Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Batman #121 Review


I Didn't See This Coming

Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Jorge Molina, Mikel Janin
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: March 1, 2022

I was looking forward to Joshua Williamson's run on Batman, and while I still am enjoying it enough, the story feels like it's going noplace slow.  With Chip Zdarsky taking over in July, this run looks like it was just a stopgap between Tynion's and Zdarsky's run.  However, Williamson is setting up bigger things here, and I am looking forward to the Shadow War crossover.  Let's check out Batman #121 and see if it was any good.

I'll start by saying that I hope the Shadow War ends up being good because this finale to the Abyss story was one of the worst endings I have ever read.  It's pretty evident that Williamson either lost interest or just decided to bail on this to get to the Shadow War asap.

If you're looking for solid explanations of things like how Batman was blinded or Abyss's power set, you will be disappointed.  Even the explained things were not explained well or were so forced, I just rolled my eyes.

Batman #121 begins with a flashback where Lex Luthor finds out about Batman Inc and devises his own plan.  It turns out that Abyss was a failed experiment to make his own Batman that he could control.  Unfortunately, Williamson throws this tidbit at the reader with no setup whatsoever, so it never has any real impact.  

That feeling continues as Batman squares off against Batman Inc and Abyss and says, "Code: Club of Heroes," and his former allies announce they were always undercover and loyal to Batman.  At first, I thought they were mind-controlled, and the phrase freed them, but no, they say they were pretending to go along with Abyss all along.  Why?  To see if there were more Abysses, of course.

While all this is going on, Cayha is a hero for calling in backup, even though the whole Badhnisian police department was paid off by Lex and against Batman.  So, were they pretending as well?!?

Of course, Lex covered his tracks, but what about Abyss?  Well, the villain blows powder on Batman, giving him his sight back, talks about the darkness some more, and cries a bit that they just wanted to be like Batman.  Then they escape.  Luckily, Batman Inc. got a list of all the kidnapped people (I forgot that was even a thing), and everyone is saved.

The wonkiness continues as we get a partial conversation between Batman and Oracle that takes place after the Arkham Tower story, Batman asking Ghostmaker to take charge of Batman Inc. and a little lead-in to the Shadow War.  

Batman #121 was a horrible finale to Joshua Williamson's first Batman arc.  Seriously, this is one of the worst conclusions to any story I've read in years, and that includes that Red X bullshit in Teen Titans Academy!  This issue is so bad that I am suddenly more worried about the Shadow War crossover and everything attached to Williamson, including the big Dark Crisis Event.

The Maps backup continues to be good, and the art was good overall, but nothing got the bad taste out of my mouth left by this awful ending.

Make sure to listen to our Weekly DC Comics Recap and Review Podcast to hear us talk more about this book.  Just look up "Weird Science DC Comics" anywhere you listen to podcasts, and make sure to rate, review, and subscribe!

Bits and Pieces:

Batman #121 was one of the worst, most forced, and convoluted endings to a story I've read in a long time.  I am pretty sure that plans changed, and Williamson and Co. had to get out of this story fast, but it shouldn't have been so obvious.  This sort of thing should never happen, but having it happen with Batman is unbelievable!  Most of my score is for the Maps backup and the art because the main story was awful.



  1. It's Merlyn from CBRU here, I think the rating is a bit harsh, but not that much. Josh was so on the nose with the constant "in the dark" remarks, I felt like Batman was emo here and unless it's 2008, that isn't cool anymore (not that it ever was in the first place). I also laughed at how the Batman Inc. were just tools here, by the end of the issue they could have worked for Cayha if Josh wanted, they had no agency here as characters. Btw, I've sent you that email but you didn't respond, you could recommend me here some comic communities.

    1. https://www.reddit.com/r/DCcomics/

    2. Thanks! Reddit is not a good website for dialogue exchange but I'll check the other two. Sorry if I bothered you!

    3. no bother at all - the discord thing is a lot of different discords so you may have to feel them out a bot