Review: BATMAN #115
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Colours: Tomeu Morey, Sarah Stern
Letters: Clayton Cowles, Becca Carey
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
Batman #115: Batman and Miracle Molly are all that stands between Gotham City and absolute insanity! But an unhinged Simon Saint brings all the resources of the Magistrate to bear on the Dark Knight…is victory at hand for the Scarecrow?
Back-Up: Batgirls Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown have each other’s backs no matter what-even if it means punching some Magistrate soldier butt, and putting an even bigger target on their backs. Meanwhile, a mysterious Anti-Oracle character finally makes contact directly with Babs and has a few things to say about the unethical nature of Oracle’s powers, and what they think should be done about it.
Batman #115 begins with Simon Saint becoming completely unhinged upon the death of Peacekeeper-X. The intensity of his reaction makes me wonder if there was more to his and Ricardo’s relationship, as it seems somewhat extreme response to the death of his former assistant. Perhaps Ricardo was a member of Saint’s family, or perhaps a lover.
Whatever, the case, it drives Saint over the edge. He no longer wants to clean up Gotham City, now declaring, “This city should be wiped off the face of the Earth!”. Unfortunately, fate drops a method of doing so in his lap at that very moment. He learns that Poison Ivy has a network of vines spread throughout the bedrock under Gotham, which she could use to level Gotham. So, Saint orders an attack on Ivy to provoke her into doing so.
I was pleased to spot a brief reference to the “No Man’s Land”” storyline, implying that that pre-Flashpoint storyline is indeed canon again. Hopefully, there still isn’t a lot of clarity about what DC history is canon and what isn’t. It’d be nice if DC gave us a clear outline of the current canon. But until then, it’s fun to look for these little hints and speculate over what they signify.
Meanwhile, Miracle Molly and Batman seek out the Unsanity Collective’s Mind Machine. Molly believes that Scarecrow’s plan hinges on using it on the citizens of Gotham to induce his Fear State. And as they hunt it down, the Magistrate attacks Poison Ivy’s sanctuary. Tynion is clearly drawing the threads together, as Fear State approaches its explosive conclusion.
A new backup story begins in Batman #115, starring the Batgirls: Barbara Gordon, Stephanie Brown, and Cassandra Cain. The three Batgirls face the fake Oracle, whose villain name has been revealed as Seer. We still don’t know who seer is, but the villain refers to herself as “her”. So, either Seer is a woman or identifies as one.
And Seer appears to know all their secrets, including their secret identities. She even goes so far as to mock Barbara by making herself appear as her father, James Gordon. Whoever Seer turns out to be, the knowledge she has accumulated through breaking into Barbara’s computer systems makes her extremely dangerous – not only to the Batgirls, but to the entire Bat-Family.
I very much enjoyed this opening chapter of Batgirls by Becky Cloonan and Michael W. Conrad. I hope that this backup feature is meant as a prelude to an upcoming Batgirls ongoing series. We really need to have a new Batgirl title, and the idea to have all three bearers of the name star together is a brilliant one.
I think that Tynion is getting close to the edge of drawing out the Fear State event a bit too long, so it’s probably for the best that he’s only got two more bi-weekly issues of Batman and the Fear State Omega special to finish off the core storyline. So, we’re almost at the finish line now.
Batman #115 is another great chapter of Tynion’s ambitious Fear State event. Tynion has positioned all the pieces on the board, and now it remains to be seen how the endgame plays out. Hopefully, the ending lives up to the build-up that he has given it. In any case, it will be an exciting blowout of a battle as Batman fights to save Gotham from the Scarecrow’s Fear State.