There’s no denying Chip Zdarsky’s version of Batman is darker in mood and tone. The dude is downright morose, and that’s even more apparent with Batman#126 is out today. He’s also out of sorts as far as being prepared for anything, as Failsafe proves. Does this Batman have the ability to control the situation? These are the kinds of questions that you may be thinking about.
You’ll also be thinking about how cool Jorge Jimnez’s art is as Failsafe pushes Batman and his Bat-family more than ever. As Failsafe defeats Batman in seconds, the action picks up almost immediately. He also surprises Batman. Soon Robin, Batgirl, and more of Batman’s friends show up and are handily beaten. Jimenez does an excellent job capturing both the speed of the robot and the unrelenting violence that it inflicts on these characters. It’s honestly unnerving seeing how badly they’re beaten.
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Enough can’t be said about Jimenez’s use of textures, too. This world is closer to reality than many comics, thanks to Tomeu Morey’s colors. These textures add depth to the book and lift up elements.
This issue’s exciting role is due to Zdarsky’s well-drawn artwork, but also because Zdarsky frames them with a key caption. At the start, Batman is brooding through captions, reflecting on how they enact justice and bring good to the world more than he could have ever dreamed – because he has no dreams. It’s a dark angle on the Bat-family idea showing how Batman appreciates what they do but feels separated from their abilities on some scale due to his bleak mood and outlook.
This is further cemented when later in the issue, Batman says via caption, “I’ve softened. Surrounded myself with children.” That’s cold, even for Batman.
It’s a decidedly different take on the character who has in recent years warmed to being a father figure and aiding the younger heroes any way he can. You will see Zdarsky appears to be trying to separate Batman from other heroes in order to further isolate him. Considering his mental state on the final page, that’s going to be exciting to watch unfold as the series continues.
It’s through these captions and subtle hints at Batman’s psyche that the issue works. Much of the plot involves Failsafe–a villain we barely know–beating up the heroes. It’s not very complex, but thanks to the subtle character work, you feel satisfied by the end.
There’s also a backup, continuing Catwoman’s mission to help the Executor with Penguin’s will. She’s trying to find Penguin’s children, but they seem to be dying off. There’s a noir aspect that the story takes, creating a sense of mystery and defeat at every turn. Written by Zdarsky with art by Belén Ortega, the story flows nicely and draws you in. The story has a bright look thanks to Luis Guerrero’s colors, making it a little less noir though it matches the cartoony art style by Ortega. Throw in an interesting wrinkle that Penguin isn’t giving anything to his kids’ mothers, and you have an intriguing mission for Catwoman to see through.
For many years BatmanAs a series, it has assumed different identities and felt more like an ensemble. Batman#126 continues with the solo feel of the last issue. It’s funny to write that with most of Batman’s Bat-family showing up, but the captions don’t lie as Bruce Wayne is wrestling with dark thoughts and a growing need for isolation. Given the cliffhanger, Batman is on a darker path that’s exciting to see unfold.
‘Batman’ #126 sets Bruce Wayne on a darker, twisted path
For years Batman as a series has taken on different identities and even felt like an ensemble, but Batman #126 builds on the solo feel from last issue. Although it’s fun to see most of Batman’s Bat family show up, the captions aren’t accurate as Bruce Wayne is struggling with dark thoughts and a need for isolation. This cliffhanger indicates that Batman is on an even darker path, which is exciting to see unfold.
Continues to focus on Batman’s dark thoughts and isolating thoughts
The action captures both speed and brutality very well
Backup pulls you into the noir mystery
The action is mostly long with the captions adding complexity.
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