Monday, June 3, 2024

Batman #148 Comic 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: June 4, 2024

Batman #148 concludes Batman's conflict with Failsafe by gathering his family for a desperate and risky assault on Blackgate Prison. 

Is Batman #148 Good?

Well, that was fast and a tad bit confusing. Chip Zdarsky brings the on-again/off-again conflict with FailSafe to a seemingly definitive end that sets everything almost back to the status quo in Gotham City. Does this issue mark a turning point that lays the foundation for Absolute Power? Maybe, but not in the way you think.

When last we left Bruce Wayne in Batman #147, Bruce regrouped in an off-the-grid cabin in the woods, giving him time to invent a new Bat-suit. The only Robin with the know-how to figure out Bruce's hiding spot and bring him supplies was Tim Drake. Meanwhile, Damian eventually figured out Failsafe wasn't really his father, but before he could stop the unstoppable robot, Damian was captured. Failsafe then introduced Damian to his own Robin, a younger, cloned version of Bruce Wayne.

In Batman #148, we begin with a brief flashback showing the subtle manipulations Daniel Captio used to convince a young Bruce Wayne why the Zur En Arrh construct was a necessary safeguard to protect the life he was building. Eventually, young Bruce agreed to follow Captio's guidance, leading to the chaos we see today.

Now, Mayor Nakano and the new Police Commissioner Vandal Savage (no, it doesn't make sense) exchange heated words over Batman's authoritarian moves. The Failbots guard every road in and out of the city, and a forcefield around the border prevents outside intervention. Failsafe has cut Gotham off from the rest of the world. However, Savage is old enough to know when to call in reinforcements, so he reaches out to Amanda Waller.

Elsewhere, the real Batman calls in his Robins to strategize a plan of attack while Batgirl and Signal battle with the Failbots blocking the roadways. The plan is simple - hit Failsafe with a coordinated attack between Batman and Red Hood while Nightwing taps into Blackgate's network for a cyber-attack, and Tim Drake frees Damian.

Surprisingly, the plan works exactly as intended. Tim frees Damian so the two Robins can gang up on and defeat the young Bruce Wayne clone. Nightwing gives Oracle the opening she needs to destroy Failsafe's machine designed to "cure" Batman's Rogues. Batman and Red Hood attack Captio and Failsafe head-on, but there's a tweest.

Red Hood is killed when he takes a direct hit to the face by Failsafe. However, Jason's death was part of the plan as Bruce worked in a small amount of Lazarus serum in his suit to resurrect him. Failsafe, recognizing he killed someone, completely shuts down, and Captio gets knocked out.

Commence the hero pose of the Bat Family, finishing with "The End."

"Wait! What? Failsafe is deactivated? No Cliffhanger? All that buildup and all it took was for Failsafe to kill someone? What if it had killed Batman in any previous battle?" you might smartly ask.

These are all good questions. Sadly, Chip Zdarsky addresses none of them. You could presume that Amanda Waller arrives to clean up the mess and confiscates Failsafe to do with as she's fit, but none of that presumption is confirmed or denied here. In effect, this is one of the most unsatisfying and rushed endings I've seen in some time, and that's saying something regarding DC.

This ending has all the hallmarks of Zdarsky getting orders from on high to wrap it up to make way for what comes next, whether he has room to tell the story or not.

What's great about Batman #148? For better or worse, Batman is back in Gotham, his relationship with Jason appears to be on the mend, and the Bat Family got to try on a bunch of nifty new versions of their classic costumes.

What's not so great about Batman #148? In fairness, most of the pieces line up, but you left with several glaring omissions.

If all it took for Failsafe to shut down was to kill someone, couldn't have Batman faked his death or the death of another very early on?

Why do the Robins have new suits?

Captio utters another "magic" phrase, but it doesn't appear to do anything but cause Bruce a brief bit of pain. What was the point?

What was the curing machine supposed to do to Batman's Rogues?

Is Vandal Savage still the commish and the owner of Wayne Manor now that the story is completely done? Why did Zdarsky bring in Vandal Savage when he effectively did nothing?

The more you noodle over Zdarsky's run, the more you find one dangling thread after another that made no sense, didn't develop, or got wrapped up in the shortest of shortcuts.

How's the Art? Jimenez does a great job of giving readers exciting, action-packed visuals with dramatic panels and strong character acting. Plus, the new Robin costumes may not be everyone's cup of tea, but they look cool enough for the moment, although we'll likely never see them again.

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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Final Thoughts

Batman #148 brings Chip Zdarsky's first major villain arc to a close with big fights, family hugs, great art, and a slapdash sprint to wrap it all up in time for Absolute Power. Never in the annals of comic history has a villain with so much potential been so utterly squandered.


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  1. Failsafe's mission was to kill Batman if he ever killed someone.

    Failsafe was not the one who killed Jason, it was Zur and Failsafe killed him as that was his purpose.

    You see, Zur took over Failsafe's body but could not remove the program, only lay his mind over it. And once Zur killed someone, that Program reasserted itself and deleted Zur's mind.

    That was Bruce's plan. It's all explained in the issue. Also, Bruce created his new Batsuit as well as suits for Robin, Red Hood, and Nightwing. You can see them on the table behind Bruce when the family reunites with him in the cave.

  2. Part 1: Horrible. I went onto this with an open mind, considering I heard different accounts about this issue but I wasn't ready for this level of let down, I truly genuinely thought that despite all the other previous issues not making any sense, all the out of character moments to set this up, Zdarsky would at least write an emotional and exciting finale. I was prepared to say none of this set up made sense to get this payoff but at least he writes good payoffs but that didn't happen! Not even close. No, still even now and no matter how much Captio drones on and on it still doesn't make sense for Batman to consent to dividing his psyche with different egos business and as I have said over and over before not only it is out of character for him to compromise his mind and his mastery over himself that is a pillar of who batman is, them lampshading it with Bruce being reluctant makes it worse. This final and Batman's monologue to his family just outlined how out of character this whole plot was. It actually reminds me of a plot point in the Once Upon A Time series where Regina split her evil queen persona into a different character, and that way "cured" herself of all that she had done, it was still stupid there despite how horrible and nonsense that show had become and fans hated it and it is more so here but fans for some reason don't mind.

    The fact that now Bruce is supposedly "cured" of his conflicts because of this is nonsense (conflicts being his family taking a very very weird stance that it's ok to rob the rich and their property as criminals and train goons who worked for psychopaths who killed and tortured to be more efficient robbers and Batman having the audacity to not be ok with it cause he was a direct victim of said mentality). Also if Zur is supposed to be the perfect Batman then why would he kill? And if he did then why didn't he kill any of the villains or Joker? What was all that talk cone young Bruce gave Damian at the start of this same issue then? Wasn't that based on Zur programming? And if he is as smart and trained as Bruce then why didn't he know that killing someone would make failsafe override him especially since he built it? Wasn't he supposed to read every tactic Batman came up with cause he is technically Batman??? And as if having Batman create Zur not be enough of an out of character story, did we really have to add free usage of The Lazarus Pit to it too?? Anyone who has read anything form Batman knows that he would never consider using it unless after someone inevitably died and even then only in very very emotional or specific circumstances and even with Bruce wanting to think outside of the box to outsmart Zur he wouldn'tconsider something this drastic out of all the ideas ( isn't this the whole reason he parted ways with Talia in Ram V's detective comics? Are any of the Batman writers aware of the other titles?) No way he would ever let Jason of all people willingly die and use the lazarus pit. He wasn't even fine with temporarily stopping Dick's heart to stop them all blowing up, why on earth would he consider the Lazarus pit when there was dozens of ways to fake someone being dead to bring Failsafe back without someone actually dying, Zdarsky himself showed us with the penguin stuff at the beginning of the whole Failsafe arc himself!!! Every issue this run has been like this, nothing makes sense and everyone is out of character and the story is not enjoyable on top of it.

    1. Part 2 One thing this whole run did cure was me wishing for more batfamily in batman comics, fortunately due to the diligent work done by King, Howard, Taylor and Zdarsky, I now can safely say that after being a longtime batfamily fan, I am more than happy to not see so much as a shadow of them in Batman's book for some years except for maybe Damian. Everyone, from Bruce to Commissioner 'no it's fine I am a criminal and don't even have a police badge' Savage were absolutely ridiculous and ooc( the fact that Tom King writes Nightwing better than Zdrasky is something that I can't come to terms with). As always I will say again I have nothing against the writers personally and this is me just criticising their writing, so no personal attacks intended in this review. My score 2 out of 10 (and that's only for the art, sadly no part of the plot this issue worked with the exception of maybe Damian hugging Bruce but I have grown jaded to this moments without proper setup beforehand to earn it)

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