Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Batman #128 Review



Written by: Chip Zdarsky
Art by: Jorge Jimenez
Colors by: Tomeu Morey
Letters by: Clayton Cowles
Cover art by: Jorge Jimenez
Cover price: $4.99
Release date: October 4, 2022

Batman #128 pits Failsafe against Superman and the Justice League in its relentless bid to take down Batman. Unfortunately, Zur-En-Arrh Batman has had a lot of time to plan and prepare for this moment, and he does not disappoint.

Is It Good?

How? How does Zdarsky's run feel like a bigger, weightier, more important, more impactful storyline than the current Dark Crisis event that's meant to be a sequel to Crisis on Infinite Earths? How does Zdarsky do it?

When you peel back the layers, Batman #128 is starting to shape up like a modern redo of the Batman: Tower of Babel storyline, wherein Batman developed a series of contingency plans to take out the Justice League if the JL ever went bad. In that story, Ra’s Al Ghul got his hands on the plans and made life very difficult for our favorite heroes.

Replace Tower of Babel Batman with Zur-En-Arrh Batman, replace Ra’s Al Ghul with Failsafe, and you effectively get the same story. This isn't a criticism of Zdarsky's quality, but this issue brings home just how similar the two stores are.

Still, Zdarsky's writing quality is top-notch as Failsafe all but decimates the Justice League in short order. The traps are clever, the dialog is dramatic, Failsafe makes the Terminator look like a child's toy in its ruthless pursuit, and the Justice League may have truly met their match. The Justice League, not just Batman, may have met their match, and most importantly, this issue makes you feel the weight of their defeat.

The losses feel important because every JL member gets a moment to step up to Failsafe and fail. The defeats aren't rushed, and the traps reflect clever preparation on Zur-En-Arrh Batman's part. By extension, Zdarsky appears to have thought the defeats through to make sure all the bases are covered, so you believe total defeat is possible.

Jimenez's art hits like a Mike Tyson haymaker in this issue. The superhero action is dramatic and kinetic, and the scene transitions flow beautifully for a fast-paced issue. We've said before that Zdarsky knows how to write scripts that accentuate an artist's strengths, and this issue is no exception.

About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.

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Bits and Pieces:

Batman #128 pits Failsafe against the entire Justice League for an updated (possibly better) version of Tower of Babel for a knockdown, drag-out fight that truly puts the JL on the defensive. The writing is clean, rapid-fire, and impactful, and Jimenez's art packs a punch.


1 comment:

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