Batman #132 continues the story of Bruce Wayne’s multiversal displacement after a showdown with Failsafe. Trapped in a mysterious Gotham, Bruce is on the back foot as he tries to discover a way to get home. Writer Chip Zdarsky is weaving a fun, exciting mystery backed by thoughtful character moments.
SPOILERS AHEAD for Batman #132!
After waking up to a mysterious skeleton-Gordon in an even more mysterious Gotham, Bruce has been attempting to find out exactly where in the massive multiverse he might be. Thanks to the help of Jewel, a street-level vigilante helping citizens escape the brutality of masked GCPD officers, Bruce begins piecing together a plan to get home, but not before confronting some familiar faces.
Issue #132 is a continuation of a fun multiverse story. These ‘fish-out-of-water’ (or Bat-out-of-universe, as it were) stories are a great way to strip a character down to their core elements. Taking Batman and stacking the odds against him brings out the best of the character. We see that beautiful bat-mind in action as Bruce contends with a much more dangerous Gotham. Plus, seeing different versions of Catwoman, Two-Face, Killer Croc, and more of his famous rogues is always fun.
However, while the plot centers on escaping an alternate world, Bruce is grappling with how much longer his cycle of breaking and healing can continue before he meets his end for good. After the worst of Batman was brought out thanks to the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh, Bruce now has to face how bad things can be without him, and Zdarsky seems to be setting the stage for a rebirth of the Bat.
One of the series’ strengths so far is Zdarsky’s ability to make it seem like Bruce is in danger. The use of Bruce’s inner dialogue to convey just how broken the caped crusader is is terrific. Plus, putting this all on the poor guy after he “lost” during the Failsafe arc finale makes it feel like the Bat is really reaching his end. The emotional impact of seeing the familiar faces of his friends hit as heavily as the punches he continues (and continues) to take.
Speaking of punches, Mike Hawthorne is creating some very dynamic fight sequences. Some tremendous work is done in showcasing the deterioration of how Bruce fights. By the end of the issue, you can see Bruce putting every last piece of himself into brawls he would usually win easily.
Tomeu Morey and Adriano Di Benedetto highlight the pencils with dynamic colors and inks. They hammer home the difference between the people living in this new Gotham. They bring the grime of the alleyways to life with deep oranges while we meet the upper tier of Gotham in the pristine whites of the Athena Tower.
While Bruce deals with the wealthy, Tim Drake is on the hunt to find out where he vanished. Tim is doing the detective work, unraveling this plot’s strange ties with Toyman. It’s an exciting B-plot – you get the sense that Bruce and Tim are hurtling toward each other, and when they meet, it’s going to be a big finale.
Zdarsky and the art team are creating a tense and intriguing plot, combining some classic comic book multiverse displacement stories with solid character work. Tone, atmosphere, and tension are all at their peak here, and the result is a Batman story that makes you feel the danger Bruce is in. Batman #132 is a strong follow-up and another solid addition to Zdarsky’s run thus far.
Join the AIPT Patreon
Want to take our relationship to the next level? Become a patron today to gain access to exclusive perks, such as:
- ❌ Remove all ads on the website
- 💬 Join our Discord community, where we chat about the latest news and releases from everything we cover on AIPT
- 📗 Access to our monthly book club
- 📦 Get a physical trade paperback shipped to you every month
- 💥 And more!
You must be logged in to post a comment.