Batman #133 from DC Comics continues Bruce’s dark adventure in an alternate Gotham full of drugged citizens and slightly altered versions of his Rogues Gallery. Chip Zdarsky writes the two stories in this issue. The main tale is drawn by Mike Hawthorne, with inks from Adriano Di Benetto, and colors from Tomeu Morey. Clayton Cowles lays down the pristine, perfect lettering for both.
We open with other Earth Riddler and the Arkham cops harassing a citizen with riddles. In comes, the Bat-Man, our dear Bruce, still dimensionally challenged and trying to make sense of things. The introduction is sound and what we’re familiar with. The shadows. The voice in the dark. The violence. Cute that Bruce knows Riddler’s real name and uses it to instill fear in him. This is a great opening by Zdarsky, the art by Hawthorne is good, clean, and potent work with clear inks from Di Benetto. Morey’s colors are perfectly sunlit. Cowles lays out lettering and SFX with flawless precision.
But we’re still in this world, this other Gotham without a Batman. And from the look of things, this will continue for a few more issues. I still wonder if Failsafe zapped Bruce here on purpose, then…why? Because so far, there’s nothing to show he’s here for a reason or to overcome what the robot deemed Batman’s failure. So, for now, it appears random. That’s not bad. But it also isn’t great, and I’d love to get on with what Batman needs to do next. Find Failsafe, or contend with the perceived failings. Or make sure he has no other deadly surprises in the Batcave in his world. Okay, that’s my one quip. Rant over.
Batman #133 is still a fun read. The overall story in this world is great. Red Mask reveals some moves that are very telling (and frightening). Catwoman is becoming interesting. And Bruce navigating this Gotham is getting very good. While I admire Bruce’s dedication to justice, it’s weird he spends little time trying to get back home. He’s made worse decisions in his life. All things considered, this storyline is building up to whatever the heck Red Mask is really doing to people and Batman closing in to confront him. So I’m eager to see how this all goes down and what will become of this Gotham afterward.
You might recall the last issue that Robin (Tim Drake) stepped into the Multiverse Accelerator…and vanished. He entered another dimension, too, on the lookout for the Dark Knight, but ended up in another world where the Toyman lurks. He’s also been gathering dimensionally displaced people, but not for good reasons. Robin races to equip them with the tools to send them back home. However, he’s also gotta bring back To, and he’s less than willing to go along with the plan.
Miguel Mendonça is a concise, streamlined artist who makes Robin appear mature and resolute. Every panel is fresh, with just the right amount of lines of grit on the captives’ clothing. Toyman seems menacingly plain, hence his appeal. Roman Stevens layers this art with some poppy colors that make the story creepier in the day glow setting. And, of course, Cowles sets it all off with proper lettering. I hope soon Batman and Robin will be fighting crime together again, as it’s rare nowadays.
Things seem to be slowly getting there. I really like these stories. Perhaps I’m looking too hard for a reason behind them, but ‘Failsafe’ was too epic to ever forget and ended, to me, suddenly. Whatever Bruce has to do to get home, let’s go. But for you fans out there, this is an issue worth getting for the overall story, the settings, great new takes on established villains, and lovely visuals.
Batman #133 is available now wherever comic books are sold.
But for you fans out there, this is an issue worth getting for the overall story, the settings, great new takes on established villains, and lovely visuals.
William J. Jackson is a small town laddie who self publishes books of punk genres, Victorian Age superheroes, rocket ships and human turmoil. He loves him some comic books, Nature, Star Trek and the fine art of the introvert.