Skip to content

Batman #131

Comicscore Index
Generally favorable ratings

Based on 21 critic ratings.

Gotham City has never been darker or deadlier.

And after Failsafe, there is no Batman to save it.

Can the fractured ghost that roams the streets survive?

Whatever happened to the man known as… Bruce Wayne?

Publication Date
Kindle Edition
Print Lenght
37 pages
Amazon ASIN

21 Critic Ratings & Reviews from:
  • 91

    Comic Watch

    Batman #131 very smartly pivots direction from the high-stakes bombast of the previous issue (and arc). Character-driven and far more personal in scale (despite being a "trapped in the multiverse" story), Chip Zdarsky is proving he has what it takes to move the needle on what makes Batman Batman and redefine that for the next generation of readers in a way that honors the past yet yet recontextualizes it in bold new ways. Bravo.
  • 90


    Batman #131 changes gears dramatically, throwing Bruce Wayne into the deep end of an entirely different universe. We're privy to some excellent fight choreography as we try to unpack how Gotham is different, driving your interest in the larger mystery.
  • 90

    Geek Dad

    This is the second time Batman has “died” in recent months, so that makes emphasizing the stakes here a little more difficult, but the Tim Drake backup nicely sidesteps this issue. Tim is refusing to accept Bruce as dead, just like he did after Final Crisis, but this time he has people backing him up. With the help of Nightwing and Jon Kent, he starts investigating a mystery with ties to another recently deceased villain. Zdarsky did an amazing job of emphasizing just how well Bruce and Tim work as partners, and this story is the ideal evolution of that dynamic.
  • 90

    Fortress of Solitude

  • 90

    First Comics News

    In the aftermath of the “Failsafe” arc, Bruce Wayne suddenly finds himself in an alternate version of Gotham that madness is the norm, Harvey Dent is a brutal version of Bane…..and no Batman since that earth’s Bruce Wayne Is dead! For the most part, it looks like DC is taking a page out of Marvel’s book by exploring the Multiverse for this new arc by bringing some new aspects to it such as exploring the dystopian elements of this Gotham City that feel very outlandish while giving off an “Outer Limits” feel to it that really brings a fresh perspective to this issue; While the conclusion of “Failsafe” was without a doubt shocking and dark, exploring a Gotham without a Batman feels too much like “Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne”, I have faith that Chip Zdarsky and Mike Hawthorne will continue this new approach for Batman that will challenge in ways that weren’t even possible.
  • 87

    The Super Powered Fancast

    The Story: A dark, engaging set of stories from Zdarsky. The main story has some great action and thrills while creating an engaging mystery for the character. The other story has some great psychological drama with Tim that is equally engaging as Tim struggles with his inability to stop Failsafe or rescue Bruce. The Art: Both artists deliver beautiful visuals throughout the issue. Hawthorne crafts a beautifully dark and bleak Gotham. Mendonca creates some great visual thrills with the action in the story.
  • 84

    Batman on Film

    Overall, this is an interesting start to Zdarsky’s second arc in BATMAN. There are more questions than answers, but also a little bit of resolution.
  • 81

    The Comicbook Dispatch

    If you’re not one for previews or solicits, Batman #131 should be a wild ride. It’s an unexpected story delineating from the Failsafe ending that doesn’t completely jive with the direction of the story. Nevertheless, even though Batman #131 wasn’t anticipated, it still had its moments that instantly hooked this reviewer into the story. However, the change is so drastic, I found myself staggering to find my footing and needed a solid re-read to better appreciate the actual story that was being told. Now, this wasn’t Zdarksy’s Failsafe run that’s been humming on all cylinders since he took over the book. Yet, I still found myself entertained by the unique cast of characters and the multiversal mayhem that awaits on the horizon. So for now, I’m in hopes that we don’t get huge gaps of time between this new story and what’s happening back in the Prime Earth’s Gotham with Failsafe. I would love the full attention here on this new story and not split between the two places. In order to really hook the readers on this new development, I think Zdarsky will need every page to do just that.
  • 80


    An interesting start to an alternate Earth tale. The art’s great, but the story is a little scattered. It seems to be headed in the right direction though.
  • 80

    Comics: The Gathering

    Overall, Batman #131 is not the exciting wham, bam action that we’ve seen previously from Zdarsky, but is a worthwhile read that really explores the inner conflict of Bruce all brought to life visually by new artist Mike Hawthorne who brings a new dynamic stylization to the series in an exciting fashion thanks to the help of the rest of the creative art team.
  • 80

    Dark Knight News

    Batman #131 is a great start to a new era for Batman in a new world. It’s opened up new potential for interesting storylines and character interactions. Whilst this new setting won’t last forever, there’s a lot of story to be mined and we should be in for some exciting months ahead.
  • 80

    The Batman Universe

    Batman #131 sees the launch of an exciting and refreshing Batman adventure that gives off serious Grant Morrison Batman vibes (in a good way).
  • 80


    The next chapter of Chip Zdarsky's Batman kicks off with a nice issue of set-up and character exploration. And he continues to do great things with Robin, so I'm happy with that.
  • 80

    Comics Nexus by Inside Pulse

    A fun issue that is quite entertaining as Batman is a very new environment. Decent art.
  • 80

    Get Your Comic On

    A well structured and intriguing first chapter for a brand new arc. Both stories perfectly compliment each other to create an overall narrative that picks up right where Failsafe left off.
  • 80

    Women Write About Comics - WWAC

  • 73

    Major Spoilers

    Though I’m still a bit nervous about what could happen next, Batman #131 gives us a fresh start for Zdarsky and company’s Dark Knight and sets the stage for something fresh in Gotham City, earning 3.5 out of 5 stars overall. There’s been a LOT of multiverse stories lately, but it’s been a while since we’ve seen one that uses the concept from the perspective of a person IN the world, rather than a top-down view of realities clashing, and I really like how this is unfolding.
  • 70

    To say that Chip Zdarsky has been doing an incredible job on this Batman run would be a little bit of an understatement. His first batch of issues building up the threat of Failsafe and ultimately culminating in a wild cliffhanger at the end of Batman #130, which left the fate of Gotham's hero an explosive question mark, were thrilling and introspective in a way that brought a freshness to the title without sacrificing any of the familiarity of the iconic character. The issues were, in a very tangible way, a fine example of how you do a dark Batman story without succumbing to too much darkness. This week's Batman #131 picks up from that cliffhanger and plunges the story deeper into the darkness. While it's a move that might feel like it operates counter to the idea of balance Zdarsky created up to now, the result is an intriguing detour from what Batman fans might expect even if this first installment is a little slow to get off the ground.
  • 65

    Comic Book Revolution

    Batman’s 2023 direction starts in a way that is reminiscent of the characters’ direction throughout 2022 with Shadows of the Batman and Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths. Because of that, it does take a lot more work for Chip Zdarksy and Mike Hawthorne to build momentum for this new story where Bruce Wayne finds himself trapped in an Elseworld universe somewhere in the Multiverse. Now with Batman #131 getting the set-up out of the way the next issue will be key in getting a full buy-in for this new storyline.
  • 60

    Weird Science DC Comics

    Batman #131 takes a big step backward in the creativity department by transporting Batman to an alternate Earth where everything is slightly off. The technical execution is fine, but the story concept is so played out, it's become a boring clich.
  • 55


    I had quite a bit of fun reading this issue because the fights are so entertaining, but in terms of plotin both the main story and the backupit remains to be seen how strong this stuff will be. It definitely doesn't help Zdarsky that he's drawing so heavily from the Morrison era, but with this being but the first chapter of the new arc, it's still possible for the creative team to course correct and deliver something awesome. That said, this is a direct follow-up to the "Failsafe arc and while there's a little bit of exposition to explain that stuff for new readers, I don't think this is a great jumping-on point. If you don't know what happened previously, you might be a little lost when you first pick up this book.

More From Batman (2016)

About the Author: Chip Zdarsky

Steve Murray (born December 21, 1975), known by the pen-name Chip Zdarsky, is a Canadian comic book artist and writer, journalist, illustrator and designer. He has also used the pseudonym Todd Diamonte. He worked for National Post for over a decade, until 2014, as an illustrator and humorist (as Steve Murray) and wrote and illustrated a column called “Extremely Bad Advice” for the paper as well as The Ampersand, the newspaper’s pop culture section’s online edition.

He uses the Zdarsky pseudonym for comics-related work, using it to create Prison Funnies and Monster Cops and as artist and co-creator of Sex Criminals with writer Matt Fraction. Comics attributed to him include Howard the Duck, Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man, Daredevil and Spider-Man: Life Story for Marvel Comics, Batman for DC Comics and Jughead for Archie Comics.

Early life

Steve Murray was born in Edmonton, Alberta and raised in Barrie, Ontario.


Murray has illustrated for such clients as The Globe and Mail, New York magazine, CBC and Canadian Business.

In 2000, Murray created Chip Zdarsky as a pseudonym and alter ego for his persona as a comic book writer and illustrator, developing his own independent projects, such as Prison Funnies and Monster Cops (which can be read online or in print) as well as collaborating on a variety of projects, including Dark Horse Comics titles Fierce and Rumble Royale. About his alter ego, Murray said “I wanted to have a sad-sack cartoonist persona that lives in his mom’s basement, paints figurines for money, has restraining orders against him. And that became a character.” He describes the character as “an idiot who doesn’t know what I’m doing. I’ve had no success in my life. No matter what, I’m going to mess things up.” Murray initially attempted to keep the identities separate and secret.

From 2008 to 2014, Murray penned and illustrated a weekly advice column for the National Post called “Extremely Bad Advice”. He also wrote another column in that paper, Tear Jerk, in which he reviewed films to see if they could actually make him “weep like a baby”.

Along with Kagan McLeod, Ben Shannon, and Cameron Stewart, he is a co-founder of the studio The Royal Academy of Illustration and Design, which produced Rumble Royale.

In 2010, he also launched a mock campaign for mayor of Toronto. He was not an officially registered candidate, launching his satirical “campaign” through social networking platforms after the deadline had passed to register as a candidate in the real campaign.

Chip Zdarsky and Matt Fraction
In June 2013, Image Comics announced that Chip Zdarsky had teamed up with Invincible Iron Man and Hawkeye writer, Matt Fraction, on a new creator-owned series titled Sex Criminals. The first issue was released on September 23, 2013. Sex Criminals was declared number 1 on Time magazine’s list of “Top 10 Comics and Graphic Novels” of 2013.

In 2014, Murray won a Will Eisner Award for Best New Series for Sex Criminals.

Zdarsky wrote the first series arc of the relaunched Jughead comic for the 2015 New Riverdale relaunch.

On February 15, 2017, it was announced that beginning that June, Zdarsky would be writing a brand new “back-to-basics” Spider-Man series Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man that would run alongside writer Dan Slott‘s run on The Amazing Spider-Man. Zdarsky later wrote the two Spider-Man miniseries Spider-Man: Life Story and Spider-Man: Spider’s Shadow.

In November 2018, it was announced that Zdarsky would serve as the writer on Daredevil, with Marco Checchetto serving as artist. The series began publication in February 2019 and lasted until November 2021 with issue 36. This leads into the event Devil’s Reign, also by Zdarsky and Checchetto. A new Daredevil #1 will launch in June 2022, with Zdarsky and Checchetto returning from the previous volume. The series will explore the fallout of Devil’s Reign and the effect it had on both Matt and Elektra, as both are operating as Daredevil.

In 2020, DC Comics announced that Zdarsky would be among the creators of a revived Batman: Black and White anthology series to debut on December 8, 2020.

In February 2022, it was announced that Zdarsky will serve as the new writer for the mainline Batman book, starting with issue 125 on July 5, with Jorge Jiménez serving as the artist.

[Latest Update: May 26, 2022]

My Agile Privacy
This website uses technical and profiling cookies. Clicking on "Accept" authorises all profiling cookies. Clicking on "Refuse" or the X will refuse all profiling cookies. By clicking on "Customise" you can select which profiling cookies to activate.