So what really happened to the Dark Knight in the final pages of last month's Batman #130, the finale of writer Chip Zdarsky's opening story arc 'Failsafe'?
When last we (and Tim Drake) saw the Caped Crusader, the titular Failsafe, Batman's robotic counterpart created by his own subconscious backup version of himself the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh (it's complicated) seemingly blew Batman up real good outside of Superman's Fortress of Solitude.(opens in new tab)
But hey, this is Batman. Did you really think he was dead? Despite Tim believing his mentor-father figure went kaboom, Failsafe actually transported Batman by some means to a rainy alleyway in Gotham City (well ... a Gotham City, anyway), a seeming response to the "compassion" programming the Dark Knight successfully uploaded to Failsafe just minutes before.
So what really happened to Batman?
The following preview pages give readers some idea and it appears Failsafe might have transported Bruce to a Gotham on another Earth in the Multiverse.
At least that's the clues provided in the preview, which you can read for yourself below:
"I'm going to tell you nothing!" Zdarksy told Newsarama last month, asked about the end of Batman #130.
"Maybe the gun has sent Batman to heaven? And his version of heaven is just having a nice lie down in Crime Alley?
"All I'll say is, Batman isn't dead. But Failsafe completed his program."
"Tim has to deal with what happened in the Arctic. And not only that, he has to deal with what he sees as a Batman that isn't fully himself," Zdarksy continued.
"As for Batman … we're really giving a lot of Bruce Wayne in this next arc, as he struggles to move on from what Failsafe did to him. And Mike Hawthorne draws the hell out of it. His Bruce Wayne is a movie star that could break you just by glancing in your direction."
"Our first arc was non-stop action, and this second arc slows it down just a touch, giving everyone a different look at Batman and Gotham while introducing a terrifying new villain. I hope everyone likes it!"
Batman #131 by Zdarksy, Hawthorne, inker Adriano Di Benedetto, colorist Tomeu Morey, and letterer Clayton Cowles goes on sale Tuesday, January 3.
This is a great time to check out all the new Batman comics, graphic novels, and collections from DC in 2022 (and 2023).