Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Art: Mike Hawthorne, Adriano Di Benedetto, Tomeu Morey, Jorge Jimenez, and Clayton Cowles
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: May 2nd, 2023
It’s Batman versus Red Mask in a brutal Gotham that’s never known hope! Can the Dark Knight overcome the terrifying infection that Red Mask has unleashed? Only one thing is certain: he won’t be able to do it alone. The conclusion to the bestselling “The Bat-Man of Gotham” is so big it could only be contained in an oversize #900 anniversary issue featuring the return of fan-favorite artist Jorge Jiménez and a wild collection of guest stars! Full of wild revelations and a new path for Batman, this is one issue you won’t want to miss! Let’s dive into Batman #135 by Chip Zdarksy to find out!
If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, then simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon as you read the Batman #135 Review.
Let me open with how Zdarsky treated the newly acquired missing hand of Batman. The explanation as to how he dealt with his hand getting cut off was a solid plot thread that added a ton of depth to the beginning of Batman #135. However, what appears to be the most intriguing aspect of the issue is the premise that Darwin Halliday can jump from Multiverse to Multiverse through this funky, unexplained gas. Yet, it also appears as though the Joker can see him in the process.
Moreover, he can jump through space and time almost as a secondary consciousness. So, is this what made the Joker crack in the first place? This idea of too many people in his head? This was a pretty heavy concept and something rather intense to think about if you really get down to its most elementary level. Zdarksy is casually implying that multiple personalities could simply be individuals who can tap into the minds of their “variants”. And this gas from Halliday can simply focus and direct where it goes. Granted, this is mere speculation at this point because nothing was definitely ironed out. However, it’s the thought that I just couldn’t shake while reading Batman #135.
Yet ultimately, readers find out that the Acme accident may have physically caused the look of the Joker but it’s Halliday and his gas jumping across time and space, connecting his mind to there’s, that could be the catalyst that splinters the brain of all the other “variants” causing the multiverse of Jokers. Plus, as Batman #135 unfolds, readers discover that Halliday somehow manages the ability to recreate Jokers across time and space which becomes pretty epic before the issue concludes.
THE BAD NEWS
Batman is strong and smart. However, even with a hand cut off, and after immediately dealing with Failsafe and Zur-En-Arrh, his stamina seems almost otherworldly. I know… I know… he’s Batman. Yet, he is only human. At some point, the idea becomes a bit too far-fetched, right? Alfred even points this out. Furthermore, Bruce is smart… but not necessarily Mister Terrific multiversal machine smart is he? So, now Bruce can manipulate Halliday’s tech to get home? That too just seems a bit far-fetched. Yes, Batman is smart but I never viewed his intellect as tech smart. Additionally, I don’t understand the ending of this issue at all. What was the point? Batman had a way home on his own. He didn’t need the final two pages whatsoever. Moreover, the final page is even more confusing due to the art. Was it just a cool image to end the arc while continuing to pay homage to 900 issues of Batman?
THE AWESOME NEWS
Batman #135 had numerous unexpected, timely, cameos with some of the absolute best art to match popping in for multiple pages to provide some insane vigor towards the end of the issue. However, it won’t last long before Batman jumps to something or someone else from page to page. This end will most certainly be something Batman fans will talk about for quite a long time. Zdarsky is undoubtedly playing to his fan base and trust me when I tell you, they’ll like it even down to the shark repellent. Plus, we see that Halliday not only has the ability to create Jokers but also to recreate Jokers that were once dead which is rather intriguing. But how? What’s the “science” behind that?
Overall, Zdarsky did an outstanding job for a 900th issue. Batman fans get a glimpse of multiple artistic renderings of the vigilante from multiple universe while tying together multiple Jokers in the process. So, from an artistic standpoint as well as a way to pay homage to the character, Zdarksy does a phenomenal job. That said, the actual story itself, its plot threads, and machinations, as to exactly how and why this is happening, were certainly a bit flat. The science and reasoning were a bit off as well as the explanation associated with how Halliday and Bruce were jumping across multiverses. More was definitely required to provide readers with a better understanding and purpose. Hopefully, Zdarsky can iron those details out in Batman #136. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!