This is a tough one to review with spoiler-free binders on, but let’s give it a shot. The Failsafe arc wraps up here in somewhat unsatisfying fashion. As writer Chip Zdarsky likely realized midway through the arc, it’s very difficult to defeat a killer robot designed with all of Batman’s strengths and none of his weaknesses. Eventually, this becomes the writing equivalent of painting yourself in a corner. There’s only so much Zdarsky can do to tell an ending that makes sense.
Clearly there’s one solution that Zdarsky settles on and through the magic of DC Comics it’s the easiest one to pull off without any lasting concern. More on that in a moment.
Before this big faceoff, Zdarsky crafts some ingenious Holy Escape moments as Batman navigates his way from an explosion at the Justice League’s Watchtower. It’s part ludicrous — it won’t be possible to look at Batman’s tights in the same way again — but also amazing. Reunited with Tim Drake, Batman has one final option to stop Failsafe. Zdarsky really has a great handle on the Batman and Robin/Tim dynamic and in just a few panels explains why Tim will always be the best Robin.
Artist Jorge Jimenez brings his usual high energy take on big bombastic moments. Jimenez has made for a fantastic co-collaborator for Zdarsky as Jimenez is game for any scenario no matter how challenging it might appear. Colorist Tomeu Morey also is up for the task with fantastic lighting effects and multiple hue explosions.
Now for that ending. It’s hard to really get moved or overly invested in it. There’s still no true clarity when this story is taking place in the current DC landscape. And with yet another big DC event looming over the horizon it’s hard to give this much thought. That’s a result of DC writers constantly pushing the same in case of dramatic emergency push the doomsday button. It can only work so many times before the diminishing results fail to pay off.
I’m curious where Zdarsky takes the series next, but the ending of his first major arc ultimately fails to move the needle.
Rating: 7 out of 10
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