“Failsafe” – Part Three
Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artists: Jorge Jimenez & Belen Ortega
Color Artists: Tomeu Morey & Luis Guerrero
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Review by Max Byrne
Do you want deep cuts? Then have DC got a book for you, in the form of Batman #127!
Despite only being three issues into his tenure on Batman, Chip Zdarsky has really stamped his authority onto the book with a huge amount of gusto and invention, not to mention a heady dose of reverence too.
As teased at the end of the previous issue, we’re taken back to the Grant Morrison era in the form of a most welcome return of The Batman of Zur-En-Arrh. Whilst the concept was created by Herron/Sprang, this particular manifestation is very much a continuation of Morrison’s work, with this character being depicted as a creation of Bruce Wayne, but with all the Bruce taken out of the mix. A Batman without Bruce Wayne’s family ties and emotions if you will.
This makes for a rip roaring issue… and then some. This lurid creation teams up with Tim Drake to battle the seemingly unstoppable Failsafe, which is a cue for some of the most eye-catching action that one could hope to see in a comic book. Jorge Jimenez brings his all his prodigious talent to the table and seeing this unshackled Batman take on a Terminator-esque adversary is gripping, as the sense of genuine peril is tangible. Jimenez is one of the very best in the business when it comes to action sequences, his method of making the brutal violence seem almost beautiful is a gift that few possess. As our dynamic duo seem to fighting an unwinnable fight, the sense of desperation is real. Even a Batman devoid of temperance can only do so much.
Alongside the fisticuffs, we do get some very clever narrative choices from Zdarsky too. His choice of a prologue to the main narrative is an inspired one, as we’re transported back to the fallout from the classic Tower of Babel story line, as the choices made by Batman back then frame his actions in the current timeline.
The conversation with Superman not only highlights the moral quandary that faces the Caped Crusader with regards to crossing a line, but also what must be put in place to stop such events from taking place. By doing this, Zdarsky adds weight to the events of today, as the weight upon Batman is highlighted in a big way, showing that even the extreme methods personified by Zur-En-Arrh are a necessary evil.
Speaking of the Man Of Steel, the conclusion to this issue is guaranteed to make any devotee punch the air with glee. No spoilers here, but any Super-fans are going to be very happy indeed…
Batman #127 is an essential read. The expansion of the Batman mythology is engrossing, the action is first rate and the final panel is inspiring. I cannot recommend it enough, so I implore you, add this title to your pull lists as soon as you can.
Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment