Monday, December 4, 2023

Batman #140 Review


Written by: Chip Zdarsky
Art by: Jorge Jimenez
Colors by: Tomeu Morey
Letters by: Clayton Cowles
Cover art by: Jorge Jimenez (cover A)
Cover price: $4.99
Release date: December 5, 2023

Batman #140 joins the battle on two fronts. In the physical world, Batman, controlled by Zur-En-Arrh, dukes it out with the Joker. Meanwhile, Batman fights Zur-En-Arrhs from across the multiverse in his mind.
Is Batman #140 Good?

Chip Zdarsky appears to be getting the series back on track by following up on the seeds planted before Knight Terrors and Gotham War. The outcomes in Batman #140 aren't particularly shocking, but the series is headed in the right direction.

When last we left Batman, he tracked down a mystery killer to the home of a reclusive millionaire heiress to a toy doll company. Fighting his way through a menagerie of toy-ish traps, Batman eventually found the killer - the Joker - who taunted Batman to release his "true" self in the mental form of Zur-En-Arrh.

Now, Zur-En-Arrh chases Joker through the mansion with murderous intent. Lucie Hesson tries to snap Batman out of his mental conflict to no effect. When Zur catches the Joker, he inflicts possibly permanent damage that would make Bane proud. Meanwhile, Batman fights off the assembly of Zur-En-Arrhs he encountered when he hopped through the multiverse. With mental discipline and the help of specific memories, Batman was able to defeat the multiverse gang of Zur's. However, Batman wakes up to find his ordeals with backups are far from over.

Yes, if you're reading between the lines, [REDACTED] returns. Presumably, Zdarsky will now explain where it went, what it's been doing this whole time, and how Gotham simply returned to a status quo when [REDACTED] took it over. Will those answers be complete and satisfying? Doubtful, but every issue is a new opportunity to be pleasantly surprised.

What's great about Batman #140? The issue, in and of itself, is nothing special, but what's great about it is the potential. Are Joker's injuries as devastating as they appear? Does [REDACTED]'s return mean a return to the strength of Zdarsky's first arc? What does the fight in this issue mean for the future of Zur-En Arrh, and was it worth the (almost) year-long wait? All good questions that help build anticipation... IF Zdarsky can pay them off.

What's not so great about Batman #140? An issue with potential is great, but that also means the issue isn't strong enough to be memorable on its own. The fights are well done, and the setups are intriguing, but even the last page's return of [REDACTED] feels like a setup to a joke without a punchline. After a rough year on Batman, Zdarsky needs to take bigger swings to make up for a lot of bad storytelling.

How's the art? The art is excellent. Jorge Jimenez's eye for action and character acting is top-tier. Plus, Tomeu Morey earns bonus points for coloring a squad of Zur-EnArrhs with a challenging color palette while still making them look good.

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

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Bits and Pieces:

Batman #140 is the little acorn that could become the mighty oak if Zdarsky can keep the story going in the direction it's headed. The action is fierce, and several plot developments are introduced that have big potential for Batman and Joker, so it's on Zdarsky to pay off the setup.


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