BATMAN #140 Review

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The mental struggles of Zur-en-arrh, topped with a real battle with the Joker, unfolds in this week’s BATMAN #140. While “Zur” has seemingly (physically) taken over Batman’s body, his mind has come Batmano a Batmano (a Batmano a Batmano), really leaning into a setup seen in BATMAN #135 (or 900), while ending in a tease that takes us back a few arcs.

Since taking over BATMAN in issue #125, writer Chip Zdarsky hasn’t been too subtle in his building toward Zur-en-arrh. Personally, I’ve never been a fan of “Zur”, and find the idea can sort of cave in on itself. With Zdarsky’s version, he’s leaning into it, and I think less is more, and prefer Morrison’s introduction/few issues with that Batman.

That’s not to say this issue isn’t good. I think it’s very entertaining. The bouncing back between Batman’s mental battle, and the physical altercation with Joker, is really cool. There’s some good dialogue, with a nice touch of knowing when it’s Batman and when it’s “Zur”. In his mind, there’s a clear message adding to the existence of these “foes”, hinting at something deeper Batman needs to confront.

It starts to feel a little too much at times, as well as lean into a character from a previous Zdarsky series (THE KNIGHT), who pops in out of nowhere. Meh.

I’ll tell you what isn’t “meh” though: Jorge Jimenez. His art is, yet again, fantastic. Every panel is striking. The action brings brute power, while his settings are also atmospheric and add to the mood. It’s a dark, gritty Gotham set piece that is usually always my preference. I can only imagine how quickly the artist wanted to work his magic when he saw the scripts, as it provides many moments for Jimenez to shine. And boy does he shine.

Overall, I’m still hesitant about this story, as its main plot isn’t something I truly enjoy (and the final panel certainly isn’t either). But there’s still enough cool stuff here that I can continue reading “Mind Bomb” with an open mind and judge it as a whole when it concludes. – 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.