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Batman's next big event storyline begins in August's Fear State

Batman Fear State covers
(Image credit: DC)

Recent Gotham City-centric plot threads from January and February's Future State and Infinite Frontier #0 collide this August in the Batman "horror-themed" event 'Fear State.' 

'Fear State' crosses over the ongoing Catwoman and Harley Quinn comic book series with a pair of new titles as the machinations of the redesigned Scarecrow come to a head, as he sends Gotham City "straight to Hell."

"Fear State not only continues the Scarecrow's vision of a fear-controlled Gotham but also Mayor Christopher Nakano's mission to protect the city with his ground-breaking deal with the Magistrate," reads DC's description.

According to the publisher, in addition to launching several new series and plotlines across the entire Batman family of titles, the event sets up "a new status quo for 2022!"

'Fear State' begins August 10 in the 40-page I Am Batman #0 by writer John Ridley and artist Travel Foreman. Presumably the launch of a new regular series, the title picks up on the events of The Next Batman: Second Son by the same creative team. 

Interestingly, Second Son began as a digital-first series.

"Jace Fox begins the march toward his destiny when he fights to protect Alleytown against the oppressive forces of the Magistrate, using Batman armor and tech he's found in Bruce Wayne's old base of operations, the Hibernaculum!" reads DC's description.

I Am Batman #0 will feature a main cover by Foreman and two variant covers by Dave Wilkins and Derrick Chew, respectively. 

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Batman Fear State covers

(Image credit: DC)
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Batman Fear State covers

(Image credit: DC)
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Batman Fear State covers

(Image credit: DC)
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Batman Fear State covers

(Image credit: DC)

'Fear State' then continues in August 17's Catwoman #34 by Ram V and Fernando Blanco.

"Alleytown continues to be the hotspot in Gotham City, with Selina Kyle's quest to keep her home safe beset on all sides, not only by law enforcement gone bad, but a potential invasion by the city's villains as well," reads DC's description. "And if those problems aren't enough, Batman makes the scene, breaking his and Selina's vow to give each other another one-year break."

Catwoman #34's main cover is by Yanick Paquette (DC previously incorrectly credited Matteo Scalera) and features a variant cover by Jenny Frison.

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Batman Fear State covers

(Image credit: DC)
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Batman Fear State covers

(Image credit: DC)

Part three is August 24's Harley Quinn #6 by Stephanie Phillips and Laura Braga.

"What would any crisis that threatens all of Gotham City be without Harley Quinn?" DC asks rhetorically. "Boring, that's what! The mistress of mischief and mayhem teams up with Catwoman to kick the Magistrate out of Alleytown for good!"

Harley Quinn #6's main cover is by Riley Rossmo and features a variant cover by Derrick Chew. 

And finally, August 31's 40-page Batman: Fear State Alpha #1 by James Tynion IV and Riccardo Federici wraps up the event's first month.

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Batman Fear State covers

(Image credit: DC)
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Batman Fear State covers

(Image credit: DC)

"The event over a year in the making begins...Fear State settles upon Gotham City, and no one is safe!" read's DC's description. "Overwhelmed by the dual threat of the Scarecrow and Peacekeeper-01, Batman and his allies have been one step behind since the events of Infinite Frontier #0...and with the arrival of a mysterious anti-Oracle and the return of Poison Ivy...Batman might have more than he can handle! "

Batman: Fear State Alpha #1 main cover is by Ben Oliver and features three variant covers by Dylan Teague, Jorge Jimenez, and Francesco Mattina.

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Batman Fear State covers

(Image credit: DC)
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Batman Fear State covers

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Batman Fear State covers

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Batman Fear State covers

(Image credit: DC)

Fear State will then expand to the core Batman title beginning in September with issues #112 through #117.

DC has provided a sneak peek at Batman 'Fear State' variant covers by Jorge Molina, which connect to form a linked image of "the allies and enemies that the Dark Knight will encounter throughout this must-read event!"

Batman #112-117 connected variant covers (Image credit: DC)

Fear State will make a bid to someday be counted among the best Batman stories of all time.