Batman & Robin Eternal #23 Review

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Hey... hey, Tim, now, no grouping yourself with characters that do things. You hang back with Jason.

 

The guys flex their detailed pecs and check the specs of the enemy's tech and begin to peck as they crack their necks, so what the heck, give it a sec and they'll wreck Mother's deck! Er, so basically MIdnighter and Spoiler get in on them Duke Boys'... I mean Robin Boys' plans to rescue Harper and Cass and defeat Mother. Midnighter plays keyboard jockey and triangulates the coordination of the polarity velocitator, or something, while Steph guards Scarecrow until Jason can escort him to his new laboratory. Oh, and I guess Batgirl's in this, too. And Katana. And Batwoman. And... Duke Thomas, I think. And Catwoman. They completely disregarded Luke Fox, however, and I am oh so glad. Time to punch some toddlers!

 

"Didn't we all do this a few years ago?" "I don't remember." "No... no. We totally did. Leviathan, remember?" "Nope."

So, as we already knew, Mother's little killer kid transmission/virus thingie is being broadcast via Spyral's hijacked hypno-satellite because Mother is looking to reshape the world to her own whims. I'm not sure why this didn't immediately attract the attention of the Justice League, you'd think they'd be on that shit like flies, but maybe they had a poker night. Whatever the case, our Bat-team sets off worldwide with these teleportation doors courtesy of Midnighter so they can disrupt the signal from the various towers it's beam beamed to. Honestly, Mother's actual big plan is the least interesting thing about this series, because it seems like she's going through an awful lot of trouble with this convoluted brainwashing to... what, exactly? Just the basic "take over the world" or something else? I mean, wasn't she already thriving by making those child assassins? It seems like coming out of the darkness like this for the big score is just going to draw more attention to herself. If she just stayed "dead" and operated her little trafficing thing through proxies, she'd be a lot more successful and get away with more.

 

"Mother." "Mother." "Mother." "LEVIATHAN RISES!" "Dude, Bobby... wrong name." "Oh, sorry. I mean Mother." "Mother."

Oh hey, but there's some interesting interactions  in this issue! First is Spoiler's guard duty, where she practices her fighting as Crane tries to unnerve her. Steph hasn't gotten a lot of panel time in this series, perhaps because she was in so much of the previous weekly, though they really should have found something else for her to do earlier. Regardless, this was a great scene, because Stephanie fully acknowledges her shortcomings, unmoved by Crane's mockery, because as the daughter of a supervillain (though a C-lister, unlike Crane), she's heard this spiel before, and can handle it. Now, some have taken this as disrespecting Crane's ability to produce fear from people, making him look ineffectual to boost Spoiler, but I think that Crane's just not as big a threat as what's going on at the moment, and Spoiler having experience with villains who try to outsmart you makes her good at handling a Scarecrow without his gas. Jason just kind of powers through his shit by threatening him.

 

Snippity snap snap, honeychild! Spoiler: He just shat himself.

I'd like to see more of Midnighter and Cullen. Not just because they're the rare homosexual characters so they need to hook up (dude, Cullen's like, what, 15?), but because Midnighter can be a good source of comfort to an awkward young boy growing up gay and growing up also around all these costumed heroes, and Midnighter can kind of inspire him. Not that I expect Cullen to become a costumed hero, but having somebody to confide in who likely went through some of the stuff he's gone through is probably good for him.

Anyway, a decent issue, not great, mostly just set up, but as I said, some interesting possibilities. We're clearly in the final act of the story, let's hope the resolution isn't as predictable as I'm assuming it will be. Throw us a good curve and it might just be worth collecting in trade.

 

"Also, hello."

- Penguin Truth
(2016)

Next: Everybody Loves Kiddie Fighting!

Story: James Tynion IV & Scott Snyder
Script: Genevieve Valentine
Art: Christian Duce
Colors: Gabe Eltaeb
Lettering By: Saida Temofonte
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...