Coming off the Gotham War crossover Batma has been busy dealing with Batman of Zur-En-Arrh and Joker. The story has brought forward the challenges facing Bruce Wayne as he is clearly aging and forced to deal with that fact. Bruce was ultimately able to defeat Batman of Zur-En-Arrh in the previous issue. Though in defeating that side of his personality Bruce activated Batman of Zur-En-Arrh back-up plan. That plan involved the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh personality taking over the Failsafe android that defeated the Batman Family and Justice League. How will things go after this latest development? Let’s find out with Batman #141.
Writer: Chip Zdarsky (Mind Bomb and In This Together)
Artist: Jorge Jimenez (Mind Bomb); Dustin Nguyen (In This Together)
Colorist: Tomeu Morey (Mind Bomb); John Kalisz (In This Together)
Letterer: Clayton Cowles (Mind Bomb and The Savage Garden of Gotham)
“THE STUNNING CONCLUSION TO “MINDBOMB” BY CHIP ZDARSKY AND JORGE JIMÉNEZ! Zur-En-Arrh has done the unthinkable. And now, cut off from everything and everyone, Batman has to face off against his most devastating enemy in a brutal fight for the future as the specter of The Joker hangs over everything. The stunning conclusion to “Mindbomb” is here!” – DC Comics
Chip Zdarsky, Jorge Jimenez, and Dustin Nguyen did not waste any time in making sure that the Batman series kicked off with a bang. That is exactly what they accomplished with Batman #141. In the process they layout the foundation for what 2024 will at least be for the Batman series.
Credit to Zdarsky and Jimenez for creating a mystery around Bruce Wayne possibly figuring out how to defeat Batman of Zur-En-Arrh in Failsafe’s body. We already knew that Bruce had a tough time against Failsafe in their first fight, and that was with the entire Batman Family and Justice League having his back. Adding Batman of Zur-En-Arrh to the android gave a vibe that Bruce went from facing the T-800 to the T-1000 in this rematch.
But as we have seen so many times in the past, when Bruce is pushed into the corner is when he is the most creative as Batman. This wasn’t a situation where Bruce could simply think as Batman. He was facing that exact thing without the limiters he places on himself from crossing the line. This had to be Bruce Wayne who Batman of Zur-En-Arrh had to face.
Having to think as Bruce Waye added a cool layer to how he was able to hold his own against the Failsafe Batman of Zur-En-Arrh better than his last fight against the android. Jimenez did a great job mixing the prep time aspect of Batman with the creativity Bruce had to use to keep Failsafe Batman of Zur-En-Arrh on his toes. Bruce’s inner monologue that Zdarsky wrote enhanced all of the action.
All this turning out to just delay Failsafe Batman of Zur-En-Arrh was a twist to the knife moment to Bruce, who was slowing down as his injuries were catching up with him. The back-up story Zdarsky did with Nguyen did a great job at giving insight that defeating Bruce was just one step in Batman of Zur-En-Arrh endgame. The Prime DC Universe Batman of Zur-En-Arrh defeating his Multiverse counterparts provides plenty of questions as to what this endgame will be.
At the same time, we do see how Zdarsky also make sure the Batman Family will continue to be a factor in this story with Batman of Zur-En-Arrh. While their appearance was short Nightwing’s reunion with Lucie Chesson, aka The Gray Shadow, hints the Batman Family will in fact pick up their work protecting Gotham City. This would directly pick up from how things ended in Gotham War and could also provide a path for Bruce to eventually rebuild his relationship with the rest of the Batman Family.
The ending to “Mind Bomb” being a locked-up Bruce Wayne, not Batman, asking a heavily injured Joker the villains ties to Batman of Zur-En-Arrh an intriguing note to end this story on. There is no more hiding Joker knowing Bruce is Batman. That not being a big deal added to the hook ending.
What will be interesting from here is what we learn about the Joker. Because up to this point DC Comics has played up the likelihood of their being multiple people who have assumed the Joker identity across the decades. That was even teased in Joker’s most recent ongoing. Now it looks like Zdarsky will be addressing this with Joker telling Bruce his ties to Batman of Zur-En-Arrh.
Chip Zdarsky, Jorge Jimenez, and Dustin Nguyen made sure to begin Batman’s 2024 as big as possible. The fight between Bruce Wayne and Batman of Zur-En-Arrh concluded the “Mind Bomb” storyline with a lot of developments that will drive this series forward for the rest of the year. There really was no stronger way to begin a new year than how Batman #141 kicked things off.
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10