Overview: In Batman #138, Dick Grayson and Tim Drake set out to stop Batman, while Vandal Savage reveals his ultimate goal.
Title: Batman #138
Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artist: Jorge Jimenez
Colorist: Tomeu Morey
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Cover: Jorge Jimenez and Tomey Morey
Variant Covers: Gabriele Dell’otto, Kia Asamiya, and Frank Cho
Release Date: October 3, 2023
Please Note: This comic book review may contain spoilers
Batman #138 opens with Vandal Savage recounting his origin from a mysterious meteorite, tying it to the same source that gave birth to the Lazarus pits that Ra’s Al Ghul relies on.
n Gotham City, Red Hood (Jason Todd) falls out of a hospital bed. Batman (Bruce Wayne) tells Jason that he used the machine that created Zur-en-Arrh to implant a “failsafe” in Jason as well. Batman takes off his mask and tells Jason that he loves him, that he gave him a new identity and place in Metropolis. Jason says that Bruce has always been controlling, but this is new, different somehow.
An intruder alert warning interrupts Bruce and Jason’s conversation.
Across town, Nightwing (Dick Grayson) checks in with Oracle (Barbara Gordon). They discuss the possibility of Batman actually abducting Red Hood, of having to stop Batman to save him from a Zur-en-Arrh personality that has run rampant. Nightwing ducks into an old apartment complex Bruce secretly bought long ago. It was one belonging to his parents when Thomas Wayne was in med school. It’s the secret “heart” of Batman, and Nightwing enters its secret layer as he mulls over how he needs to stop Batman, but Batman has made him who he is.
Before Nightwing can infiltrate the secret lair, Robin (Damian Wayne) leaps to action, sparring with Nightwing. He’s sided with his dad, he doesn’t want Nightwing interfering. The next few panels showcase series favorite Jorge Jimenez’s frenetic, well-structured action panels that have been missing from the series for a while now. Though brief, the battle between Dick and Damian is close, emotional, and visceral.
Barbara puts out a call to Tim Drake, who joins the fray, saving Nightwing. Drake takes Damian out of the picture, literally, so Nightwing can enter the secret lair.
Across town, Catwoman (Selina Kyle), Eiko, and Dario are discussing finding Red Hood. Before they can put a plan into action, Marquise drops in and pleads with Selina to talk to Batman. Per Marquise, only Catwoman can stop The Batman.