In this review of Batman #137, we see part two of the Gotham War event. Batman and Catwoman battle for the soul of Gotham City with the Bat Family caught in the middle on who to side with. However, there’s another player about to enter the battle that no one expects.
Title: Batman #137
Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artist: Jorge Jiménez
Colors: Tomeu Morey
Main Cover: Jorge Jiménez
Variant Covers: Joe Quesada, Gabriele Dell’Otto, Rose Besch, Pablo Villalobos, Salvador Larroca
Release Date: September 5, 2023
Note: This review might contain spoilers
Batman #137 begins not much longer after the ending of The Gotham War – Battle Lines #1. Two of Catwoman’s students are on a mission to rob some Gotham penthouses. However, as they make their way through the first penthouse, they find Batman there, waiting on them. After the death of a would-be thief in Battle Lines, he’s on a personal mission to end Selina’s newfound guild of thieves before another life is lost. Marquise relays just how relentless he’s become to Selina. Catwoman feels her best weapon against her former fiancé is his worse mistake. She tells Marquise to contact Jason.
Right out of the gates, Zdarsky hits us with action and suspense. He shows us a Batman who truly has a take-no-prisoner mentality after the death of Roland Garner in the Battle Lines issue. And he seems intent on letting nothing or no one get in his way. the intentions become no clearer than with his interaction on the docks with Tim. After a great interaction between the two beginning with Zdarsky’s run and through the Failsafe arc, Bruce doesn’t hesitate in threatening his young protégé should he cross the line. Considering how Batman took down Jason in the pages of Red Hood and the Outlaws back during Rebirth, one would think arresting Tim would be nothing for Batman.
A Family Feud Again?
This interaction, however, much like the interaction between Bruce and the family in Battle Lines laid the groundwork for what occurs by the time we get close to the end of the issue. batman and his family would come to blows. Like many readers, I am not a fan of this drastic a dynamic between Bruce and those he trained. We as reader have seen it before. In previous family battles, the reaction from fans have been the same. We do not like it. As with any group of loved ones, we know that there will be disagreement. But do we have to see them fight again? How different will Zdarsky’s take be any different?
An added caveat to this comes from the other title in this event – Catwoman. What can we expect from Tini Howard in the pages of her series? It was not hard to tell who wrote what pages in Battle Lines. The different voices didn’t gel that well. Zdarsky moves things along at a great pace leading us to the end of the issue. Can we trust his event co-writer to do the same?