DC reveals how Batman is going to leave franchise

Ben Affleck (Batman / Bruce Wayne) in Zack Snyder's Justice League. Photograph by Courtesy of HBO Max
Ben Affleck (Batman / Bruce Wayne) in Zack Snyder's Justice League. Photograph by Courtesy of HBO Max /

Batman: Fear State Alpha begins with a major blow to the Bat-Family and sets up the rest of the series. Is this the beginning of the Dark Knight’s reported departure from DC Comics?

Batman: Fear State has been teased since DC’s game-changing Future State. The idea of the Magistrate and Peacekeeper 01 began there and continued into the current Batman series. Now, the series has begun and it has also resulted in some game-changing developments.

Batman: Fear State: Alpha No. 1 showed everyone how Simon Saint and Scarecrow got together and what Fear State really is.

What is Fear State?

In the beginning of the issue, we see Dr. Jonathan Crane and Simon Saint in Arkham Asylum. Simon tries to smooth talk Crane and fails. He then talks to him straight, telling him that Crane’s idea of giving society a “shock to their system” would help people evolve. That shock was fear. Some places wouldn’t be right for this experiment. However, Gotham is perfect for the experiment, especially after what Bane and Joker did to the city.

At first, Crane seems skeptical. He then asks for a large sum of money, access to the Mad Hatter’s work, a “good amount of straw, burlap and rope” (we can assume for his costume), a bunch of chemicals and a way to mask his escape from Arkham. Which leads us to the next section.

The A-Day and Fear State connection

Batman intervened thinking that The Joker was involved. He went through his normal protocols but this ended up making the situation worse as he inadvertently caused the fire. With this, the Mayor of Gotham now had probable cause to ban masked heroes and start Simon Saint’s Magistrate program. And as it turned out, it wasn’t the Joker; it was Simon Saint’s plan to get Crane out of Arkham Asylum.

In Joker No. 5, Joker tells James Gordon that he didn’t blow up Arkham Asylum. Saying that he had more creative ways to do it. He said he was framed because the people got wind of his plans and it scared them. In some ways, he’s right. Fear State: Alpha began with Simon Saint and Scarecrow discussing how fear can make Gotham stronger. It appears that they’re preparing the citizens for whatever The Joker is planning next. But this is a plan that won’t work. Joker is scary and nothing will change that. Even if Gotham is less frightened than they were before.

James Tynion IV, The Woods, Horror, The Walking Dead, Horror comic books, DC Comics, Batman
SMITHTOWN, NY – MAY 02: Batman Eternal Writer, James Tynion IV and Earth 2: World’s End writer Marguerite Bennett, Signing For DC Comics Free Comic Book Day Special Issue at Fourth World Comics on May 2, 2015 in Smithtown, New York. (Photo by Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for DC Entertainment) /

Fear State begins

Back in the Clock Tower, both Batgirls and Barbara Gordon were trying to get information out to the public and organize the Bat-Family. Before they could, however, someone took over the communication, posing as Barbara. They told all of Gotham that Batman is dead, the mayor is hiding, Scarecrow is on the loose, not to trust anyone with a bat on their chest, and that the water and air is poisoned. The transmission to Gotham ended by saying that only they, the Gotham citizens, can save themselves. And with that, Scarecrow’s Fear State experiment has officially begun.

The Bat-Family never received the message from Barbara Gordon. Who knows what’s going through their minds. They might not believe it’s Barbara, but they’re certainly worried, resulting in more fear and certainly adding to Scarecrow’s plan.

Whoever sent this let Barbara Gordon know that they are the new Oracle and then blew up her equipment. It’s clear that the Scarecrow and Simon Saint had all of their bases covered. This writer can’t help but be impressed with everything they’ve done.

At the end of the issue, Batman narrowly escapes Scarecrow. Unfortunately, he has fear toxins in his system, the Bat-Family can’t organize via radio or phone, and Gotham believes that he is dead. That’s a heck of a way to start things off.

Get excited about Batman: Fear State

This is undoubtedly just the beginning for Batman: Fear State. Everything that happens over the next few months is likely going to affect everything in Batman’s future well through 2022. We already know that writer James Tynion IV is leaving DC Comics after this run. With his departure, he’ll also be setting the wheels in motion for Bruce Wayne to leave Gotham and for a new Batman to step in. How and why he leaves will be decided in Fear State.

Another thing that should get fans excited about the series is the characters involved in it. On top of the typical Bat-Family members you’ll see some of the newer Bat-Relatives as well.

Moreover, Harley Quinn and Catwoman will be teaming up to reconnect Poison Ivy’s two sides. Without Ivy, they can’t save Gotham. On the subject of teaming, Miracle Molly and Ghost-Maker coming together should also be interesting. Both of them are new characters with different views on how to help Gotham City. And, according to CBR.com Jace Fox is going to turn people against Batman. If this is true, it could make sense that Bruce would leave. It could also mean that Jace will take up the mantle to make up for his mistakes.

All in all, Batman: Fear State is gearing up to be one of the more important moments in the Dark Knight’s life. As bad as things are, there’s something readers should remember: This is just the beginning, things are going to get worse for the Dark Knight before they get better.

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What do you think? Are you looking forward to Batman: Fear State? Let us know in the comments below.