- July 6, 2022
Batman #125 Review
Written by: Chip Zdarsky
Art by: Jorge Jimenez
Coloring by: Tomeu Morey
Lettering by: Clayton Cowles
Editing by: Dave Wielgosz, Ben Abernathy
Chip Zdarksy’s Daredevil has been the highlight of Marvel comics for the last two years, even over the majority of X-Books. Having him write the main Bat-title feels like a match made in heaven. If he just did what he was doing on Daredevil— low-to-ground stories about the broken system we live in –I would have been happy. Instead, with Batman #125 he sets himself up to take on two different tropes.
First, Batman is framed for murder, which is eerily similar to Fugitive, where Bruce Wayne was framed for murder. Then the issue ends with the setup for an unstoppable villain that’s supposed to be Batman’s Doomsday. Both of these plots can easily become generic and repetitive, but Zdarsky’s writing and Jimenez stunning panels bring forth a sense of tension another creative team could never. They know when to focus on the inner turmoil of everyone thinking Bruce did something he didn’t, and when to deflect.
They also capture Batman’s voice characterization immediately. They’ve both worked with Batman before, but Zdarsky (to my knowledge) has never geared up for a full run. That makes this issue all the more amazing as they fit the character like a glove. This isn’t just Daredevil. Batman has empathy that’s always just beneath the surface, but a much darker apathy covers it up. How he waits to take Tim to the hospital to change their identities feels very Batman, and the way it tears at him feels just as true to his character.
But to be a pessimist, because why not, let’s say the villain plot doesn’t go that well. Batman #125 nails Bruce’s relationship to his wealth and creates a commentary about it. Batman doesn’t need it, but does Bruce Wayne? What happens now that he’s no longer a billionaire? Does that make Bruce Wayne normal, or was the money never the thing that made his secret identity abnormal? I have faith that the creative team will deliver on all three of its major thru-lines, but the subplot about Bruce Wayne, most of all. What did you think of this issue? Let me know in the comments below!