Batman & Robin Eternal #22 Review

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This issue needed more Goliath.

 

Damian slaps the eldes chap when he's tired of his rap, 'cuz he won't take that crap and would rather scrap with Cassie's Pap, who's a sap and gets thrown out through a gap, and that's the hap, so shut your yap, and prepare to clap as the story is recapped, Harp and Cass are still kidnapped, and Mother springs her trap! All this in the twenty-second movement of DC's weekly Batman symphony. Damian gets to be the Golden Child all the Morrison fans like him as, we see the (possible) end of an antagonist, and the gal pals on the outs share a tense moment.

 

No snarkiness here, just... that Cass reflection is AMAZING.

So, yeah... Damian. Damian Wayne, the current full-fledged youngster running around in yellow and green and is a Batman-sanctioned Robin, Boy Wonder. It's a wonder that he hasn't really been in this series at all until now. He's been busy traversing the globe, handling the Year of Blood matters, popping up only now and then for haircuts and another Robin-related event book. So, as if to overcompensate, naturally Damian is pretty much treated as the greatest thing to ever grace the Batfamily in this issue. It's something I find incredibly annoying, because while I have grown to actually like Damian more over time, thanks to Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason, I still strongly disagree that the concept of Damian was necessary to begin with, and him upstaging the others compounds this. In other words, a writer has to do a lot to make Damian worthwhile to me, and as a character, he's on shaky ground here.

 

"Th-this is different because she's my waifu."

Because people are still so gaga for the Grant Morrison Batman run (which I mostly loathe), they love to see Damian show up how much "better and more interesting" he is than Batman's other partners, because he's the edgy one who used to kill people, and is now on a quest for redemption, blah blah blah. Well, actually, at this point he IS more interesting than Jason Todd and Tim Drake, because Jason Todd has always been terrible and Tim Drake is just a shadow of his former self because of his horrible handling by hacks like Scott Lobdell. He's on a cool mission in a well-written, well-drawn book, much as Dick, whereas Tim is stuck in a terrible team book nobody reads and Jason is also, but he's terrible regardless. So clearly the winner of the Robin War was Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne. No other Robins need apply. It's about time I realize that Damian has won out of sheer force of "freshness" (even though as a concept, he's basically a rewarmed Jason Todd).

 

"What happens when I've decided?" "Then you're on your own, you little shit."

But, fine. Fine. Good enough writing can make him work, and for the most part, the issue does that by flashing back to a training session between him and Batman where Robin sacrifices sure footing for a finishing blow, but screws up and has to be saved by his father. Damian is frustrated, but Batman says that even though he's receiving similar training to the other Robins', he has to decide what kind of Robin he is. So Damian suggests that the team apply this to the situation at hand, the battle with Mother, who expects them to play it too safe and predictably in this scenario. This inspires Dick to a plan that will throw Mother off, which we can only guess at, at this juncture. Not bad advice, of course, and I love the geniunely touching flashback with Damian and Bruce in the Batcave (which we don't see much of these days), but it does still seem a bit convenient that the only characters that matter now are the Batman and Robin of the Morrison books, Dick and Damian.

STOP. FELLATING. GRANT. MORRISON.

As for Harper and Cassie, there is a great scene where Harper admits that she realizes Cassandra is truly sorry for killing her mother, that after she'd been raised by Orphan to be an assassin she had little else, but she's still processing it all and at this point is honestly just hoping to be killed so she doesn't have to deal with all this emotional turmoil. Cass, on the other hand, is determined not to let anything else terrible happen to Harper on her account. But Orphan comes up the big loser here, because far from being grateful for him bringing Harper and Cassie to her, Mother slits his throat and tosses him out to die. After all, she has back ups now. Kind of a raw deal for David Caine or anybody who was a fan of him in the old continuity.

 

"This is madness!" "THIS. IS. OLDMEME!"

I really want to see Harper and Cassie come to at least an understanding about each other, even though I doubt they'll be quite as close as they were becoming. This is probably what has Cass gravitate towards Stephanie Brown instead, because I imagine even if Harper forgives Cassie, she could never really be close friends knowing Cass killed her mother, even considering the circumstances. And that's fine, I suppose.

A pretty good issue, despite my problems with Damian being so keyed-in immediately.

- Penguin Truth
(2016)

Next: Broadshoulderd Beefcake Batboys

 

Eww.

Story: James Tynion IV & Scott Snyder
Script: Genevieve Valentine
Pencils: Fernando Blanco
Colors: John Rauch
Lettering By: Corey Breen
Cover: Carlo Pagulayan, Jason Paz, and Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Editor: Chris Conroy
Asst. Editor: Dave Wielgosz
Group Editor: Mark Doyle
Batman Created By Bob K--wait...