This week, “Dark Prisons” part 3 takes place in Batman #147, further showing Failsafe’s control of Gotham and Bruce Wayne’s rush to find a solution to get back into being Batman. Chip Zdarsky and Jorge Jimenez’s long-running story involving the robot Failsafe is hitting its stride, given the character’s involvement in Absolute Power, which makes this series feel all the more important to DC’s future.

Batman #147 opens with Failsafe doing robotic things with a glowing purple orb as Damian looks on. Damian thinks Failsafe is his father, but his coldness toward him is clearly a warning sign. Meanwhile, Vandal Savage has taken over as commissioner of Gotham — having recently been chained to the city, and he’s making the best of it — which does not please Failsafe. If anything is evident from this issue, it’s that Failsafe is a massive control freak.

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At the same time, Bruce Wayne zips around to old haunts. It’s cool to see how Zdarsky plucks key locations, one of which is deeply personal to his family. A quick detail reveals his parents would serve Alfred food in a small cabin getaway. It also has special significance to Bruce and Tim.

Once again, Zdarsky plays a long game here, further developing Bruce and Tim’s relationship. A heartfelt element in a key few scenes reminds us of Bruce’s humanity.

Failsafe has no chill.Credit: DC Comics

This issue helps give Batman an edge, and some hope going forward. We also better understand Failsafe’s plans, which will likely factor into the summer event.

Jimenez’s art is fabulous, as always. There’s an awesome costume reveal, some quick action that makes Failsafe look like a shadow and highly detailed environments. He’s a triple-A artist who never cuts corners, as evident in this issue. The work he and Tomeu Morey do with shadows of trees is a beautiful thing.

One of the more intriguing new characters, Captio, gets a healthy dose of development in this issue. Now running the Black Gate prison, he’s clearly got plans of his own and has the gall to press Failsafe’s buttons. Pun intended.

Captio plays an even larger part in the backup story with art by Miguel Mendonca. There are layers to this character, and his importance is huge given his connection to Joker and his importance in Batman’s training. This issue develops a possible plan he’s concocting involving Riddler that you won’t want to miss.

One nagging element is the writing of Damian, who has felt underdeveloped. Not enough time has been spent showing us his point of view, nor his seemingly rash inability to see through Failsafe as a villain. He’s coming around, but suffers a bit here as well.

Batman #147 further fleshes out now long-running story elements like Failsafe, Captio, and Bruce’s desire to keep everyone safe while also being the best Batman he can be. It’s fair to say Zdarsky is playing a long game here with intriguing elements, plucking at what we know and building a new future.

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In this article:Batman, DC, feature


“]] Failsafe continues to reign supreme.  Read More