BATMAN #145 Review

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Now that “The Joker: Year One” has wrapped, we return to our regularly-scheduled programming in the BATMAN title; Failsafe.

Ugh.

In short, Bruce Wayne remains locked up in a familiar prison, sharing a cell with The Clown Prince of Crime (who is still recovering from injuries sustained by Batman). Meanwhile, Gotham is introduced to a more extreme Dark Knight, while the Batfamily unites to discuss if it’s really Bruce under this cowl.

Writer Chip Zdarsky is doubling down on his Zur-en-arrh, Failsafe, and connecting to his story BATMAN: THE KNIGHT. Yes, it’s all connected. While I applaud talent for having the freedom to try new things, his story doesn’t feel new. It’s exploring more of “Zur” that Grant Morrison introduced years ago that (to me) didn’t need more exploration. It’s also having Bruce imprisoned while a “better” Batman patrols the streets of Gotham. Not to mention, this version is a robot.

Where does THE KNIGHT come in? A mentor from that story appeared in last month’s arc, and is apparently the genius that has mind F-ed Bruce and Joker to make them butt heads.

As Max Shreck said in Bill’s favorite movie BATMAN RETURNS, “Yawn”.

I can recognize a story not working for me and say it’s still a respectable story. What Zdarsky is doing here is losing me, quickly. He’s revisiting certain moments in Batman’s timeline, and trying to connect to a grander scheme. Maybe it doesn’t completely contradict those events, but it feels forced and extremely eye-rolling.

On the plus side, per the usual in these legacy Batman titles, the art was great! Jorge Jimenez never does a bad job and shines yet again. He has many quiet moments mixed in with some action and nails the characters and settings with ease. Art is never a problem on this title, and I’m happy to see that continue.

Overall, BATMAN under Zdarsky is definitely running its course for me. Failsafe has overstayed his welcome, robot Batman is annoying, Bruce behind bars is boring, and a master manipulator has been responsible for conflicts.

Thumbs down. – Ryan Lower

GRADE: C-