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'Batman' #134 raises the stakes on a multiverse threat
Marvel

Comic Books

‘Batman’ #134 raises the stakes on a multiverse threat

Batman must face a new multiversal Ghost-Maker in ‘Batman’ #134.

The multiverse and the many ways you can write a story about it are all the rage right now, which is the case for the current Batman story arc. Writer Chip Zdarsky has sent Batman to another universe, and in this one villains like Two-Face are the law and super pumped up with Venom. The last issue had Batman had to come face to face with Alfred after he dug up that universe’s Bruce Wayne, and now he’s teaming up with Catwoman to stop the man who is ruining everything.

At its core, the story being told in Batman #134 feels unique for Batman but also for multiverse stories. A character named Red Mask is capturing heroes and villains, as seen in this issue, and doing things to them for a more significant reason. That bigger reason is revealed in this issue, and it has an interesting tie to a key Batman villain. Having a villain running around in another dimension for Batman to worry about is a neat idea, and you can start to see the ramifications for future stories.

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Before he can worry too much, much of this issue has Batman fighting Ghost-Maker, only this version of Ghost-Maker is pumped up on Venom. They battle in a way only artist Mike Hawthorne can deliver, with some brutal hits and some well-articulated blows. Batman takes some hits here that will be hard to fathom how he heals from, but heck, he’s Batman. He can do anything, right?

Thrown in are some unexpected confrontations, as well as a multiversal who’s who of heroes and villains popping up. That helps amp up the stakes, as Red Mask is formidable indeed. Meanwhile, chaos ensues in Gotham as gas is released, and Zdarsky forces Catwoman to make a tough decision. Until next time, anyway.

Batman #134

Loving the new costume for Batman.
Credit: DC Comics

Some time is also spent with Alfred, which is a surprise since he’s been absent from the main universe for so long. Ultimately small wins are earned in this main story with significant ramifications for Batman’s body and the war against Red Mask.

The backup is truly special and may outshine the main story for some. Zdarsky writes with Miguel Mendonca illustrating, as Tim Drake continues to put the pieces together to find Batman and rescue him from the multiverse. The issue starts with a surprise appearance from a “Batman” figure that will put a grin on most folks’ faces, but its crowning achievement is showing Tim connect with a very important person in his life. This series uses the multiverse in different ways; in this case, it’s heartfelt and profoundly moving.

As each issue comes out, it becomes more clear this is a great way to tell a Batman multiverse story. Sure, it’s easy to feel burned out on multiverse adventures since it seems like every legacy character has been in one or is in one right now, but Zdarsky puts his spin on things in exciting ways. Add in a tremendous and heartfelt Tim Drake backup, and this is a nice buildup as the story closes in on the finale.

'Batman' #134 raises the stakes on a multiverse threat
‘Batman’ #134 raises the stakes on a multiverse threat
Batman #134
As each issue comes out, it becomes more clear this is a great way to tell a Batman multiverse story. Sure, it's easy to feel burned out on multiverse adventures since it seems like every legacy character has been in one or is in one right now, but Zdarsky puts his spin on things in exciting ways. Add in a tremendous and heartfelt Tim Drake backup, and this is a nice buildup as the story closes in on the finale.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
Backup steals the show with emotionality
The stakes are raised as the villain reveals his plans
Good fight scenes and Batman tactics
Catwoman conveniently exits the story, for now
Main story is mostly a Batman race against time
9
Great
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