Batman’s Ultimate Contingency Plan Was Never the Justice League (He Lied)

This post contains SPOILERS for Batman #127

In the latest issue of DC Comics’ Batman, the Dark Knight finally reveals his true contingency plan, having created a means to stop himself along with the rest of the Justice League. Back in the classic Tower of Babel storyline, Ra’s al Ghul got his hands on Batman’s plans to take out the Justice League should any or all of them go rogue and threaten the world. While Batman told Superman that the Justice League was his contingency plan for himself if he ever went too far, this new issue of Batman reveals that Bruce always kept the real truth hidden.


In previous issues of Batman from Chip Zdarsky and Jorge Jimenez, the Dark Knight began to concern the rest of the Bat-Family after the death of the Penguin who staged events to make it look as though Batman murdered him. As such, a dark and lethal AI robot known as Failsafe was inadvertently activated with the directive to terminate Batman (Bruce’s true contingency for himself if he ever went too far). However, Batman only had vague memories of the robot with no idea how to stop it. Instead, his alternate personality emerged known as the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh, believing himself to be the better Batman (due to the absence of Bruce) and the one who actually built Failsafe.

Having been created to defend Batman against psychological attacks, Zur-En-Arrh created Failsafe so that Bruce wouldn’t know how to defeat the killer robot, ensuring that a rogue Batman could be dealt with. Likewise, the Darker Knight also reveals that he removed memories of building the robot from himself to make sure he’d be defeated as well. Nevertheless, Zur-En-Arrh and Tim Drake’s Robin still try to take on Failsafe in a desperate battle within the original Batcave and Wayne Manor.

Batman's True Failsafe Revealed

Ultimately, Failsafe proves itself to be the perfect failsafe to take down Batman. Having been beaten into submission and close to death, Batman is saved at the issue’s end with Superman himself arriving to battle the robot. While the Man of Steel should be able to handle the deadly AI resembling Marvel’s Ultron, Clark’s probably not very happy that Bruce still kept contingency plans secret (even if Batman himself didn’t have the full picture).

Superman posed the perfect question at the beginning of this new issue: “How does the League take down the man who’s planned for us?“. As such, the truth is far more complex seeing as how Batman needed to devise a contingency while still not knowing all the moves ahead of time. As such, the creation of Failsafe via the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh is an ingeniously convoluted way to answer that question. Batman would be planned and prepared to fight the Justice League. He’s not ready to handle a robot of his own design he doesn’t remember creating, making it the perfect contingency (albeit activated for the wrong reasons). Batman #127 is on sale now.

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