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'Batman' #127 honors the past while barreling full steam ahead
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Comic Books

‘Batman’ #127 honors the past while barreling full steam ahead

‘Batman’ #127 adds satisfying explanations around key elements in the story.

Batman is royally screwed. Chip Zdarsky and Jorge Jimenez kicked off their new story arc with a significant death, a darker-toned Batman, and a robot named Failsafe attempting to kill with nothing able to stop it. As we saw on the final page of the last issue, it’s Batman of Zur-En-Arrh’s turn to beat Failsafe or die trying!

Batman #127 is going to ease a lot of minds frustrated with the lack of explanations around Failsafe. If there was a theme in this issue, it’s that it connects back to iconic Batman stories. One involves Mark Waid’s “Tower of Babel” in a scene that opens the issue. Superman is still a bit peeved Batman had a dossier on how to beat every member of the Justice League, and this conversation leads to why Failsafe was created in the first place. Another connection is, of course, to Zur-En-Arrh and Grant Morrison’s Batman: RIP.

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Once the flashback is complete, this issue efficiently explains how Zur-En-Arrh works within the story and what Failsafe is to Batman. In all honesty, the reveal is very satisfying and makes a lot of sense. Zdarsky has clearly withheld information to set up the key opening and closing moments in this issue, making it work quite well here.

With the setup out of the way, this issue allows Jimenez to run wild with action. Failsafe vs. Batman and Robin in the Batcave, what more could you want? Failsafe continues to be formidable, but Jimenez gets quite a few good hits in on the robot via what appears to be lightsabers. Those lightsabers add a little weirdness to the battle, which suits Zur-En-Arrh. In a standout panel, Robin is landing from a significant punch, and Jimenez renders his movement over multiple shadow poses before coming to a stop with his cape up like a shield. It shows how acrobatic he is, but also how quick.

'Batman' #127 review

Time to fight…or die!
Credit: DC Comics

Fans will appreciate the cut-away to Nightwing, who looks fantastic under Jimenez’s lines. Tomeu Morey’s colors allow the city to come alive, bathed in oranges and the reds of police vehicles. The flaming lightsaber swords allow Morey to play with light in crazy ways, creating a funhouse vibe to the action in some scenes.

The only weakness of this issue might be a conflict between Bruce/Batman and Zur-En-Arrh. It’s not exactly clear if Zur-En-Arrh really is capable of defeating Failsafe as Batman intended, making Batman’s anger over Zur-En-Arrh calling Robin a soldier somewhat of a moot point. There’s a nice connection here to Batman and his found family of Robins and caped crusaders, but another panel or page could have made this emotional moment resonate better.

The backup by Zdarsky and Belen Ortega continues to be enlightening. I won’t spoil it, but much of this chapter is focused on a mysterious man who likes a good muffin in the morning. Bad news for him, though: Catwoman is on his tail, and the two have a meaningful conversation. It’s nice to see this backup inform readers on a critical aspect of the main story while delivering an entertaining Catwoman story. In the final two pages, Ortega’s clean city backgrounds, Luis Guerrero’s warm colors, and Clayton Cowles’s lettering with a handwritten font create a friendly farewell for the character. It’s an excellent ending to a gripping mini-detective tale.

Batman #127 offers satisfying explanations, a new look at Zur-En-Arrh, and a conclusion to the backup story that gives readers a bit of closure. Throw in some excellent references to modern classic Batman tales, and you’ve got a comic honoring the past while barreling full steam ahead.

'Batman' #127 honors the past while barreling full steam ahead
‘Batman’ #127 honors the past while barreling full steam ahead
Batman #127
Batman #127 offers satisfying explanations, a new look at Zur-En-Arrh, and a conclusion to the backup story that gives readers a bit of closure. Throw in some excellent references to modern classic Batman tales, and you've got a comic honoring the past while barreling full steam ahead.
Reader Rating1 Votes
8.9
An entertaining issue that gives readers answers on Failsafe, how Zur-En-Arrh functions inside Batman, and more
Action is kinetic, the colors rich, and the visuals from cover to cover as good as it gets
Backup gives readers a bit of closure on the mystery
Doesn't quite offer enough to the reader when Batman takes his body back over
9
Great
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