BATMAN #137 Review

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Crime is wrong.

But what if it’s targeted against bad people, is smaller in scale, and has dropped crime rates overall?

That’s the angle that’s causing heads to clash in Gotham City these days, specifically in what kicked off last month in THE GOTHAM WAR. BATMAN #137 ties in as the second chapter of this event, zoning in on Batman during this episode, and how he manages to face the hurdles of Catwoman’s criminals, his family, and a new tenant in Wayne Manor.

Admittedly, I’m skeptical of comic book events these days, especially when main titles have tie-in issues. For the most part, I don’t end up getting much out of them, and feel the issues are more forced than organic. In this case, the “event” is smaller in focus, therefore containing more focus on character than characters.

Chip Zdarsky writes this chapter quite well, and keeps us attached to Batman throughout, witnessing his confrontations as the “bad guy”. That’s a tough line to toe, but being smaller in scope allows Zdarsky to excel at the moral dilemma our hero is in here. Seemingly, everyone is against him, but no matter how much everyone pushes, Batman stands firm and pushes back.

Then there’s the Zur-en-arrh that Zdarsky keeps dropping in on us. I’d rather he didn’t, but it is what it is.

Jorge Jimenez is back on BATMAN and does another great job. He has become a go-to for big, splashy pages and still brings that here, even though everything is played out a little smaller in scale. I dig his character designs and settings, while his action remains fluid and exciting. The only hiccup I had in this book was with Dick Grayson/Nightwing. Somewhere along the line, he grew cannonballs on his shoulders and it seemed a bit distracting each time he was on a page.

Minor nitpick, yes.

Overall, this issue ties in well with this new battle in Gotham. A good dilemma that has supportive views on both sides, and our hero stands firm to his character. I’m in to see how this continues. – Ryan Lower

GRADE: B+

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Ryan Lower
Representing the Midwest, Ryan has been a BOF fan since 2003, and started contributing to the site in 2017. He is the host of “The Batman Book Club” podcast. Ryan has written reviews for comics, animated movies and TV series. He has also appeared on BOF podcasts and Social Hours for Batman discussions, reviews, and interviews. Thanks to BOF, he was able to meet and have a one-on-one discussion with his favorite artist, Lee Bermejo. Follow him on Twitter @lower_ryan.