Spoilers follow for Batman #127 below! New Batman writer Chip Zdarsky has wasted no time making a big mark on the mythology of the Dark Knight now that he's the architect of the mainline book at DC Comics. In addition to killing off a major villain (resurrecting them very quickly however) and introducing a formidable new antagonist, Zdarsky and artist Jorge Jimenez have reintroduced a major piece of Batman lore with a fresh new spin, the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh. Originally introduced back in the pages of Batman #113 in 1958 as an entirely different character, this alternate persona for Batman is very dangerous.
So what IS the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh?
Though originally an entirely different character, Batman of Zur-En-Arrh was retconned by Grant Morrison into becoming a backup personality created by Bruce Wayne. Done so that his mind would be fortified in the event of a psychic attack or mental compromise, the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh has fewer inhibitions and acts more violently than the regular Batman (if you can believe it). He also sports a very colorful outfit in stark contrast to the regular Batman, including a purple cape and cowl, a red outfit, and yellow arms.
How does Batman of Zur-En-Arrh fit into the new comics?
Ahead of the debut of Zdarsky and Jimenez's new run on Batman it was revealed that they would be introducing a new villain into the mix, Failsafe. Revealed to be an android, Failsafe was actually created by none other than the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh to stop Batman for any reason. In the pages of the new comics Failsafe is triggered after news reports that Batman killed The Penguin begin to circulate, and Batman realizes that the only way to stop Failsafe is for the man who created him to do it, meaning he has to give control of his body back over to Zur-En-Arrh.
What does Zur-En-Arrh mean?
Originally it was just the name of another planet, a place beyond Earth that had its own version of Batman with a patchwork-style suit. Thanks to Grant Morrison however the phrase has been given a new meaning, formed together by the last words that Bruce Wayne ever heard his father say out loud before his death. While leaving the theater, Thomas Wayne would remark "The sad thing is they'd probably throw someone like Zorro in Arkham," with those last three words becoming the jumbled Zur-En-Arrh.
Chip Zdarsky will continue to explore the Zur-En-Arrh side of Batman in the pages of their series, confirming that the next set of back-up stories in the comic will be titled "Zur-En-Arrh Year One." You can find the full cover and solicitation for the next issue of the series below.
(W) Chip Zdarsky (A) Leonardo Romero (A/CA) Jorge Jimenez
Failsafe has taken his family, his allies, and now his city...Broken and beaten, Batman retreats to the last place on Earth he can hide...but nothing can truly hide from Failsafe!
In the backup...Batman has prepared his mind for anything, or so he thought. We go back to his early days and a chilling case that led to...Failsafe!
In Shops: Oct 04, 2022