Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Batman and Robin #5
Morrison, Tan & Glapion
Batman and Robin continues to impress as this issue explores the threat of the Red Hood as well as the looming threat of the Flamingo. This issue has less of the growth between Batman and Robin that we’ve seen in previous issues as it appears their relationship has reached a common ground. The comic does provide some good moments with Alfred that the series has lacked the first few issues. The artwork has some outstanding moments as well. Overall this is a very good issue but falls just short of the excellence we’ve seen in previous issues.
The issue begins with an introduction into the mindset of Sasha aka Scarlet, Red Hood’s sidekick. It’s hard to say if this character has long term plans in this series but establishing this little bit of background could go a long way. We also understand a little bit more of why she snapped and killed her father. The character suddenly begins to make sense in the context of her actions from the previous couple of issues.
Next we have the Red Hood and Batman facing off from the ending of the previous issue. After Red Hood’s identity is revealed the two exchange some dialogue. It’s not entirely clear why the Red Hood doesn’t immediately attempt to shoot Batman but it seems there is a level of respect, or so it seems, for the goal of putting away (or killing) criminals. This doesn’t last long as Batman and Robin are eventually taken captive by the end of the issue courtesy of the Red Hood and Scarlet.
The issue eventually has an interlude where Batman and Robin recuperate with Alfred as we learn some of the thoughts about the situation from Dick’s perspective. The conclusion of the issue has a lot going on as we get introduced to the Flamingo’s handy work, we find Gordon on the trail of some of these plot threads and Red Hood gets the upper hand on Batman and Robin.
The issue is at its best when it deals with the plot threads. The comic book has so much going on it that you literally find Batman getting stretched so thinly, but not in a manner that he is just constantly in fist fights. The comic centers around only a couple of characters, but the groundwork is put down for the next issue with the looming threat of the Flamingo. It’s an impressively constructed and a very entertaining story.
The artwork has some high points. There are some panels that make excellent use of detail, particularly in the inking of facial features. One such panel is when Batman and Robin drag the Penguin away in the rain. The stunning amount of detail and almost overuse of the inking makes the panel pop off of the page. The art works against the grain though when the masks come off. It seems that the pencils and inks are overused when showing Dick’s face and hair. He seems to be a man in his forties only with black hair. The Red Hood without his mask appears to be in his fifties, which he is definitely not. It’s a delicate line when pushing across this much detail and the art seems to take it to the extreme unnecessarily at times.
This is a comic that doesn’t go to the depths of creepiness that we’ve seen in previous issues. However, Batman and Robin are put in over their heads, as a team, for what appears to be the first time. The cliffhanger is good because it reminded me of the 1960s show’s cliffhangers without the campy delivery. This comic continues to be one of the best reads month in and month out.
4 out of 5 geek goggles