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'Batman' #131 mixes things up with new twists on Gotham characters
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Comic Books

‘Batman’ #131 mixes things up with new twists on Gotham characters

‘Batman’ #131 drops Bruce Wayne into a messed-up Gotham where justice is rare.

Since Chip Zdarsky took over Batman, the series has been taking chances, moving quickly, and entertaining at a high level. Batman #131 opens with Batman in a fish-out-of-water story. Failsafe, the robot Batman, created to defeat himself just in case he ever turned bad, zapped Batman in the last issue, and in today’s issue, it’s time to figure out what happened to him.

Batman #131 opens with two muggers picking Batman’s pockets. Well, more specifically, they’re stealing from his utility belt. Battered and out of it, he soon wakes up remembering his last thoughts and then quickly finds a skeleton with a mustache talking to him. This figure talks to him throughout the issue, offering running commentary. He remains a mystery, but one could guess he’s a dead Commissioner Gordon.

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The mystery behind the story is what drives a lot of what happens. We witness new takes on villains while Batman does his best to help Gotham citizens. He’s facing off against the law, but the law is not doing it by the book. It’s a fun tale if you like Elseworlds stories since there are new takes on villains and a world slowly revealing itself. Could we get a few more answers? Probably, but with Catwoman, Two-Face, and some mysterious new characters revealed, there’s enough to pique your interest.

'Batman' #131 mixes things up with new twists on Gotham characters

Batman #131 variant cover art by Joe Quesada.
Credit: DC Comics

Mike Hawthorne’s art is great, too. His style makes characters look like they’re carved from clay. It’s realistic and harnesses good volume, thanks to colors by Tomeu Morey. The fight choreography is also fabulous, with each punch and kick logically carrying the story of each fight forward nicely. If you like kung-fu movies and the various fight moves, you’ll dig into how much care Hawthorne puts into the flow of these fights. It’s particularly exciting since Batman is outmanned and, in one fight, outmatched.

This series continues to feature a backup story written by Zdarsky. Similar to the last backup, this tale stands alone but also connects to the main feature. Drawn by Miguel Mendonsa with colors by Roman Stevens, the story follows Tim Drake, who is reeling from seeing Batman zapped out of existence. This backup also features some great Nightwing action. This tale aims to show how some C-tier villains gain confidence when they hear Batman may be out of town while showing Tim doesn’t give up on Batman, ever. Mendonsa is very good at fine details like the impressive cityscape backgrounds or the texture in clothes.

Batman #131 changes gears dramatically, throwing Bruce Wayne into the deep end of an entirely different universe. We’re privy to some excellent fight choreography as we try to unpack how Gotham is different, driving your interest in the larger mystery.

'Batman' #131 mixes things up with new twists on Gotham characters
‘Batman’ #131 mixes things up with new twists on Gotham characters
Batman #131
Batman #131 changes gears dramatically, throwing Bruce Wayne into the deep end of an entirely different universe. We're privy to some excellent fight choreography as we try to unpack how Gotham is different, driving your interest in the larger mystery.
Reader Rating1 Votes
8.5
Fight choreography is well thought out and exciting
Plenty of little clues giving hints at how Gotham is different
Backup adds to the main story by showing the fallout of Batman leaving his universe
Mostly one long fight scene
9
Great
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