Batman descends on Gotham City, full of rage and force, more driven than ever to save his home. But the new landscape has turned friends into foes. Can anyone stop his reign of terror? Should they? Batman #137 continues “The Gotham War” as the second part sees Batman lash out at Catwoman’s plan.
Batman #137 is a much improved second chapter for “The Gotham War,” really kicking things off as lines are drawn and the Bat-family takes sides. Written by Chip Zdarsky, the comic’s strength is its emotions. You get the sense of frustration of Batman. You really get a sense that much of his family aren’t sure what to do. And, you also get the sense that Catwoman really thinks what she’s doing is best for Gotham. But, it’s that anger and frustration from Batman that really stands out.
Batman #137 shows the cracks in his approach, a black and white take on right and wrong where there’s no gray. He can’t accept the idea of sacrificing one life to save many more. He can’t accept the idea that it might be ok to allow robberies to occur if it means assault and murder decrease. The issue really nails his approach and worldview and shows that isn’t the case for others in his orbit. It pits the family against each other with multiple factions rising up and many not sure how to approach things overall.
But most interestingly, Batman #137 shows the signs of the pressure and pile on that has been Batman and Bruce’s life for quite a while. He’s lost his fortune and by the end of the issue, a lot more. He’s been sent to an alternate world. He most recently had to battle dreams and nightmares. It’s all been adding up to this point where he might really crack for good or bad. The issue, and story it seems, build on what Zdarsky has been laying out since his run began, a series of events that eventually weigh on our hero and all of it coming to a great boil as Catwoman attempts to step in and decrease the violent crime in Gotham.
The art by Jorge Jimenez continues to look great. With color by Tomeu Morey and lettering by Clayton Cowles, the comic is a visual treat. As said above, this issue is full of frustration and tension and the panels display that and more. The emotions are nailed on the page as fights break out and heartbreak ensue. End the issue with a great page turn, and the comic takes us visually on a rollercoaster of emotions, nailing every beat laid out and needed by the story.
Batman #137 is a vast improvement on the opening chapter. You get a sense of the frustration within by everyone. There’s also a solid case to be made no matter your viewpoint, so you get a sense of where everyone is coming from and where they are. And, add in some great visuals, this is a second issue “The Gotham War” needed.
Story: Chip Zdarsky Art: Jorge Jimenez
Color: Tomeu Morey Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
Purchase: TFAW – Zeus Comics – Kindle