Gotham City is under occupation in this week’s BATMAN #129.
As we saw at the end of the last issue, Batman is deep underwater in Atlantis while Failsafe tightens his grip on the city. Machines have taken over, and violence has poured into the street. Baiting Batman to return, Failsafe gets impatient and hits the deep seas to retrieve the Dark Knight. An ensuing battle knows no boundaries and ends on an interesting note.
I haven’t loved this first arc of Chip Zdarsky’s BATMAN run, but haven’t hated it either. There’s a lot of fun, and big action in each issue, but the story isn’t hitting as well as I’d like. I feel like it’s gotten a little complicated in explaining how Zur-en-arrh was created, why, how Batman’s not in control of it but then is, and the creation of Failsafe. In this issue, I feel like the writer got us confused about what exactly Failsafe is trying to accomplish here, other than getting Batman back. Thrown in with this is Batman telling us it’s what he would do/what Failsafe is programmed to do/etc. It just gets mucky to me.
The bright spot of this art is the action. There’s plenty of it, and this feels like a blockbuster of a story. And all of that action is perfectly drawn by Jorge Jimenez. This issue specifically takes us all over the globe, which really allows the artist to go bonkers. It’s all very fun, bright, and exciting. Whatever shortcomings I have about this book, the art is not it. Well done.
The Batman of Zur-en-arrh isn’t my favorite, but this backup story that Zdarsky is crafting has been very interesting these past two issues. It’s dark, intriguing, and illustrated in such a cool way. I’m all in on this.
Overall, the story gets a little mucky but the action and overall vibe of the book keeps me coming back. This is a fun book with great art. – Ryan Lower