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BATMAN #139 – MY MIND IS PLAYING TRICKS ON ME

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Welcome to an all new edition of Parlay points, the comic book review blog to the ODPH Podcast!

For this entry, the smoke has cleared in Gotham City. One is left standing after the war of “The Bat Family”. Now it’s time for DC Comics’ Dark Knight to take center stage with a familiar foe waiting in the wings.

BATMAN #139 by Chip Zdarsky, Jorge Jiménez, Jorge Corona, Tomeu Morey, Ivan Plascencia and Clayton Cowles ushers in a new era for the Caped Crusader with an all new adventure. Let’s take a closer look to see how things shape up post “the Gotham War”, shall we?

*** POSSIBLE SPOILER WARNING ***

With the fallout of “Knight Terrors”, Batman’s dream of Gotham City has turned into a nightmare. Selina Kyle aka Catwoman has unveiled a new initiative into handling crime. This didn’t sit well with Batman and civil war was declared amongst Gotham’s most notable protectors. The struggle came to a fever pitch when Batman and Catwoman squared off with Vandal Savage, who made a play to make Gotham his during the conflict.

During the conflict, Catwoman and Savage are presumed dead. Batman has also become isolated from the bat-family due to his actions. Now left with only his back-up personality of Zur-En-Arrh, Bruce Wayne has never been more alone or more dangerous.

This new phase opens up with a woman talking with police. She describes an encounter with someone who tried robbing her after winning at the Iceberg Lounge. A scream was documented but it wasn’t from the attack. It was from someone who saw who stopped it. The heroic figure was none other than Batman.

BATMAN #139 by Chip Zdarsky, Jorge Jiménez, Jorge Corona, Tomeu Morey, Ivan Plascencia and Clayton Cowles (CREDIT: DC COMICS – COVER: Mike Deodato Jr)

The story shifts to a man returning to his apartment. Bruce Wayne is in disguise and recapping the night’s events. However, readers quickly see there is a name on the board that draws the greatest attention: JOKER.

With a murder of a toy company heir, Batman begins to cypher the clues of the Clown Prince of Crime. What scheme does the Joker have in store now? All roads lead to a confrontation pushing Batman to his limits. Can he stop the Joker or will he even get the chance? The closing moments throw a big X factor into the mix which looks to complicate events even further than Batman can possibly imagine.

Zdarsky sets events in motion for a greatly complex tale. The introduction plays out like a traditional Batman story. It doesn’t take long to switch gears and see how Batman is coping with the Gotham War fallout. Zdarsky paints a picture of fractured and forward thinking. Seeing the influence of Zur-En-Arrh still lingering gives readers a sense of uneasiness when the Bat needs to be his sharpest.

Diving into the crime at hand, the writing reflects a great detective story. Things shift quickly as Batman dives further into the plot. The added layers of Joker’s attack make for the frightening scenario. It is imagery that will stand out with the haunting dialogue. Even with this at play, readers won’t see the closing moments coming, which makes for a great ending sequence of events.

BATMAN #139 by Chip Zdarsky, Jorge Jiménez, Jorge Corona, Tomeu Morey, Ivan Plascencia and Clayton Cowles (CREDIT: DC COMICS – COVER: Gabriele Dell’Otto)

Jiménez and Morey craft excellent imagery throughout this issue. From the introduction, the full page panel credits page pops right off the page. The red coloring heightens the feel as the page makes a bold statement of return for Batman.

The red coloring plays a part in building the initial investigation of Joker’s latest case. It plays as a nice assist to the half page visual of the horrific first crime. Another excellent page is Batman walking into the location of the follow-up clue. It gives an ominous feel as the tension builds up.

The Joker’s personal attacks make an impact with the details involved. Readers bare witness to how things are presented and the chills from the visuals grow the story’s strength even further.

The closing pages throw a great mix into where things were looking to go. The art team makes a great final image before wrapping this initial chapter up, beginning a long wait for what’s next. There’s much to enjoy here for readers.

FINAL POINT: 9.5 OUT OF 10

Whenever the story involves Batman and The Joker, fan expectations are almost unreachable. That is not the case with this issue. Strong writing and exceptional art builds the foundation for what is sure to be a memorable Batman story for the ages.

Hit me up on ODPH social media and let me know your thoughts on Batman #139. Thanks for reading Parlay points on Nerd initiative !

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Ken M.
Ken M.https://odphpodcast.com/
Executive Producer/Host of the ODPH (Ocho Duro Parlay Hour) Podcast. Ken is also Nerd Initiative's Comics Editor-In-Chief/Brand Advisor and host of "Turn A Page". Ken is also a freelance Pro Wrestling Blogger and an all around fan of Sports, Movies Tv, Comics and Pro Wrestling

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