BATMAN #146 Review

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If you’ve been following along, I’ve been optimistic about writer Chip Zdarsky’s BATMAN run, highlighting some of the stronger moments, while admitting some just “aren’t for me”, but that doesn’t mean the issue isn’t good.

I felt like that changed last month, and it’s carrying over again this month.

BATMAN #146 goes further to make sure “it’s all connected”, spending the first 9 pages of the issue linking a big plan to The Joker’s actions in DEATH IN THE FAMILY, THE KILLING JOKE, R.I.P., DEATH OF THE FAMILY, and more. It’s a big exposition dump, that’s more infuriating than interesting.

Now, let’s add in the doubling down on Zur-en-arrh and make sure we explain its origins (again), strengths, and weaknesses. It’s getting too technical, too boring, and too ridiculous that I can’t look past it and just enjoy the ride. It’s making the ride long and full of potholes that you’re hitting every 10 seconds at 50 mph.

To make sure I put in some positives, there is a good line at the beginning where it’s said people are alive because Batman and The Joker decided not to kill them. That’s an interesting point to think about, and does reign true. Also, Batman has some good dialogue and moments during the Blackgate scene, internally narrating his process of moving from section to section, and how “76 to 1” odds sound good to him.

Meanwhile, artist Jorge Jimenez continues the art on the book, and while it’s not bad, it’s noticeably lacking…..something…this issue. That Blackgate scene he brings his A-game for, but the story doesn’t really require splashy panels this time around. Perhaps the story restrained him here from getting to really go for broke.

Overall, Chip Zdarsky is a good writer, but this arc isn’t. It’s tiresome, focusing too much on connecting the past while simultaneously building on it to try something new. Yet ironically, it feels like we’ve been here before.

It feels like a mess, and I’m a tidy person. – Ryan Lower

GRADE: C-