Batman and Robin Eternal #11 review

Cassandra Cain’s origin story revealed!  (Do you need another reason to pick this up?)

Typically, Eternal tries to squeeze in a main story along with one or two other quick little check-ins.  On this particular outing, the entire book was pretty much dedicated to Cassandra, and I found that very fitting.  I think the main question on most everybody’s mind going into this was: “How much of the original origin did they keep, and were the changed parts any good?”


While the specific details surrounding Cassandra have changed, the core of who the character is have stayed almost identical to the original.  Given that, I didn’t find anything about this new origin (as it pertains to her) to be anything worth grumbling about.  If anything, it’s pushing the boundaries of what defined her to a more intense place than it ever was before.  While Cassandra weathered her character rewrite and came through none the worse for wear, I can’t say the same for David Cain.

This new version of David Cain fails in comparison to his previous incarnation.  My personal impression of The Orphan (David Cain), is that he is nothing more than a subservient lackey.  And nowhere near as formidable as the original David Cain either.  Several readers had asked me if I thought The Orphan would turn out to be David Cain, and judging by what Eternal had shown thus far, I completely dismissed the idea as having merit because he was sooooo different from the original.   While Cassandra maintained character stability in a new origin, David Cain has maintained none of the character traits that made him who he was.  He is basically David in name only.  While I am not happy about that, the next question should be: “does it matter?” And I don’t think it does.  The important thing about David is that he created Cassandra.  While he is a different character, he still serves the same function within the Cassandra Cain story, so I guess I have to give it a pass.

Fernando Blanco handles art on the flashback scenes for this issue, while Christian Duce covers the contemporary scenes.  I always appreciate when there is a viable reason written into the story for a change in art, e.g., hallucinations/flashbacks/intoxication/drug overdose.  Instances like these lend themselves to further immersion in the world instead of being a reminder that multiple artists were used for practicality purposes to bypass time constraints.  Typically, when multiple artists work on the same book together, you have individuals handling full pages and then they get edited together.  However, this issue puts forth some extra effort and actually includes both artists on page 18.  Having them juxtaposed on the same page really strengthened the intended illusion of it being a story element instead of it being a real world decision.


Personally, I prefer Duce over Blanco.  Duce’s style is smooth and clean looking while Blanco’s tends to be a little too rough for my tastes.  Back when Blanco was working on Detective Comics, I gave him a hard time, but what he has going on here didn’t bother me as much as it did back then.  Maybe he is refining his style, perhaps he had more lead in time to work on his submissions, or maybe it’s just because he isn’t following up Francis Manapaul and Brian Buccellato anymore.  Whatever the case may be, I was a lot more accepting of his work this time around.

Editorial Overlook:


  • I feel like almost every review I have posted in the last month has included a section on grammatical errors or word omissions.  I’m not sure which of the 3 editors on this book is responsible for these recurring lapses, but I wish they would get their act together.


  • All this stuff with Batman utilizing Mother’s services seems like weak drama to me.  Maybe the characters are in doubt about Batman’s righteousness, but is there anybody out there reading this who actually feel like it has given them genuine pause to suspect Batman of unbecoming conduct?  Isn’t he obviously just pretending in order to get at Mother’s secrets?  Are we supposed to breathe a sigh of relief when we find out that it was all an act?  How can we when we were never in doubt?

Recommended if…

  • You want to see the new Cassandra Cain origin story.


Cassandra Cain gets a new origin story.  Usually when writers deviate from original material, I have a hard time accepting it, but enough of the core character beats were hit that I found it easy to accept this new version.  For new readers, know that you’ll be getting a fairly faithful interpretation of Cassandra, and for old readers, you’ll be happy to know they didn’t butcher the character.

SCORE: 8 / 10