Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Batman & Robin #12
Morrison & Clarke
If you are looking for a comic book that entertains while juggling half a dozen or so plates, while setting up the next major storyline you have found it with this issue. Not only does this issue push the search for Batman into forefront, but we also get a major development in Robin’s characterization and if that weren’t enough we get a bombshell on the last page. Oh, and Dr Hurt has some tricks up his sleeve too. A stellar issue.
The issue essentially boils down to Robin (Damian) fighting Batman (Dick). Damian, battles the mind control device that has his own mother pulling the strings on him. However, his mother has employed Slade Wilson to sit in the driver’s seat to kill off Batman. Damian manages to overcome the device with Batman’s help and defeat Wilson. However, in the process some villains make off with a very important artifact from the Wayne cemetery.
Later, Dick and Damian find their common ground and the pair, with Alfred, piece together how Bruce has been trapped in the past leaving clues around the Mansion. They realize something important was taken from the grounds so they focus on more pressing matters.
This leads to the confrontation between Damian and his mother. This really showed the growth of this character over the last year. When this title began, Damian was a brat who wouldn’t listen to Dick and had problems with any authority. Now, through very natural progression, he is able to make his own choices about his path with clarity and self assurance. Morrison has crafted something special with a character that began as something so unlikable and forced.
The issue ends with a rush of revelations. Sexton’s identity is unveiled in what can only be described as a shocker. Damian’s mother had an unexpected trick up her sleeve that really could create some problems down the line. And the Black Glove is ever present as always. All of this makes for an incredibly dense and amazing comic book.
There are four artists playing many roles here which says that this book was running behind. I’ll take an on-time book with a bunch of finishers or extra artists any day. There were a few panels where the characters looked obviously different but they were rare. For the most part the comic book stayed on the quality side of storytelling and didn’t take copy-and-paste shortcuts or too many absent backgrounds. I enjoyed the art and applaud that the team got the issue out on time.
Morrison has brought a close to his first year on the Batman and Robin title in true grand finale fashion. He’s also kicked off the major storyline about searching for Bruce Wayne and he’s planted no fewer than three huge seeds for future stories. I was thoroughly impressed with this effort and it is issues like these that make you glad you sat through some of the stranger issues in this run. This is your payoff issue.
5 out of 5 Geek Goggles