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Batman #146

Comicscore Index
Mixed or average ratings

Based on 19 critic ratings.

The explosive “Dark Prisons” continues as Batman learns from an old mentor what Zur’s plans are for Gotham City… and the world!

Can the Dark Knight escape from a prison designed by the ultimate version of himself?

And what nefarious role does The Joker play in all of this?

Publication Date
Kindle Edition
Print Lenght
35 pages
Amazon ASIN

19 Critic Ratings & Reviews from:
  • 100

    Dark Knight News

    Batman #146 is gripping from start to finish. It adds layers of intrigue both in the present day and in an historical sense, too. Explosive and potentially catastrophic events are in the pipeline, and this tees everything up perfectly for what’s bound to follow.

    The next few months are going to change the game exponentially and I’m all in. Roll on next month!

  • 95

    Geek Dad

    This issue has a distinct sense of hopelessness to it—at least, for everyone but Bruce, who wastes no time turning Blackgate into his private staging ground for a great escape. It’s amazing that this plot has been building since Zdarsky began his run, and I suppose it makes sense—who makes a better arch-enemy for Batman than Batman himself?

  • 90

    Fortress of Solitude

  • 89

    The Comicbook Dispatch

    Batman #146 is a thought-provoking issue that delves into the depths of Batman’s psyche. The concept of a self-made prison is a unique twist, and Jorge Jiménez’s artwork is a visual treat. However, the pacing might feel slow for some, and the presence of the Joker could potentially distract from the main narrative. Nevertheless, this issue is a strong set-up for what promises to be a thrilling arc, but it remains to be seen if Zdarsky can maintain a balance between internal and external conflicts. There is no doubt that this issue is a must-read for die-hard Batman fans who enjoy delving into the character’s psychology that changes a bit of the history, lore, and dynamic between the Joker. However, those looking for a fast-paced, action-packed story might want to wait for the next installment to see how the external threats unfold.

  • 88

    The Super Powered Fancast

    The Story: Zdarsky crafts an entertaining and thrilling story in this issue. I enjoy the mystery in the issue and how Bruce is at odds with his mentor throughout. I still find myself at odds with the Joker portion of the story and how it continues to take the mystery away from the character. That being said, it’s an intriguing story with some great action and interesting moments.

    The Art: Jimenez delivers some beautiful art throughout the issue. The character designs are great and the action is visually brilliant.

  • 88

    Nerd Initiative

    With a new dynamic duo running loose in Gotham, Batman struggles to find a way to right this wrong. Zdarsky give readers a tale of two Batman with excellent writing. Jiménez, Morey and Cowles let the new Caped Crusader run wild with dynamic imagery. The new era of justice continues on with a chapter fans won’t want to miss.

  • 85


    Love or hate the recontextualizing of Joker’s past acts, you have to admit this is as bold as any Batman comic of the last two decades. Zdarsky continues to build on lore and what we know in Batman #146, making it his own while exciting readers with a narrative that could go in any direction. Batman is cutting-edge and exciting every page of the way.

  • 80


    So I’m a little torn on this issue. On the one hand, it’s another exciting chapter of this very intense saga, with Batman being his awesome self and the world falling down around him. On the other hand, I don’t really like the idea that everything Zdarsky has written so far was some grand scheme by the Joker, who has been orchestrating everything from the very beginning. But that’s on me. I’m not a fan of the Joker, and I’m especially not a fan of the modern Joker, who is an omniscient mega mastermind who knows Batman’s every single secret. I’m just not a fan, so those reveals/twists in this issue are just nails on a chalkboard. So Zdarsky doesn’t get to create a new villain in Failsafe? It’s all just the latest Joker mega scheme? Meh.

    But all of that bitching aside, this is still a really fun issue of Batman being the absolute best. The Bat-Family and Justice League are being a little dopey on the sidelines, but Batman remains a force of nature as he escapes prison and prepares his comeback, under the nose of all the bad guys trying to stop him. And Jimenez continues to draw like a beast! This guy needs to be getting Jim Lee levels of famous here. So it looks good, it’s still a strong overall story and the page-to-page writing is excellent. So I’m still enjoying myself, even as I roll my eyes as the Uber Joker stuff.

    Here’s hoping Zdarsky still uses Tim Drake well as Batman’s partner!

  • 80

    Get Your Comic On

    A solid issue building on the mystery surrounding Joker, Batman and a mysterious figure from both their pasts. Batman #146 is led by the incredible due of artists Jorge Jimenez and Michele Bandini, both of whom bring a dynamic style to the streets of Gotham.

  • 80

    Caped Joel

  • 76

    Monkeys Fighting Robots

    Batman #146 provides a deeper look into the mind of Zur-En-Arhh as well as Captio, with an interesting ending for Bruce as well. The state of affairs of Gotham and the characters in it are left in an interesting spot with a battle against Zur feeling imminent. If things keep going the way they are, Zur-En-Arrh could prove to be a bigger threat than anyone could’ve guessed.

  • 70

    First Comics News

  • 68

    Comic Watch

    Batman #146 feels trapped in a cycle of bland plotlines, consistent art, and thrilling colors, striving for something new but never making a full attempt to break from what came before. Zdarsky’s scripting is intentional in its narrative rhymes, but rather than create a specific rhythm, it just makes it feel like chasing a tail. Paired with Jiménez’s linework, which maintains its strong visual consistency and focus on character, but never fully delivers on the revolutionary artwork from previous issues. The only element that tries to push the envelope is Morey’s coloring, which understands the need for distinct palettes. Something needs to give and shift the story into a new direction, and a glimmer of hope has appeared in the re-introduction of Superman to the title.

  • 66

    The Batman Universe

    It’s okay, dear readers, you can take a breath now. That was a lot, and there really isn’t much to say because much of this issue serves to set up story threads that have yet come to pass. Joker is back together with Punchline. Harley has been captured. Zur is now meeting with Superman. Robin has found Zur’s army, and Bruce books it out of town. All the while, Daniel Captio has completed his decades-long goal, apparently, of becoming warden of Zur’s prison, so he can be Bruce Wayne’s therapist?

    Well okay then. The art’s beautiful, as usual, but the story is one big spaghetti mess.

  • 65

    Weird Science DC Comics

    Batman #146 rushes to explain how Captio is the mastermind behind everything, which explains a lot in a complex, exposition-heavy end to this act, just in time for Absolute Power. Unfortunately, Zdarsky’s complex explanation often sounds confusing, and several plot holes are left on the table.

  • 50

    Comic Book Revolution

    After a strong opening chapter Batman #146 drops the ball with how it attempts to continue the momentum for the “Dark Prison” story arc. Right away this comic book opens with an oddly timed recap prologue/back-up story. From there the story never recovers the momentum started by the first chapter of this story. The only saving grace is some great visuals from Jorge Jimenez that would’ve been even better if the writing matched the level of the artwork.

  • 40

    Batman on Film

    Overall, Chip Zdarsky is a good writer, but this arc isn’t. It’s tiresome, focusing too much on connecting the past while simultaneously building on it to try something new. Yet ironically, it feels like we’ve been here before.

  • 30

    Batman #146 feels like a culmination of the many flaws and issues with much of Zdarsky’s run on the title, in particular its reframing of much of Batman’s origins and earlier canon. The issue kicks off with its continued centering of the Joker, this time by offering—in flashback form—how the Joker has been a pawn in a much larger grand plan that goes back as far as such notable events ad the death of Jason Todd, Barbara Gordon being attacked, and even the events of “Batman R.I.P.” and how it was all a massive overarching plan to trick Zur-En-Arrh into activating Failsafe this whole time. In short, it’s the worst kind of retcon and one that doesn’t necessarily make much in the way of sense. Add to that the continued overcooked narrative of the Batfam and Batman’s allies being unclear about what’s actually going on and Bruce having to lone wolf things once again all with heavy narration throughout and you’ve got a tedious issue that feels both unnecessary and so try-hard at being complex it circles all the way back to superficial again. The only real “win” this issue has is the art, but it’s not enough to lift the story.

  • 20


    Batman #146 is irritating to read. It opens with the same sort of Joker aggrandizement that has been happening since Joker Year One, going so far as to say that seemingly every Joker story ever written has been part of a master plan tied to this Zur-En-Arrh plot. From there, the rest of the story is a combination of pointless fights and wild mischaracterizations in order to fuel drama between Batman’s allies. No one much questions whether Batman would become an evil tyrant, which is honestly understandable given the way he’s been written in this run so far.

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]