REVIEW: ‘Batman,’ Issue #129

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Batman #129

Batman #129 from DC introduces us to the reign of Failsafe and Gotham’s most famous characters damaged. Chip Zdarsky is the writer for both stories. ‘Failsafe, Part Five,’ is illustrated by Jorge Jimenez, with colors by Tomeu Morey and letters by Clayton Cowles. ‘I Am A Gun, Part Two,’ is illustrated by Leonardo Romero, with colors by Jordie Bellaire and letters by the omnipresent Clayton Cowles. We pick up ‘Failsafe’ where we left off: with Batman recovering in Atlantis while the Failsafe robot has locked down Gotham. 

That’s right. Failsafe runs Gotham City. It has outmaneuvered, outwitted, and defeated the Justice League and more heroes who dared to penetrate the metropolis and try to take the machine out. The bot stands supreme, waiting for the slightest sign of The Batman so it can take him down and fulfill its programming. Batman definitely did the job right, I mean, Zur-En-Arrh. The crazy background persona Batman made to handle extreme circumstances. Meanwhile, we find Batman, Bruce, not the crazy Zur, recovered in Atlantis next to Aquaman. The oceanic hero updates the Dark Knight on the situation and, thus armed, Batman begins to plan how to take down Failsafe.

With Zur-En-Arrh (sadly) out of the way, we get a return to Bruce Wayne and his thoughts on the problem. He’s not really vengeful, thankfully, more like melancholy. At one point, he knows that if he dies, Failsafe will shut down. He has no problem admitting to Arthur that this whole thing is his fault. He goes off to get the robot, and the conflict is beautiful, fast, and enjoyable. Zdarsky has given us plenty to work with since the story began allowing him to get right to the point. Action. There are a few interesting concepts throughout, showing how Failsafe has dealt with certain persons that make this villain ultra creepy, and I kinda hope it sticks around. This robot is more Batman’s version of Doomsday than Bane ever was.

Batman #129 is a gorgeous issue. Jimenez is lean and mean in the art and inks Batman deeply. I love his take on Aquaman and Atlantis, not to mention Failsafe. Morey is operating along darker hues, more so this issue than in previous ones, but the choices inject a more serious tone, and Cowles has a field day with not only grand SFX but blending them into the artwork. 

‘I Am A Gun’ finds Batman in the past, trying to contend with a murderous and unhappy Joker. Too bad Bats is in the middle of a mental crisis after his head was messed with, and the brand new Zur-En-Arrh persona is trying to break into his frontal lobe. I love how Zdarsky has made Joker Batman’s mirror image in this tale. Both men are broken in a way, and the plot ties them closer together to a degree. Batman vulnerable is a character piece we don’t get too often, and it’s nice to have Zur get more of a role now that he isn’t a part of ‘Failsafe’ this issue.

Such a colorful identity with such darkness makes for one amazing tale. Romero and Bellaire have created a disturbing Joker that doesn’t have a permanent grin but rather makeup, something reminiscent of the Joker from the old 60s TV show. This makes angry Joker all the scarier to behold, so it’s a brilliant artistic choice in terms of lines and color. Short-eared Batman looks lean, human, and smooth in motion. The overall visuals and lettering are technical works of clean, succinct talents who make it look easy.

Batman #129 is the continuation of one of the wildest Bat tales in some time, plus a new arc is one of its most disturbing that is making me appreciate Bruce Wayne…and make me more determined he needs to retire and live in peace. With Catwoman. Anyway, this is an amazing issue you should read. Zur-En-Arrh for life!

Batman #129 is available wherever comic books are sold. Go get yours!


Batman #129
5

TL;DR

Batman #129 is the continuation of one of the wildest Bat tales in some time, plus a new arc is one of its most disturbing that is making me appreciate Bruce Wayne…and make me more determined he needs to retire and live in peace. With Catwoman. Anyway, this is an amazing issue you should read.

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