Batman & Robin Eternal #8 Review

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Mother, do you think they'll drop the Bat?

 

Things get blacker, as the ballerina attackers aren't performing Nutcracker, but Tim and Jason aren't slackers, as they're trackers of Mother's backers. All of this and a hint of avenging angels to come in the eighth issue of DC's weekly Batman escapade. Dick comes face to face with Mother herself, who claims to have created a Robin for Batman, and won't reveal which one. Harper teams up with Cassandra, some assassins have caring mamas who will bonk you on the head if you kick their baby's ass, and two Robins take the pulpit as the story drags, but at least it's pretty focused.

 

 

Dick comes face-to-face with Mother, who intimates that Bruce has always been disappointed in him, wasn't what Batman needed for his quest. Of course, Mother seems like a big manipulator, and this is presumably said to throw him off balance, in addition to the threat against Harper and Cass' lives. She pretends to offer him all the answers, at the cost of abandoning his comrades, knowing full well what choice he'll make. She likewise taunts him that he doesn't know which Robin she designed for him, if any, playing into his insecurities that maybe Batman didn't see him as worthy (though it's also possible Dick is letting her think that, since he is a spy and well-trained). Honestly, I'd have liked to see him just shoot her in the leg and leave her while he goes to help his allies so she can't escape in the meantime. But Dick goes for the moral victory and just runs off to join them in earnest.

 

Sounds like YOU'RE the one being a dick, Bruce.

 

The biggest highlight of the issue is definitely the action sequences, specifically the Bluebird/Cassie team-up. The entire ballet company attacks the girls, and they valiantly struggle against incredible odds. Of course, and no offense to Harper, Cass is doing most of the work, though our purple and blue-haired brawler does make a neat move with the chandelier. Our nubile ninja shows her skill when she takes on Sarangarel and all but defeats her before the girl's mentor rescues her and takes her away. (That's kind of a heartwarming moment, by the way.) Even though the plot doesn't make a lot of progress in this issue, I can forgive it easier with the exciting fight, which gets even more brutal when Dick finally joins in. You didn't see this kind of great fight scene in the previous Batman weekly. I hope the quality of action only goes up.

 

A fun time was had by all. Well, almost all.

 

Unfortunately, Harp makes a bad move by touching Cass' hair, reminding her of some terrible trauma in her past, and causing her to freak out and run off. Damn, just when the two were cozying up to each other (and you know Dick could get in on that). Is it something that happened to her or is it something she did? We'll probably find out, but remember, in the old continuity, Cass was trained as a child to be an assassin, but after her first kill she saw the reaction of her victim as he died, she couldn't kill again. Whatever happened, Cass bolts like she was escaping a horde of Parademons and I hope she can get over whatever it is before Dick and Harper need her again.

 


So much awesome, the concert hall can't contain all of it.

 

Meanwhile, Tim and Jason investigate a church that looks like it's been looted, and when they find who've they been looking for, he's freaked out and hallucinating, possibly under the influence of Scarecrow's fear toxin. There's been a lot of hints that the direction the comic is going in involves Jean-Paul Valley, the man known as Azrael in the old continuity, who was once part of the Order of St. Dumas, an order of assassins under the guise of a holy crusade. Honestly, I'd only be interested in Azrael if Denny O'Neil writes for him again.

 

 

"Masturba---  I mean, meditate."

 

We still haven't gotten to the end of the flashbacks that involve Batman and Robin's investigation into Mother during their pursuit of Scarecrow years ago and because Dick decided not to follow the elderly puppetmaster for answers, it's clear that plotline will be delayed for a while. But at least the fight scenes were excellent and well-drawn. Actually, this whole issue's art was really solid overall. It's issues like this that makes the wait worthwhile. It'll be hard to top fighting murderous ballet dancers.

 

Next: Bad to the Bane

 

- Penguin Truth

(2015)

 

Story: James Tynion IV & Scott Snyder

Script: Genevieve Valentine

Pencils: Alvaro Martinez & Scot Eaton

Inks: Raul Fernandez & Wayne Faucher

Colors: Sandra Molina

Lettering By: Corey Breen

Cover: Dan Panosian

Editor: Chris Conroy

Asst. Editor: Dave Wielgosz

Group Editor: Mark Doyle

Batman Created By Bob K--wait...

 

 

Still too little credit for Finger.