Review: Batman #145

by Max Byrne
0 comment
“Dark Prisons” – Part One
Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artists: Jorge Jimenez & Michele Bandini
Color Artists: Tomeu Morey & Alex Sinclair
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Review by Max Byrne

Batman #145 sees the plot return to the present day, following on from the excellent Joker: Year One mini-arc. With a certain amount of time spent fleshing out Batman and The Joker’s intertwined back story, now’s the time to bring us back up to date. With both men incarcerated courtesy of Failsafe, the spotlight now shines upon the new status quo in Gotham City…

This is an interesting issue as it showcases a Gotham City that’s still protected by the Dark Knight, only this Batman is a monstrous hybrid of Failsafe and Zur-En-Arrh. This is a chilling reality that Zdarsky realizes very well indeed. Throw in a level of deception, by way of Zur passing himself off as the downloaded consciousness of the real Bruce, and you have something very dangerous indeed.

The physical rendering of Failsafe is brilliant. Incredibly tall, draped in crime fighting regalia and, most perversely, equipped with Bruce Wayne’s visage! This is equal parts a brilliant choice and a shameful act of deceit. I truly do love this.

Indeed, Failsafe’s emotional manipulation of Damian Wayne is both brilliant and dastardly. The prospect of Bruce’s son being influenced by Zur/Failsafe is enticing, and one can only imagine the carnage that’s due to ensue over the coming months.

Aside from the organized chaos within the City, the narrative running parallel to this involves Batman and Joker; together as forced cellmates, reflecting on everything they have been through over recent weeks. The perverse pleasure that Joker draws from the situation is pretty far out but does sit well within the expected behavior of the character.

These moments together are pure gold, as Zdarsky strips all the operatic grandeur of their epic battles away. This is just two characters at opposite ends of the moral spectrum yet so closely entwined in the past, present, and future.

No spoilers here, but seeing what’s become of Vandal Savage after his underhanded acquisition of Wayne Manor is pretty satisfying. How he went from sitting at the top table to a more desperate situation remains to be seen and I would love to see a bonus story that shows that particular fall from grace.

Another bonus story that needs to be told is how mental trainer de jour, Daniel Captio, has traded life as a prisoner of The Joker for a lofty position at Arkham Asylum… but it would appear that those answers are coming.

We also get a bonus story from Zdarsky that delves back into the aforementioned Mr. Captio and his demented mentorship of Joker, which has a nice coda that ties into the events of Death of The Family. As a big fan of callbacks, this is pure gold.


Batman #145 is a hugely engaging issue that has really raised the stakes for this era. Family ties, the sins of the past, and a harsh line on crime all combine into a very effective melting pot. Before The Dark Knight rises again, he’s going to have to work extremely hard.

Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment

You may also like