Review: Batman #147

“Dark Prisons” – Part Three
Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artists: Jorge Jimenez & Miguel Mendonca
Color Artists: Tomeu Morey & Eren Angiolini
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Review by Max Byrne

Batman #147 is a pivotal issue in the current arc from the mind of Chip Zdarsky. New alliances are formed, existing ones are shattered, and Bruce finds a new resolve for the battle ahead. This issue certainly does feel like a point in time where all the pieces fall into place ahead of an upcoming cataclysmic confrontation.

After escaping imprisonment and leaving Gotham, Bruce goes back to basics. This is the catalyst for a highly nostalgic visit to an old Justice League HQ that’s filled with the ghosts of the past. I found this to be a highly effective plot point, as this issue’s about Bruce going back to a simpler time in order to find himself again.

By visiting the aforementioned old base, plus an overlooked former Wayne family bolthole, we see glimpses of the past, of what made Batman into the man he is today. It’s precisely that decency, strength of will, and patience that will ultimately mean Batman prevails in the end.

Back in Gotham, the first cracks in Failsafe/Zur’s regime are beginning to show. The breakdown in their relationship with Damian Wayne is expertly executed by Zdarsky, as he depicts the slow transition from blind loyalty to the realization that this abomination is not his real father.

No spoilers here, but the curtain drop is very impactful stuff indeed. To see what Failsafe has planned is very scary and it’s going to take a very special effort to stop what’s coming.

We also get a tantalizing tease for the upcoming and highly anticipated Absolute Power crossover by way of a clandestine meeting between Failsafe and Amanda Waller. Her devilish plan to eradicate all superpowers is due to take form and the seeds are planted within these pages.

A potential team-up between Waller, Failsafe, and another highly dangerous being is almost too scary to contemplate, such would be its unstoppable nature.

We also get a very intriguing bonus story involving Daniel Captio’s reign over Arkham Asylum. Whilst brief, it’s effective in the way it successfully shines a spotlight on Captio’s ego, physical attributes, and unorthodox methods.

Seeing him attempt to break down The Riddler, psychologically speaking, is fascinating. Witnessing this most cerebral of villains dissected and gaslighted serves to show how dangerous Captio truly is, and I look forward to seeing much more of him over the coming months.

Conclusion

Batman #147 is engaging stuff. It works as a bridging issue to the next phase of the arc but also has enough meat on the bone to stand tall on its own merits, too. The pacing’s spot on, the reflective character beats are welcome and it never feels anything less than engrossing.

Roll on issue #148.

Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment


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