Review: Batman #133 – DC Comics News

Review: Batman #133

Batman #133 - DC Comics News

[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]

Writer: Chip Zdarski

Artists: Mike Hawthorne, Adriano Di Benedetto, Miguel Mendonca

Coloration: Tomeu Morey, Roman Stevens

Letters: Clayton Cowles

Reviewed by: Derek McNeil


Orderly #133: Everyone goes crazy 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… Batman. And in our backup story, Tim Drake’s quest for Batman continues as he and Superman Jon Kent team up to stop Toyman’s terror!


There are many things about Chip Zdarsky’s that I liked Orderly #133 but my absolute favorite part is Bruce’s interaction with Alfred Pennyworth from this parallel Earth. Since Alfred died in the main DCU, only occasionally does Bruce interact with him in flashbacks, hallucinations, or dreams. But this time, Bruce interacts with a live Alfred. This may not be the Alfred we know, but he seems to be the same character at heart.

Bruce tells the Alfred of this world

…I am from another universe. And the Alfred Pennyworth of my universe… was a good man who stood up to evil. I’m here to do it… I’ll do everything in my power to make things right… because I was raised by Alfred Pennyworth.

Something that is sometimes overlooked by many Batman writers is that Alfred was as much of a father figure to Bruce as Thomas Wayne – if not more so. It’s great to see that Zdarsky understands this key element of the Batman mythos. And I like that Bruce gets a chance to express his love and appreciation to Alfred for this upbringing, even if it’s not his Alfred.

Another interesting aspect of the story is that Bruce becomes Batman again, but without the benefit of Wayne Industries’ resources. There’s been a bit of teasing that we’ll see Bruce run without those resources after Joker War. However, his career as Batman seems to have gone mostly unchanged other than a change of residence.

But now we see that Bruce had to put together a somewhat improvised costume and weapon. Hawthorne and Di Benedetto did a great job designing a lower tech Batman costume – possibly too good. It looks good enough that it must have been a bit pricey for Bruce. Not millions, but it must have cost at least a few hundred. How did Bruce manage to achieve this?

Batman #133 - DC Comics News

Positives Cont.

Bruce makes an interesting discovery. As far as this world is concerned, their Bruce Wayne was killed years ago. But Bruce discovers that the late Bruce Wayne is from another parallel Earth. This raises some important questions. What universe is this Bruce Wayne from? And what happened to the Bruce of this world? Is he still on this Earth or another, or is he dead? Zdarsky gave Bruce a rather intriguing and unusual puzzle to solve.

Bruce’s encounters with the Riddler and Judge Dent show that Batman doesn’t need his fancy gadgets to be Batman. These are the tools he uses, but Bruce is as tough as ever, even without them. And the evildoers of this world don’t stand a chance against him.

Orderly Backup Story #133 continues Tim Drake’s quest to find and bring Bruce back to the main DCU Earth. To this end, he tracked down Toyman, who created a weapon that sent Bruce to another universe.

The Toyman has escaped to yet another universe, and Tim intends to bring him back to help find out where Bruce was sent in the Multiverse. Importantly, Tim also tries to bring all the victims abducted by Toyman to this parallel Earth. Tim’s ultimate goal is to get Bruce back, but helping others is a priority. Just as Bruce learned it from Alfred, Tim learned it from Bruce.


I’m a little confused about one thing about the backup history. Tim wears an outfit designed for versatile travel. It’s quite a striking design by Miguel Mendonca, but it’s nothing like Robin’s costume either in terms of design or colors. But Toyman immediately recognizes him as Robin. I don’t understand how he could do that.

The only clue to his Robin costume is his mask, which is barely visible under the tinted glass of his helmet faceplate. It is conceivable, though unlikely, that the Batman villain might be familiar enough with Robin to recognize him. But Toyman is Superman’s villain. If the story required Toyman to recognize Tim as Robin, then the uniform should have marked him as Robin in some way, like the R symbol or the distinctive red, green and yellow color scheme.

However, this is a minor thing and does not spoil the whole story. So I can easily overlook it.

Batman #133 - DC Comics News


Zdarsky’s The Bat of Gotham City turns out to be a very thought-provoking plot. It’s an intriguing study of how Bruce would fare in a completely different version of Gotham. But Zdarsky shows us that Bruce is up to the challenge. Because being Batman is Bruce’s destiny, no matter what version of Gotham City he finds himself in.

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