Batman’s been bouncing around the world looking for his son’s body that was stolen by Ra’s al Ghul. He and Frankenstein have found themselves at what was once Nanda Parbat near another “special” Lazarus Pit. The solicits are true in that “The hunt for Robin concludes!” because technically Batman has found his son’s body. The only problem is, well, there’s another arc beginning so we aren’t seeing any story conclusions here. The issue is satisfying enough to get us moving toward Robin Rises: Omega next month but with the exception of the inevitable reveal at the end, one could pass this issue having only read the solicits.

This issue begins with seven pages of standoff between Bats and his crew and Ra’s and his. If you love seeing the silhouette of Batman in the opening sequence of BTAS where those intense white eyes squint, then boy you are in for a treat. Gleason does all he can to give variation to the large amount of exposition here but we see this solid black Batman face with the narrow eyes at least nine times in the first eight pages. This isn’t even much of a complaint as much as it’s just kind of funny.

The story picks up after this with Bat Crew and Ra’s Gang fighting each other. It took me a little bit to figure out what was going on during all the commotion as it seems the standoff went for a page or two longer than necessary and this action sequence was rushed.

Spoiler

I had to do a triple take but Batman steals his son’s sarcophagus from Ra’s. You have to watch closely but perhaps that’s Gleason’s intention. Batman is so stealthy that though we (the readers) are watching, Batman’s movements are so fast it’s even hard for us to see. He’s that good.

Following the clash between the two groups, with some assistance from the undead poet, Batman escapes into the snow where an angry Ra’s follows him. The two swap intense words and then some blows.

Spoiler

Bruce threatens that he’s going to kill Ra’s if he tries to take Damian’s body again. Ra’s says that in an earlier time he would have taken it as an empty threat but now he believes him. This felt wrong. It would have been more effective had Ra’s said the opposite, that before he would have took him serious but now, since Bruce always lets the villain survive no matter how evil, he sees it as an empty threat. Then Batman could be on the verge of killing Ra’s, thus proving to us and Ra’s just how serious he is.

Gleason’s page layouts shine in these wide-open scenes. His sense of movement makes the difficulties found earlier in the issue pale in comparison and prove how much of a man of vision he really is. The fighting is all brought to a close as the final reveal interrupts the whole shebang, thus leading us into the next much anticipated story arc Robin Rises: Omega. Take a look at the old version of the reveal in the spoiler below:

Spoiler

Glorious Godfrey

See how similar their expressions are? Also, do you notice who, or rather, what are in the background of the reveal page? This is going to take Batman & ____ out of this world, literally.

Recommended If:

  • You want to finish “The Hunt for Robin”
  • You like the funny bombshell variant cover
  • You enjoy the solid combination of Tomasi and Gleason
  • You’re hyped about Robin Rises: Omega

Overall:

Black silhouette of Batman, knowledgeable Frankenstein, threatening Bruce, and an “eye-smashing” reveal… This issue does what the solicitations told us it would do. We’re all pretty excited to see what will happen in Robin Rises: Omega and that’s where this is heading. It’s a decent issue but not a must-buy.

SCORE: 6.5/10