Overview: Batman Special Edition (FCBD) #1 features an eight-page preview for Fear State, which sees Batman run in panic from Scarecrow’s new mind-control technology.
Synopsis (spoilers ahead): We open with a television ad from Saint Industries, claiming to believe in the “New Gotham City”, while Batman calls Oracle for help, as he believes Scarecrow has gotten into his brain, images of a giant Scarecrow chasing him through a deserted field, as Simon Saint introduces Peacekeeper-01 on the television. Batman manages to get to the Batmobile, injects himself with anti-fear-toxin, but continues hallucinating Scarecrow breaking his windshield. Coming to himself, Batman calls desperately for help.
Analysis: Though there’s not a whole lot to be gleaned from an eight-page preview story with Batman Special Edition (FCBD) #1, really more of a teaser trailer than a story, similar to the Batman Day preview for Batman and Robin Eternal in 2015, or the backup feature in Batman #85 in 2019. It gives a taste of the upcoming event, an important piece of information in the idea that Scarecrow is using mind-control technology, not a fear toxin, as his primary weapon, and a conclusion to the flash-forward sections of The Cowardly Lot, the prelude arc for Fear State. We also get some vivid design pages by Jorge Jimenez for Miracle Molly, the Gardener, Mr. Wyze, Peacekeeper-01, and Queen Ivy, plus a brief interview with Tynion. It also gives a really nicely laid-out checklist of titles included in the event from August to December. Rounding out the free issue are selected pages from I Am Batman #0 by John Ridley and Travel Forman, showing a street-level look at the events of Gotham City during Fear State, through the eyes of Jace Fox, continuing the adventures started in Second Son.
Editor’s Note: DC Comics provided TBU with a copy of this comic for review purposes. You can find this comic digitally and help support TBU in the process by purchasing this issue either through Comixology or Amazon.
Batman Special Edition (FCBD) #1
Providing an eight-page teaser for Fear State, background designs, interviews, and a checklist for the event, and a preview of I Am Batman, the Free Comic Book Day Batman Special Edition issue is a fun pamphlet for those interested in the next three months of Batman.