Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Art: Jorge Jimenez, Tomeu Morey, and Clayton Cowles
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: November 1st, 2022
Failsafe has countered every move Batman and the Justice League have attempted. Is the Dark Knight out of options on…Earth? Let’s dive into Batman #129 by Chip Zdarksy as the bestselling Failsafe arc continues! In the back-up, we travel back to the early years of the Dark Knight Detective, revisiting his most ppsychedelic/mind-breaking period and the dawn of his backup protection system…ZUR-EN-ARRH!
Batman #129 begins with some rather unique starting points for a Batman comic that were pretty interesting. For those unaware, Batman is doing his best to dodge Failsafe and regroup by hiding out with Aquaman of all people. Readers, this is a pair that I haven’t seen too much of and I really liked Zdarsky’s take on the character as well as their pairing. This scenario was certainly unexpected but extremely welcoming.
However, the odd setups get a bit more perplexing as Batman #129 ventures toward the Watchtower, which has also been almost nonexistent in recent years of DC Comics. I couldn’t help but be impressed as to the range of this opening arc, as well as Zdarsky to take fans from Gotham to Atlantis, and now the Watchtower. A story that began so small has developed into something so incredibly unique, fast-paced, and exploding with such action that fans will find themselves mesmerized by how creative, clever, and suspenseful Zdarsky has been able to open his run on Batman.
However, with all the positives comes a take this reviewer is lukewarm on. Again, it’s not necessarily a negative yet but it has felt a bit different involving Batman. He doesn’t seem very self-confident in his approach with Failsafe. Granted, he’s practically fighting himself. Nevertheless, his assurance is extremely low. Yet this reviewer appreciates this version of Batman and watching his mind work through each and every step like a huge, suspenseful chess match between Batman and himself.
Jimenez’s formats are comprehensive, and broad, and communicate a large scope from the streets of Gotham to Atlantis and even the Watchtower. Jimenez finds a way to bring to life a world that appears both ominous and thrilling at the same time. Additionally, Jimenez’s art rounds out the narrative well and finds a way through the expansive design to still incorporate high levels of detail alongside his style which mixes a sense of realism and Saturday Morning cartoon that seems to flow like a steady stream. Almost as if his technique is malleable and fluid, Jimenez brings the story to life alongside Zdarsky’s stellar writing that makes Batman #129 one of the best books every week it’s out.
Batman #129 continues to take the Dark Knight to all new places with intensity and fast-paced action that is sure to keep new and old readers thoroughly engaged. Zdarsky’s take does offer some interesting monologuing at times from Batman but the almost lack of confidence, questioning every step or action, coupled with his inconsistent demeanor makes Zdarsky’s Batman appear more human. Readers, I haven’t been this excited about the Batman series since Tom King began back in 2016. It’s time to hop back on board. And, feel free to use this issue as the motivation. Moreover, Zdarsky does a fantastic job summarizing events to this point. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!