“Failsafe” – Finale
Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artists: Jorge Jimenez & Leonardo Romero
Color Artists: Tomeu Morey & Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Review by Max Byrne
Batman #130 is a mind-blowing issue that brings the Failsafe arc to a bloody, violent end. Not only that, but it also serves up a cliffhanger that will live long in the memory, as it’s both shocking and deliciously ambiguous.
This reviewer certainly doesn’t like to be liberal with spoilers, but what I can say is that changes the status quo in a massive way!
Firstly, who remembers the conclusion of Batman #129? Yes, that thrilling climax saw the Dark Knight adrift in the cold vacuum of space, seemingly about to meet his end. Of course, this is Batman we’re talking about here, and Zdarsky comes up with a method of survival that, whilst being a little far-fetched, is also rooted in physics and mathematical theory. I loved this approach as it showcases the genius level intellect of Batman.
Few mere mortals would be able to mentally solve complex equations in their head whilst being on the razor’s edge. Despite the extremely low odds of survival, Zdarsky shows his handle on the character and the power of rational thought.
Getting back to Earth is just the beginning of Batman’s trials and tribulations though, as a date with destiny loom large with the imminent arrival of Failsafe. The buildup to this conflict allows for some nice pieces of interaction with both Superman and Tim Drake. These two characters are good choices for batman to spend his potentially final moments with, as the Man of Steel represents his greatest ally and arguably his best friend, and Tim is one of his best and most loyal protegees. Bringing these two into the mix is a nice touch, as it helps to humanize the Dark Knight before his toughest challenge, showing the real man behind the mask and the relationships he’s forged over the years.
All the buildup over the last few issues has been leading towards the inevitable full showdown between Batman and Failsafe and it’s certainly safe to say that this issue doesn’t disappoint. It’s brutal, it’s poignant, it’s explosive and its aftereffects appear as though they’re going to be far reaching.
As I alluded to earlier, the ending of this comic is so shocking, not to mention thought provoking, that it will be interesting to see how individual readers interpret it. Zdarsky is daring us to come to our own conclusions. Have I come to mine? Oh yes, but that would be telling…
Batman #130 lets the curtain fall on the Failsafe arc, but it masterfully asks more questions than it answers. With the fate of certain characters left in the balance, the next issue is going to be highly anticipated. 2023 is going to be starting strong in Gotham City, as sure as night follows day!
Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment