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Batman Enters The Bat-Verse And Meets Several Iconic Caped Crusaders

Contains spoilers for "Batman" #135

Batman is hopping across the Multiverse to stop a villain who wants to be the next Joker. And along the way, he's meeting some of the most iconic versions of The Dark Knight.

In the newly released "Batman" #135 (which celebrates Batman's 900th issue) from DC Comics, Bruce Wayne chases after the Red Mask, who is harnessing Multiversal energy to go back to Joker's creation, where he intends to take his place. However, when the villain is able to briefly overtake the Joker's beginnings as the Clown Prince of Crimes, and his plan is interrupted by Batman, Red Mask jumps into a Multiversal teleporter.

Using a tracker to try to find Red Mask, Batman ends up in several different worlds that longtime comic readers, TV, and movie fans will recognize. To defeat Red Mask, Batman gets surprise help from some of the most iconic Batmen ever – including Adam West's Batman, Batman Beyond (and the older version of Bruce Wayne) from the iconic cartoon, and even Frank Miller's gritty version of the Caped Crusader.

The journey is the perfect way to mark Batman's landmark issue, with the hero entering the Bat-Verse in the exciting story.

The Dark Knight's first stop is in Tim Burton's Batman universe

In "Batman" #135 by Chip Zdarsky, Mike Hawthorne, Jorge Jimenez, Mikel Janin, Adriano Di Benedetto, Tomeu Morey, and Romulo Fajardo Jr. from DC Comics, Batman's tracker takes him to a different world in the Multiverse. While the hero recognizes Gotham City, he points out it's not his home. He quickly sees a screen showcasing Jack Nichoslon's Joker from Tim Burton's "Batman," with the news report showing the deadly villain is back. As Batman gathers himself in his new surroundings, he's met by Michael Keaton's Batman, who dawns his iconic suit, and admits they both appear to be Batman. But, when Batman asks if the Joker was dead at some point, he is teleported to another different reality.

Batman hops across several different worlds quickly, where he learns the Joker's are returning stronger and more deadly thanks to the Red Mask. He meets the vampire Joker from "Batman: Bloodstorm," the 1940s version of The Dark Knight battling the classic version of the villain, and even sees "Batman from Batman: The Animated Series" taking on Mark Hamill's Joker. He eventually confronts a version of himself that can't escape the Joker and advises him to kill him once and for all.

Batman goes into the future and the past

Batman's Multiversal travels eventually take him to the world of the cartoon version of "Batman: Beyond," where the older Bruce Wayne informs him he knows about a sane Joker jumping across time and creating Jokers wherever he goes. Bruce tells Batman he is tied to other Bruce Waynes and offers him a Holt disc allowing him to return to his natural universe. Unfortunately, the Joker from the future breaks through their headquarters, forcing Terry McGinnis into action. Batman teleports through different realities, including the comic book worlds of "Gotham by Gaslight" and the iconic "Kingdom Come."

Batman ends up in the 1960s, where he meets Adam West's Batman and Cesar Romero's Joker from "Batman." West's Batman reveals he doesn't know what the Multiverse is but offers his fellow hero a much-needed helping hand. Telling Bruce that "Batman needs a utility belt to fight the darkness," West's Batman gives him his classic yellow belt. The moment is a stark contrast to some of the other universes Batman had gone to at that point, as West's Batman's warmness is apparent, as he even refers to the time-displaced Dark Knight as a friend. However, Batman's adventures take a much darker turn following his encounter with 1960s Batman.

Batman enters Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns

Batman's next trip is to the world of "The Dark Knight Returns" by Frank Miller, Klaus Janson, and Lynn Varley, where the armor-wearing Batman instantly recognizes him. The pair debrief in the Batcave, where the older and battle-damaged Bruce Wayne helps patch up his new friend. In the style of one of Miller's most iconic Batman stories, Bruce offers a uniform to Batman. During their conversations, Batman asks if he killed he killed his Joker. He responds by telling him he didn't, but had the chance too, but couldn't, adding the Joker killed himself while laughing instead.

The fight doesn't end there, as Batman is quickly teleported to Red Mask's end of the Multiverse. There, a floating Gotham City is being engulfed by a giant Joker shark as Batman tries to convince the villain to stop his pursuit. Red Mask uses his remaining Multiversal energy to try to kill Batman, sending the sharks at him at full speed. But, thanks to Adam West's Batman (who the current Batman admits is more prepared even than him) putting shark repellent in his utility belt, he's able to fend off the monsters. A depowered Red Mask makes one last attempt to kill Batman but is knocked out cold with a single punch from the hero. But, despite his victory, Batman appears stuck at the end of the Multiverse.

Batman is saved by one of his greatest ally's

Despite having the Holt disc allowing him a one-way return to his universe, Batman doesn't use it, admitting he can't leave Red Mask to die, nor can he send him to his world without him also being there. Batman sits down and ponders about the right thing to do but is soon met with a flashing night in the sky. Tim Drake's Robin, who has been traveling across different worlds with an upgraded suit of armor built by Mr. Terrific, finds Batman at the end of the Multiverse. Robin reveals he's seen enough Batmen in his travels and is incredibly happy to see his Bruce. In a heartwarming moment, Batman and Robin hug as The Dark Knight thanks him for saving him.

Batman's Multiversal adventure ends with him returning to his world alongside Tim, as the final page of the oversized issue reveals all the different Batman he encountered, including Keaton, Weset, and Batman Beyond, all wearing Zur-En-Arrh suits. Considering Batman's Zur-En-Arrh persona created Failsafe, with the villain being responsible for his Multiversal adventures and meeting Red Mask, to begin with, it's an appropriate endpoint for the arc.

The celebratory Batman issue hits all the right notes

Batman jumping across different timelines and meeting some of the most iconic Batmen ever makes for a significant issue. The entire creative team, especially the artists and colorists on the book, do a fantastic job emulating the styles, designs, and tones of several generations of "Batman" media. Seeing Batman interact in the worlds of Burton's "Batman," "Batman: The Animated Series," and "Batman Beyond" — and in their trademark styles — all while making a gripping and coherent story is quite an achievement.

Storywise, the book represents an excellent ending to Chip Zdarsky, Jorge Jimenez, and Tomeu Morey's Multiversal arc. Batman has so many iconic counterparts across the Multiverse, and seeing him finally interact with some of them is the stuff of readers' dreams. It was a smart choice to have them help him build Batman back up, as the utility belt from Adam West's Batman, the suit from "The Dark Knight Returns" Batman, and a helpful Multiversal tool from Bruce Wayne of "Batman Beyond" also serve the story and make the cameos meaningful. Tim Drake saving Batman is also a perfect way to bring Batman back to his timeline, too, and it's always a nice treat to see a softer side of the hero.

Readers can see Batman enters his own Bat-Verse in "Batman" #135 by Chip Zdarsky, Mike Hawthorne, Jorge Jimenez, Mikel Janin, Adriano Di Benedetto, Tomeu Morey, and Romulo Fajardo Jr. from DC Comics from DC Comics, which is in comic book stores and online retailers now.