Review: ‘Batman’ #127 Continues To Play The Hits

by Tony Thornley

In the last three issues of Batman I’ve noticed an interesting trend. It’s one that, if I’m correct, could point to some interesting things in the future for this title.

Chip Zdarsky,Jorge Jimenez, Tomeu Morey, and Clayton Cowles continue this new run, with a back-up by Zdarsky, Belen Ortega, Luis Guerrero, and Cowles.

Robin discovers that Failsafe, the terrifying android hunter, has a horrifying origin- the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh created him to stop Bruce Wayne if he ever took a life. Now he has to team with the unhinged personality to stop the killer before it tears everything Bruce Wayne built apart. Thankfully, help is on the way.

I think this issue is a marked improvement over the first two, which really seemed to be playing greatest hits- the first filled with Knightfall homages, and the second playing with the Batfamily era of titles that stretched from No Man’s Land to Infinite Crisis. Now, this issue plays pretty strongly with the homages again- this time of Mark Waid and Grant Morrison’s Batman work- but it weaves those stories into Zdarsky’s story, making them the logical lead-in to the origin of Failsafe. (Important to note that Waid didn’t ever write the main Bat-titles and this is directly a homage and sequel to JLA:Tower of Babel.)

It’s still not quite standing on its own, but it’s a stronger story. By taking Morrison’s concept of the ZEA Batman as a failsafe of Bruce’s, and combining it with the terror of Tower of Babel’s events, he brings the pieces together to a logical conclusion. Cowles in this does some cool things with fonts and bubbles to evoke those older stories, and call them back.

It also seems to be pointing to Zdarsky trying to get the greatest hits of the last thirty years out of the way in order to forge ahead as a wholly unique entity of its own. I hope that’s the case, because Zdarsky is a good enough writer, it’s frustrating to see him writing such a middle of the road Batman story.

Meanwhile, the art continues to be the book’s main selling point. I’m still really enjoying Jimenez’s shift in style- calling back to some of the more loose artists who have worked on Batman in the past, while making it his own. His action layouts are always engaging, creating a flow for the story while also creating a sense of motion. His Batman of Zur-En-Arrh is unhinged, and, even though it’s just a few panels, he shows that he can still nail a perfectly iconic Superman. Morey’s colors enhance every bit of the art, making the destruction of Wayne Manor even more heartbreaking, as he illuminates the details Jimenez adds with the growing flames.

Meanwhile, the back-up is exciting. It explores an interesting aspect of being a Bat-rogue, while creating a character profile of Selina Kyle’s current status in relation to Batman. It also sets up an exciting follow-up arc, with a short that shows the promise of what this run could be much more than the lead story has to date.

I have hope for this title, and I truly think it’ll pay off. If not, it looks great!

Batman #127 is available now from DC Comics.


This new run is finally starting to do some interesting things. It looks stunning and the story seems to be catching up with the art.

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