or miniseries, I guess.

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Batman #116

Again, this definitely pushes the plot along better…I think. I think the problem I’m having in terms of the pacing of the event is that I’m not sure if that’s because of all the tie-ins or if the main story itself doesn’t have a lot in there. I think once I’m done reading the whole event, I’ll read through the main Batman issues to see how different it feels.

Anyway, there’s some good action with Ghost-Maker fighting the Magistrate, and there was some good interaction with The Scarecrow…well, before he got cacked by Peacekeeper 01. It’s kind of a shame, since this is supposed to be his event, but it is interesting to see the goon sort of take on the main villain role right now. Plus who knows, Crane could still have some tricks under his dirty, straw-covered sleeves. I’m also looking forward to seeing where the Ivy and Ivy interaction goes.

As for the Batgirls back-up, this reminded me of when this first came out, I heard people getting mad about the Clocktower being blown up and people genuinely thinking that DC was killing off Steph and Cass. Oy, that was dumb. Anyway, it was nice to see Cass and Steph interact like this and I like the sort of status quo that these issues were setting up for Batgirls.

Speaking of the Clocktower, this also reminded me of War Games when the Batman editorial decided to blow up the Clocktower in that story…without telling Gail Simone, who was writing Birds of Prey at the time. If I remember right, she was PISSED, and had her book moved to the Superman office at the time, which is partly why the book moved to Metropolis at the time. I’m sure that it was planned properly here in Fear State, but it does give off a similar vibe.

Arkham City: The Order of the World #2

This was a really good, creepy issue. I like how it takes these over the top and crazy superhero/villain ideas and tweaks them in such a way that it feels frighteningly possible. I think the best example of that is some drug addicts capturing Doctor Double X and using his energy form/powers to get high. Like, of course that’s some skeevy crap that would go on if people with that kind of power existed.

Doctor Joy and Ten-Eyed Man’s dynamic is also interesting. Ten-Eyed is just as creepy as before, but Joy is interesting, because you can’t really tell if she’s still in the right state of mind or if she’s going native. I also liked how they explained what “Arkham City” means in this series – but you thought they were just using the video game name to market it! I mean, I’m sure it helped, but still, curious to see where this series goes.

Batman: Urban Legends #9

First, there’s a pretty strong end to the Batwoman story…or should I say Red Alice? It was interesting seeing her sort of recognize and embrace both sides of herself in a way that feels like it could be a good step for her…or it could allow her to fall back into the depths of madness. It’s superhero comics, so, y’know, it can go either way. I will say I was a little disappointed because I thought Cassandra was also going to be in this tale, which would have been interesting, given what happened in Tynion’s Detective Comics, but you can’t have it all, I suppose.

Meanwhile, while Tweedledee and Tweedledum’s story doesn’t really factor into Fear State, it has perhaps the scariest foe of them all…the American healthcare system. :scream: Seriously, I wasn’t too sure about this story at first, but it got more interesting seeing characters that are normally bit roles take a spotlight in a story that can be quite sympathetic.

Azrael’s story was interesting – I think I liked the version of Azrael we saw in Tynion’s Detective Comics and I don’t really see how he went from that to this (maybe it’s explained in Justice League Odyssey? I have to read that run one of these days). But still, it’s pretty well done, I liked how the book takes care to pit itself in continuity, like mentioning books previously read for this event like Arkham City and Task Force Z. Definitely curious to see who this angel lady is.

Finally, the Outsiders story was cool. I dug the framing device of Future State Duke telling the Fearful how his past was changing as it was happening, definitely got the Ozymandias vibe with the whole “We did it 35 years ago” bit, in a good way. I kind of felt like characters like Tim and Clownhunter were a little extraneous, didn’t really add much to the story, but nothing too bad. I am a little curious as to what horrific alternate future the Outsiders were fighting in the end. I don’t think I would mind seeing a continuation of that.

I Am Batman #3

This was a solid mid issue – it had some good action sequences, a couple of interesting character moments, and I liked how this continues to get better at continuity, with how Ridley fits the Arkadine plot that’s been going on since Second Son in with Simon Saint and the Magistrate.

I also liked how the story uses the themes of the overall event in terms of the people we see as part of Seer’s army trying to take out this juvie hall, and how it’s filled with normal people who life has ground them down to accepting something, anything to feel special. It’s used exceptionally well with the Anarky shooter, who tries to cheer Jace’s mom up by saying killing the guy who was going to kill her made her special too. Yeeesh.

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