Chip Zdarsky has been setting the table, and now it’s time to feast.
This week’s BATMAN #139 kicks off a new arc, appropriately titled “Mind Bomb”. It’s leading us to believe the many teases of Zur-en-arrh up to this point are about to get paid off. Sure, that’s the sell, but there’s also a murder-mystery for Batman to solve, bringing him face-to-face with The Clown Prince of Crime.
It’s been no secret Zdarsky has been building to Zur-en-arrh in this title. This “Batman backup” has popped up in previous arcs, gotten a “cool” nickname in “Zur”, and was heavily featured in the landmark BATMAN #900. Here, Zdarsky expands on what he’s prepping to deliver, showing us how The Joker has sensed it all along and looks to bring that version out to play. It’s unique, but I don’t know how I feel about it. I haven’t been a fan of ol’ “Zur”, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. I realize it’s a personal preference, so I’ll wait and judge this story as a whole.
Jorge Jimenez is delivering (once again) on every single panel. There’s great atmosphere, action, and settings. Investigating the murder scene oozed noir, and it was great to see the artist deliver on the smaller, quiet, and creepier scenes. It only builds to let him go crazy with the bigger ones. And when Joker peeks through the floorboards, oh man I’m in.
As always, I try to refrain from as many specifics as possible when reviewing this book, as I want you to experience it all firsthand. I was all in on this issue until a big “Zur” returns, but can understand it’s a personal preference.
Regardless, there’s genuine intrigue here, and some excellent art, that has me hooked enough to see the aftermath of this mind bomb going off. – Ryan Lower