A Different Sort Of Gotham: ‘Batman’ #131 Reviewed

by Tony Thornley

The Dark Knight has just faced one of the toughest fights of his career. In Batman #131, he’s found himself in a world familiar yet completely different. Thankfully we’re along for the ride.

Cover by Jorge Jimenez & Tomeu Morey

Chip Zdarsky, Mike Hawthorne, Adriano Di Benedetto, Tomeu Morey and Clayton Cowles take us to a very different sort of Gotham, while Zdarsky, Miguel Mendonca, Roman Stevens and Cowles take us into Tim Drake’s search for his mentor.

Failsafe’s weapon hasn’t killed Bruce Wayne. Instead, he’s awoken in a very different Gotham. Jim Gordon is undead, Harvey Dent is a Venom-fueled super-cop, and Selina Kyle is one of Gotham’s most influential crime bosses. Now, Batman has to find a way home, as well as a way to save this alternate Earth.

I’m not sure what the series is doing. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad. On the contrary, I enjoyed this issue. There’s interesting ideas and world building here, and putting Bruce on the defensive on an alternate Earth with no resources is full of endless potential. The struggle I have is the issue shows the problem I have with this run- the series doesn’t have an identity right now, and it’s hard to follow a series with such an identity problem. We’ll see how it goes from here, but I hope it’s a problem Zdarsky can fix.

Hawthorne and Di Benedetto step in for Jimenez while Jorge moves over to a Mark Millar project for a few months. They do a fantastic job of establishing this new Gotham. It’s familiar in the place and characters, but every bit of it is unsettling. Bruce is obviously uncomfortable just through his facial expressions and body language and that alone makes the art in the issue a success.  

Morey adds continuity between art teams, which makes for consistency that makes this new Gotham familiar while still being so strange, and Cowles does the same with the letters. It’s a great little touch that the story really needs.

It’s interesting and new, but I hope this story finds its identity fully soon. It’s good, with potential to be great. I just hope it fulfills that potential promptly.

Batman #131 is available now from DC Comics.


An interesting start to an alternate Earth tale. The art’s great, but the story is a little scattered. It seems to be headed in the right direction though.

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