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Batman #139

Comicscore Index
Generally favorable ratings

Based on 23 critic ratings.

Following the cataclysmic events of “The Gotham War,” Batman finds himself completely isolated from his family, struggling to keep the rage of Zur in check. But he can’t stop, because he’s out there, haunting the city, taunting the Dark Knight: The Joker. And the new Batman is ready to stop him once and for all. “Mindbomb” begins!

Publication Date
Kindle Edition
Print Length
34 pages
Amazon ASIN

23 Critic Ratings & Reviews from:
  • 100

    Comic Watch

    Batman #139 is a tonal whiplash from the previous issue of Gotham War in the best possible way. Dipping into the inherent darkness of the city and restoring Batman’s role as an urban legend, this issue continues Bruce’s larger descent into madness thanks to the influence of Zur-En-Arrh. Zdarsky’s scripting brings various elements from his Battitles together as he sets Bruce against the Joker. Jiménez and Morey match this shift in tone by bathing the book in a literal and figurative sense of darkness, pulling inspiration from a more impressionistic sense of art and colors.

    Overall, this issue is a welcome shift from the previous story arc as it puts a restored sense of energy and refocuses on the continuing story of Zur-En-Arrh.

  • 95

    Geek Dad

    Zdarsky feels like he’s been building to this for a long time, because this Joker story starts with Batman figuring out that Joker is leaving him clues based around the mentors he studied under in his youth—as shown in Zdarsky and Di Giandomenico’s Batman: The Knight.

  • 95

    Nerd Initiative

    Whenever the story involves Batman and The Joker, fan expectations are almost unreachable. That is not the case with this issue. Strong writing and exceptional art builds the foundation for what is sure to be a memorable Batman story for the ages.

  • 90


    If you’ve been enjoying the ongoing story involving Batman of Zur-En-Arrh then you’ll need to get this new issue. Zdarsky has proven he’s doing some compelling work with legacy elements of Batman making them fresh while building new stories from them. This issue proves Zdarsky’s run is on track to be added to the list of Batman’s best stories.

  • 90

    Dark Knight News

    Batman #139 is a great jumping on point into a new saga that sets the stage for some unbridled carnage to come. I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to where it goes next. I only wish we didn’t have to wait a whole month between issues.

  • 90

    The Comicbook Dispatch

    Batman #139 kicks off this new arc after a pretty lackluster Gotham War. We get to see Bruce in a really bad place right now battling some pretty vicious demons mentally as well as physically. However, the kicker comes by means of the Joker, what he knows, and the impact that this has on the future of both characters. Furthermore, I absolutely love the psychotic take that Zdarsky is spinning with Batman, Zur, and his compliment to even the same villains he puts away. There is just a ton to explore and Zdarsky continues to keep the fireworks moving well. To those who “peaced out” with King and Tynion’s runs, you need to jump back in now. Chip has brought this book back up to where it’s supposed to be.

  • 90

    But Why Tho?

    Batman #139 is both simple and complicated. The cast has shrunk, only concentrating on Batman and his greatest enemy. But with both of them on such a soul-searching journey, the narrative is anything but simple. The personality crisis that Batman is going through is long-winded and not always fully understood, but it cannot be denied that it is shaking up the character in the most drastic method in years. And all of this is visualised by an utterly sensational art team.

  • 87

    The Super Powered Fancast

    The Story: Zdarsky crafts a dark, compelling and entertaining story in this issue. The Batman/Zur dynamic continues to be an interesting one to explore and adding Joker into the mix is a great idea that beautifully ramps up the drama and suspense throughout the story. I like the darker tone the story is taking and look forward to seeing what Zdarsky explores next for the character.

    The Art: Jimenez delivers beautifully detailed and visually immersive art throughout the issue. The art style and compositions position Jimenez as one of my favorite Batman artists for both character and action.

  • 85

    Comic Book Revolution

    Batman #139 gets the series back on track in the post-Gotham War world. Chip Zdarsky and Jorge Jimenez do an excellent job at examining Bruce Wayne’s character in and out of being Batman. That examination is elevated by the presentation of Joker to create a new chapter in the iconic rivalry. Add in a Vandal Savage back-up story that shows potential, Batman #139 is a great fresh start for the series.

  • 85

    Fortress of Solitude

  • 80

    First Comics News

  • 80

    Get Your Comic On

    A brilliant opener to this latest chapter of Chip Dzarsky’s Batman run. The “Mind Bomb” is already shaping up to be a Batman story for the ages and is the culmination of the last year of storytelling. Also, all hail Jorge Jimenez as nobody draws Batman or Joker like he does.

  • 80

    Derby Comics

    With the dreadful “Gotham War” crossover event mercifully over, the issue marks the beginning of Batman’s “Mind Bomb” arc from Chip Zdarsky and Jorge Jimenez. Zdarsky’s depiction of Bruce’s struggles with elements of mental illness related to the lingering presence of Zur En Arrh has been a fascinating read. Add in the complexities of The Joker wanting to face Zur for an ultimate showdown and you have the making for a captivating plot which highlights Zdarsky’s strengths as a Caped Crusader scribe. Jorge Jimenez’s art is another highlight of this current run and this issue he goes full psychological thriller with his designs. It’s perfectly jarring for the tone of Zdarsky’s script and really brings things to life. The Vandal Savage backstory keeps the character top of mind while he’s at least currently removed from the main story. I’m guessing these two plots will eventually converge and when they do, sparks should fly.

  • 80


    It’s Batman vs. the Joker by Zdarsky and Jimenez, so you already know it’s going to be pretty darn cool.

  • 75

    Caped Joel

  • 70


    I’m game to see what this arc will do. It’s an interesting set-up with some flaws, but gorgeous art. We’ll see from here.

  • 65

    Weird Science DC Comics

    Batman #139 gets back to basics as a focused Batman (sans support from the Batfamily) resumes his mission to hunt down the Joker. But for Joker’s antics looking too much like the Riddler, this is a gritty, taut crime thriller with gorgeous art. Unfortunately, the story is mildly tainted by too many connections to the Gotham War and the lack of follow-up concerning Jason Todd or Failsafe.

  • 60

    The Batman Universe

    Batman #139 is such a bizarre animal. The story is tired; a series of references to other books with a Joker yarn we’ve seen over and over again. The art, however, is exquisite, setting the most incredible ambiance for a story that under-delivers, and that’s putting it mildly.

  • 60


    Batman #139 starts out incredibly strong with a back-to-basics approach to Batman that feels both compelling and fresh. The art and writing set the mood perfectly for its psychological noir thriller tone. However, the cracks begin to show with an overreliance on call backs to far too many other titles. This would be fine if not for the fact that it all culminates in a reveal that sinks any hope of what seemed to be a straight forward Batman story, instead turning yet again into an overly convoluted premise.

  • 60

    Lyles Movie Files

    This start of the Mind Bomb arc is better than Gotham War, but that’s a low bar and Batman, the one seemingly impenetrable character DC had in their stable, finally seems to be beaten down from too many poor creative decisions. A return to more of the status quo elements would be welcome at this point as so much has been done, and not just in Batman #139, that it’s hard to feel too invested in this character any longer.

  • 53

    Comics From The Multiverse

  • 50

    Batman may be one of if not the most recognizable and popular characters n all of comics, but this week’s Batman #139 feels like a very sharp example of why the character—or at least this particular publication run of the character—needs a break. Batman #139 moves us away from the abysmal “Gotham War” storyline (an event that I’m still trying to figure out what the actual purpose was beyond making Batman a maniac and seemingly-killing Catwoman, but I digress) and gets back to basics for the Dark Knight as he goes all weird emotionless lone wolf. In his crosshairs is the Joker who has set up an elaborate play to set up a battle with the “real” Batman, tying everything back to the Batman of Zur En Arrh. On the surface, this sounds like it would be an at least somewhat interesting story, getting back to the Batman vs. Joker core of stories, but the problem lies in that Zdarsky doesn’t seem to know what he’s doing with Batman anymore. His run started with a character that had found balance emotionally and was growing only to go full crazy in the basement vigilante and now is over-relying on Zur En Arrh, which made for a fun turn early on, but now just feels like a worn out crutch. The writing—specifically Batman’s inner monologue—is campy as hell and while none of it is patently bad, it’s also just not good. It feels tired, worn out, exhausted, which is a shame because the art in the issue is bright and alive and really quite good. The backup story, about Vandal Savage, is squarely mediocre, but considering how bleak the main story is, feels weirdly elevated. Just not enough to pull the whole issue out of a slump.

  • 50


    I can’t tell if this was a Riddler story made to fit the Joker or a Joker story that simply relies on behavior better fitting another of Batman’s most famous foes. In either case, Joker’s breadcrumbs lead to an elaborate doll house where the most painful moments of Bruce Wayne’s life are put on display leading to the Joker perhaps getting his fondest wish just as the comic comes to a close. I’m more interested in the art here than the story, having long ago grown tied of broke Batman (who’s now schizophrenic… yah!?).

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]