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Batman #133

Comicscore Index
Generally favorable ratings

Based on 21 critic ratings.

Everyone goes insane eventually. And then they belong to the terrifying Red Mask!

But Gotham City has a new savior. He strikes from the shadows, exhumes the dead, and is known only as… the Batman.

And in our backup story, Tim Drake’s search for Batman continues as he and Superman, Jon Kent, team up to stop the terror of the Toyman!

Publication Date
Kindle Edition
Print Length
35 pages
Amazon ASIN

21 Critic Ratings & Reviews from:
  • 100

    Fortress of Solitude

  • 95

    Lyles Movie Files

    This Multiverse Gotham story has broken up the typical Batman story with enough fresh dynamics that writer Chip Zdarsky is able to pack plenty of surprises. (…) Artist Mike Hawthorne is providing a very clean style with crisp line work and easy to follow action sequences reminiscent of Rags Morales. Hawthorne also brings out strong emotions in his characters as well. Tomeu Morey’s color work is sharp packed with nice complementary combinations.

    The Tim Drake backup story Zdarsky wrote with Miguel Mendonca handling the art and Roman Stevens providing colors, is an efficient and well crafted short that opens up the avenue for Bruce Wayne to return to his rightful world.

    Batman has made for an enjoyable read through this latest arc. Zdarsky is having fun playing against the standard Batman Gotham story and these new wrinkles have made for an entertaining stretch of issues.

  • 95

    Geek Dad

    Chip Zdarsky continues to hit it out of the park, following up his tense Failsafe arc with this amazing alternate universe tale which finds Bruce Wayne stuck in a fascist Gotham where he died long ago. (…) The Tim Drake backup is almost as intense, finding Tim in another world of the Multiverse where countless civilians have been kidnapped by Toyman. This is definitely a darker tale on Superman’s comical foe, but certainly not the darkest he’s had. His twisted desire to have a world mostly populated by toys that obey his will is an interesting wrinkle, and it’s great to see Zdarsky build on what he did with Tim in the opening arc. He’s definitely the most Bat-like of the Robins, and that makes him a compelling lead when out of his depths.

  • 95

    The Comicbook Dispatch

    Batman #133 continues Zdarsky’s wildly creative story with a Batman more familiar to the diehard fans of yore. Vengeance is back baby! The Bat of Gotham is ready to strike fear in the hearts of everyone as he single-handedly drains this evil, corrupted Gotham Swamp. Moreover, the action is relentless from start to finish. From excavating dead bodies to fighting venomized villains, Batman takes fans down memory lane as to why we all love this character so much. Readers, I haven’t had this much fun in this title in years. Sure, Failsafe was a good arc and it changed the trajectory of the series well. But Batman #133 finally provides this title with the excitement it’s been missing for quite some time. I know it’s in the middle of the arc, but Batman fans should be back on this title. Get the back issues and trades of Zdarsky’s run and hop on board while you still can.

  • 85

    The Super Powered Fancast

    The Story: Zdarsky crafts an entertaining story that takes Batman back to his roots and core philosophy which is a good thing. I really enjoyed seeing the reaction to Bruce taking on the mantle in a new world that has no idea who Batman is and how that shapes his actions and their reactions to him. The plot is engaging and I look forward to seeing the mysteries within explored.

    The Art: Hawthorne delivers some great art throughout the issue. The character designs and backgrounds look amazing and I love the visual tone of the issue.

  • 85


    Batman #133 continues to reveal what Gotham would be like without Batman, and a little Batman injected into it can start to fix things with a bit of elbow grease. This issue also begins to reveal there may be a larger purpose to Batman being zapped into another dimension, making the next issue even more tantalizing to read.

  • 84

    Batman on Film

    Overall, this was a good chapter for this arc. The story is progressing, Bruce has accepted what this world is and while on the mission to figure out how to get home, he’s still going to bring justice to this Gotham.

  • 80

    First Comics News

  • 80

    But Why Tho?

    Batman #133 is still a fun read. The overall story in this world is great. Red Mask reveals some moves that are very telling (and frightening). Catwoman is becoming interesting. And Bruce navigating this Gotham is getting very good. While I admire Bruce’s dedication to justice, it’s weird he spends little time trying to get back home. He’s made worse decisions in his life. All things considered, this storyline is building up to whatever the heck Red Mask is really doing to people and Batman closing in to confront him. So I’m eager to see how this all goes down and what will become of this Gotham afterward. (…) Things seem to be slowly getting there. I really like these stories. Perhaps I’m looking too hard for a reason behind them, but ‘Failsafe’ was too epic to ever forget and ended, to me, suddenly. Whatever Bruce has to do to get home, let’s go. But for you fans out there, this is an issue worth getting for the overall story, the settings, great new takes on established villains, and lovely visuals.

  • 80

    Get Your Comic On

    It’s all beginning to come together in Batman #133 this month. With both the main and backup stories heading towards a crossover point it’s starting to fell like something big is coming.

    Zdarsky has, so far, done a great job of keeping the two stories separate. Whilst the main story finds Bruce searching for both a way home and a way to help the citizens of this alternate Gotham. Tim has been relentless in his search for a way to bring Bruce home. I’ve talked about this already during the “Bat-Man of Gotham” arc but both men ultimately have the same goal but with very different approaches.

    Issue #133 picks up both stories exactly where they left off. On the alternate Earth, Bruce is donning his Bat-suit once again as he refuses not to get involved with the rife corruption in the city. I picked up on this point last month, but what Zdarsky is really telling us with this story is two-fold. Firstly, Gotham needs a Batman. Second, Bruce needs to be Batman. Zdarsky is proving month-by-month how deep his understanding of the character runs. (…) “The Bat-Man of Gotham” arc begins to coalesce this month. With all the pieces on the board, Zdarsky is shifting the story to bring in more action whilst keeping the focus on Bruce’s emotional journey. Once again the backup story is used to bring some great context. We’re beginning to see both stories racing towards an epic conclusion.

  • 80

    Comic Watch

    Batman #133 is an excellent example of delivering a strong, well-put-together issue that doesn’t have to break everything. Zdarsky and co get the opportunity to show they can deliver an engaging story with compelling characters that doesn’t require breaking down everything you know about Batman or subverting expectations. Zdarsky’s talent for finding and refining the voice for an extended cast of characters comes out in this issue thanks to his use of alternate versions of Riddler, Two-Face, and Alfred, who all get to play into their base emotions and ratchet it up to ten.

    Hawthorne and Di Benedetto’s art also does this in both the more bombastic action sequences and the quieter, introspective moments. The balance plays up the pulp and human roots of Batman, and when paired with the excellent balance of colors from Morey, the issue clicks and becomes a satisfying Batman comic. Sometimes, you just want your Batman comic to be a no-frill, hearty Batman comic, and that’s what Batman #133 is at its core.

  • 80

    Comic Book Revolution

    Chip Zdarsky along with artists Mike Hawthorne and Miguel Mendonca delivered a strong chapter in the two Multiverse adventures we get in Batman #133. With the main story we see how Bruce Wayne resourceful he is while struggling with his emotions when interacting with certain Elseworld characters. Then with the Tim Drake adventure we get another example of what makes him the best Robin. It all comes together for a comic book that makes you want to find out what happens next in both stories.

  • 80

    Weird Science DC Comics

    Batman #133 finds Bruce Wayne donning a street-level cape and cowl to save an alternate world’s Gotham from criminal corruption. The art and writing are solid, and the plot feels like it’s moving, but the lack of urgency on Bruce’s behalf to get back home and stop Failsafe is somehow unsettling.

  • 80

    You Don't Read Comics

    Zdarsky has a really interesting idea. Batman in the Gotham City of a parallel universe is too clever a concept to rush through this quickly. The idea of a seasoned Bruce Wayne having to start over completely in a world that never knew Batman would be a lot of fun for a multi-title crossover. Instead, Zdarsky has to rush through it as a multi-issue arc in a single title. It all feels a little too compressed to manage the full impact that it could have had if it were allowed more room to breathe.

  • 80

    While I would like to see this story progressing a little faster so that we could get back to the main universe so that Bruce and deal with Failsafe because it feels more and more like we’ve just forgotten the urgency of that storyline entirely, this adventure in this alternate Gotham is still a fascinating one, particularly this issue as we dig a little more into the cracks in the system as it were. It seems like Catwoman has her limits and her own moral compass—gray as it is—in any universe and watching Bruce be very “back to basics” in a way we don’t get to see him in the main universe is certainly refreshing. Zdarsky continues to prove that he’s a great writer for Batman here. This is genuinely a solid issue. It’s flaws are really only pacing and how much of that is preference and how much of that is genuine flaw is really up to the individual reader to decide.

  • 80

    Dark Knight News

    Batman #133 is an issue that expands and opens up the alternate universe, adding more meat to the bone. Whilst the city is different to the one we know and love, Batman is Batman. The surroundings may have changed but the man and his mission remain the same. Will he accomplish all he wants to before it is time to go home? Only time will tell.

  • 80


  • 70

    Graphic Policy

    Together, the two stories work and work well, but writer Chip Zdarsky overall delivers a story that feels like we’ve seen over and over. All that changes are the details. Here, the hints of who the Red Mask might be is the most intriguing aspect of it all, as we see the character use some powers against Selina which tied to what Bruce discovers as he exhumes a body, teases the villain’s identity. (…) The art by Mike Hawthorne is good. The action is fine but the color by Tomeu Morey pops in certain moments. Hawthorne is joined by Adriano Di Benedetto on ink and lettering by Clayton Cowles and the detail and design of the world is more interesting than anything else. Batman’s makeshift costume, the buildings of Gotham, the story they tell stands out more than the paces Bruce and Batman are put through. There’s almost a tiredness about it all, a city and reality that wears on the people living it.

    Zdarsky also gives us the attempt to get Bruce back in the third part of “The Toy Box.” Miguel Mendonca provides the art with Roman Stevens on color and Cowles on lettering. Overall, the story is ok. It’s a little rushed as Tim Drake is in the world of Toyman attempting to not just capture the villain but also rescue the individuals kidnapped by him. It’s a quest as opposed to a story, delivering scant details, though it’d all be worth to expand it further as it’s actually interesting and somewhat horrific.

    Batman #133 has solidified my thoughts on this arc, the main story and back-up are flipped. The comic should feature Tim and Jon Kent’s attempt to find and rescue Bruce as the main draw. A story of a “rescue” of Bruce from an actual ideal world could have been a bit more interesting than Bruce again finding he needs to don the cowl in an alternate world to dispense justice. Overall, an entertaining, though overall ho-hum arc so far.

  • 60

    The Batman Universe

    To be fair, Batman #133 isn’t bad. Visually, Hawthorne and Morey do a fantastic job of creating a grimy, disgusting, yet fantastical Elseworlds Gotham. There isn’t much tension or reason to care in this chapter. More than anything else, Batman #133 feels like a bridge between two more important moments, rushing us to the next issue’s big moment in Arkham Caves.

  • 60


    Honestly, this alternate reality Batman story just isn’t doing much for me personally. It’s written well, with strong art. It’s a fine read. But there’s nothing really unique or special about it to make it really stand out. It’s still Bruce Wayne as Batman, and he’s still surrounded by the usual supporting characters. He apparently had no problem putting together a legitimate Batman costume, complete with gadgets, despite having no resources. And the bad guys immediately know everything about him, so there’s no mystery to his actions. And then it’s just a matter of fighting a bad guy on Venom, and dealing with Selina Kyle. The overall big bad guy, Red Mask, isn’t anyone special. He’s just another goober. So I dunno. None of this is capturing me as strongly as Zdarsky’s opening story.

    I guess I just wish there was more to this world to sink my teeth into. Some real twist that makes this world special and interesting. Instead, it’s the same characters, dealing with Arkham Asylum, and even the Wayne Family and Alfred are the same. And, again, there’s no real effort put into building up a new Batman. He just does it off-panel. So we don’t even get the fun of seeing what Bruce can do when he doesn’t have any resources whatsoever. That could have made for a very scrappy story, but we don’t get that story.

    Likewise, the Tim Drake backup wasn’t much. It was a fun little short story, but feels so inconsequential. In his efforts to find Batman in the multiverse, Robin randomly has a mini-adventure saving people from a random Toyman universe. Goodish times.

    This alternate reality storyline isn’t as unique and special as I would like. It doesn’t have anything alternate enough to sink my teeth into.

  • 45


    Honestly? I don’t recommend this comic; it just isn’t very good. The backup is fun, and Zdarsky certainly has a good voice for Tim Drake, but I’m not about to recommend spending $4.99 on just a short backup. There are better books on stands this week that are worth spending your time and hard-earned money on.

More From Batman (2016)

About the Author: Chip Zdarsky

In the ever-evolving landscape of comic books, Chip Zdarsky emerges as a figure of immense creativity and versatility. Known for infusing his narratives with both humor and emotional depth, Zdarsky has charted a course through the comic book universe that is as diverse as it is compelling. From the groundbreaking humor of “Sex Criminals” to the gritty streets of Marvel’s “Daredevil,” his journey is a testament to a talent that refuses to be pigeonholed.

The man behind the pseudonym, Steve Murray, became a household name with “Sex Criminals,” co-created with Matt Fraction. This series broke new ground with its audacious blend of comedy, romance, and the supernatural. It was here that Zdarsky’s knack for balancing wit with genuine storytelling first shone, earning the series critical acclaim and a dedicated following.

Zdarsky’s portfolio, however, spans a broad spectrum. His unique voice has breathed new life into “Howard the Duck,” where he explored themes of identity and belonging, and his run on Marvel’s “Daredevil” has been celebrated for its moral complexity and rich character development. But Zdarsky’s talents are not limited to writing. As an artist, he has lent his distinct visual style to numerous projects, enhancing his narratives with expressive artistry and dynamic visuals.

In recent years, Zdarsky has ventured into the shadowy alleys of Gotham City, bringing his distinctive flair to the world of Batman. His work on Batman titles has quickly garnered attention for its fresh take on the Dark Knight, blending the character’s traditional brooding intensity with new layers of psychological depth. Through stories that delve into Batman’s complex psyche and the morally ambiguous landscape of Gotham, Zdarsky adds to the rich tapestry of Batman lore, proving yet again his ability to navigate and innovate within established universes.

Beyond his impressive body of work, Zdarsky’s engagement with the comic book community — through social media, conventions, and insightful industry commentary — has made him a beloved figure among fans and fellow creators. His contributions have not only earned him awards and nominations but have also solidified his role as a pivotal voice in contemporary comics.

As Chip Zdarsky continues to explore the darker corners of Gotham City, his journey exemplifies the power of storytelling in comic books — where humor meets heroism, and the human condition is explored in the flicker of a bat signal against the night sky. For those drawn to the art of comics, Zdarsky’s work offers a masterclass in creativity, inviting readers into worlds both wildly imaginative and intensely real.

[Latest Update: April 8, 2024]