The BatFamily continue to fight an uphill battle against Mother, while she attempts to convert one of their own.
If that sounds familiar to you, it’s because it is the exact same intro I used on last week’s review. Why would I do that? Because it felt like the same comic again! We get another multi panel shot showing the entire cast battling it out across the world (which has happened in three consecutive issues thus far). We get additional Grayson vs Azrael fighting that eats up 4 pages. Mother continues to try and bend Harper to her will. We get some more flashy “Door” tricks. And then the teams finally decides to destroy the signal tower receivers that half of them were already standing right next to 2 issues ago.
When you start to put all this together, it becomes quite apparent that the finale has been intentionally spread out far more than it needed to be. I’m not saying that what happens in this issue isn’t any good. Applauding last week’s issue and then criticizing this week’s would be slightly hypocritical of me since it’s basically the same thing. I’m more so grumbling about the fact that it’s simply unnecessary. What we have seen in the last two and a half issues could have easily been fit into one if they had trimmed the fat off. I’m not calling out this entire issue as filler, but there has definitely been plenty of filler spread out throughout the last 3 issues when you take a step back and really look at it.
Last review, I commented on the fact that this was no time to have a hero vs hero fight. My opinion has not changed since then….although, it might have gotten a bit saltier. Seriously though, there is no time for this nonsense! The world is ending! I might be repeating myself here, but why exactly did they go straight into fighting mode instead of at least talking to one another first. I get that because it’s a comic, we need something visual to look at, and it’s much more interesting to see two people fighting than just standing across from one another chatting. Plus, the physical conflict mirrors their ideological conflict and all that. As an exercise in logical debates, Grayson definitely puts forth some really good incontestable arguments, but aside from that, I just wasn’t feeling it.
Next up, I’d like to address my favorite section from the book. But seeing as how it’s the coolest thing that happens, it might also be something you don’t want spoiled. Hence, I’m putting it behind the tag.
The Batfamily is having considerable difficulty taking on the Orphans while simultaneously battling a bunch of zombie kids. The solution. All the Orphans get “Doored” to Midnighter and he handles them. Yep. Midnighter takes on 12 Orphans, all at once, and all by himself. Unfortunately, we don’t actually get to see the fight. Personally, I’d have much rather had 4 pages dedicated to Midnighter killing a bunch of Orphans than having to watch Grayson spar with Azrael. But maybe that’s just me.
With the Orphans out of the way, the BatFamily take out the receivers. Like I already mentioned, they should have destroyed them 2 issues ago when half the team was already shown standing right next to them. Really, there was no reason they shouldn’t have. While they did need Scarecrow’s toxin to bring the kids out from under Mother’s influence, it would have at least prevented additional kids from falling under her sway while the team waited for Scarecrow to finish up. For the sake of the story and keeping characters busy, they would have still had plenty of people to fight, just not as many. And it just seems like a far more logical and responsible thing to have done anyway.
I like Mother. I know that she isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I think she is pretty interesting. In the past, no matter how long she has prattled on for, I’ve usually been more than fine with listening to her yammer. But this time something was different. I’m not sure if it’s because I just got a healthy dose of her monologuing from last issue or if it’s because her composure has finally been broken, in turn, producing much less coherent and grounded dialogue. Whatever the case may be, I just wasn’t feeling her as much as I usually do. It’s still engaging enough, but somehow, slightly less than usual.
Art for this issue is handled by Javi Pina and Goran Sudzuka. I wasn’t entirely sure which artist handled which pages, but it was fairly clear when you switched from one to the other. It wasn’t so jarring that it actually took me out of the story or anything, but one of them definitely had a more polished look to their art and panel layouts than the other. If I had to take a guess, I think Pina is the one that provided art for the sections I liked. Primarily, but not in every instance, I think Sudzuka was responsible for the BatFamily fight scenes involving the children and orphans while Pina handled the rest. Please feel free to correct me if I am wrong on this, as I am not 100% certain.
- You liked last week’s issue. You pretty much just get more of the same.
- You like hero vs hero fights. Some of them can be good.
- You like Midnighter. The guy is pretty awesome.
Considering that this is the second to last issue to the grand finale that is Batman&Robin Eternal, I was expecting the creative team to ramp things up and really get us pumped for next week. As it stands, this issue merely hit the beats it needed to hit in order to get us in position for the finale. This is far from bad, but nowhere near as exhilarating as I was expecting.
SCORE: 6.5 / 10