Calm, quiet, and absolutely stunning, “Batman & Robin” delivers a great finale to its opening 8-part arc and it’s easily the best Bat-title of the week.
Obviously, if you haven’t been reading “Batman & Robin” you should stay away from this issue because you’ll have no clue what is happening. It doesn’t set up anything for the future, it doesn’t contain its own little self-contained story, it’s not a prelude to The Night of the Owls–it’s all one big ending that brings the whole 8-part saga full circle! And it’s great.
The best thing about this issue is that it has so many quiet moments that let the art tell the story, and Gleason, Gray, Kalisz, and Major really knock it out of the park. This issue is absolutely gorgeous. And you know how most folks (including me) hated the Tron-like Batmobile that Batman was driving in this series? Well it has some surprises in this issue that make it look far, far less ridiculous.
Another plus for this issue and “Batman & Robin” in general is Alfred! There’s plenty of Alfred here and it’s much appreciated. He’s one of Batman’s most important characters and he hardly gets any face-time in the other titles. In fact, no other bat-title uses Alfred half as well as “Batman & Robin” does. If you love Alfred, and I sure as hell do, you’ll enjoy this.
The only downside is, like the last issue, it still has some pretty corny lines like “I don’t want to be a nobody” and also it needs to be said that relying on the art alone to tell story is beautiful and creates a great atmosphere but it also makes for a really, really fast read that some might not see as being worth the price. You’ll probably finish issue #8 in under 10 minutes, but trust me, every quiet moment is necessary and it’ll be 10 minutes well spent.
This is a fitting conclusion to an arc that has admittedly ran a bit long, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it and can’t wait to see what Tomasi and Gleason come up with next.