Batman: Gotham City's RoboCops Are Already Out of Control

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Batman #112, on sale now from DC Comics..

The Magistrate hasn't even been active in Gotham for more than 24 hours and they've already lost control of the situation. Simon Saint's plan to bring a private police force to Gotham City almost went off without a hitch but he was outplayed by the Scarecrow, who had been taking full advantage of Saint's arrogance to bring about his desired Fear State. When Peacekeeper-01 was ordered to stop him, Scarecrow pumped him full of fear toxin, setting him loose into the city and leaving the Magistrate to scramble to get their walking, talking armory back under control -- proving that they are completely unprepared to protect the city.

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When Scarecrow turned on Saint, Saint was surprised, especially when quickly Scarecrow dispatched Peacekeeper-01 in Batman #112 by James Tynion IV, Jorge Jimenez, Tomeu Morey, Clayton Cowles. The master of fear directly injected the highest concentration of fear toxin he had ever administered directly into Peacekeeper-01, absolutely sending him over the edge and quite possibly causing permanent damage to his psyche. Peacekeeper-01 fled, hallucinations driving him towards the city and leaving Scarecrow to continue his plans. But how the Magistrate responded proved that they are paper tigers in a storm.

Simon Saint was scrambling to regain control of the situation, pumping out propaganda to assuage everyone's fears. When that failed, he cut off communications completely to prevent word of Peacekeeper-01's rogue status from leaking to the general public. But this revealed the fatal flaw of the Magistrate: Simon's arrogance. He had always assumed that his program was what was best to save Gotham, manipulating the media, the politicians and the citizens of Gotham towards his endgame, but completely failed to make sure that he was prepared for the aftermath.

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His most dangerous agent was loose on the streets with bleeding-edge military technology and hallucinating everything around him, fear and paranoia driven to extremes beyond the ordinary human's ability to cope with. And the Magistrate had no way to track or disarm him, having built him specifically to hide from even the Batman. But Simon apparently neglected to tell his engineers to create a backdoor to their most dangerous weapon, having assumed the job would just be done.

There's an old saying, "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail." Batman has used this saying once when speaking to Damian Wayne, but the quote originates from Benjamin Franklin. Simon's arrogance in assuming he had everything accounted for cost him his most valuable pawn at the most critical point of his ascension. If Peacekeeper-01 turned his weapons on Gotham's citizens and word got out, the Magistrate would be over before it ever truly began. He knows that, he just didn't think it was possible for things to go so wrong so fast.

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This demonstrates a lack of understanding of the city he has been trying to "save." Up until this point, Simon has been operating alongside Gotham's villains. He hasn't had to deal with them throwing wrenches in his plans at every turn like Batman has. And yet despite using the aftermath of the Joker's latest attack as a pretext for his Magistrate and seeing how effective Scarecrow was at playing the city like a fiddle, he still underestimated what the city was capable of throwing at him, thus allowing the situation to escalate to catastrophic levels.

His reaction was even more foolish. Cutting off all contact with the outside world and giving Scarecrow exactly what he wanted. But his main concern was Peacekeeper-01 and the Magistrate's image, not the millions of lives that were caught in the middle of his plans. And so he decided to fix the problem... by not learning from the mistakes that created them in the first place. Simon enhanced his assistant, Ricardo, transforming him into Peacekeeper-X, another robocop that will undoubtedly be overwhelmed by Gotham's darkness. All because the Magistrate underestimates the beast it is trying to wrangle.

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Amer Sawan (612 Articles Published)

Amer Sawan is a reader, writer, and gamer and lover of all things nerdy from Florida. He is a graduate from the University of Florida with a B.A. in English. He has spent the past year writing for CBR. In his free time Amer enjoys playing Dungeons and Dragons with his friends, both as a Dungeon Master and as a player. Follow him on twitter @AmerSawan3 and feel free to comment on article suggestions.

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