Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Comic Book Review: Batman and Robin #4

Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Philip Tan and Jonathan Glapion
Cover by Frank Quitely
Variant cover by Philip Tan

Plot: We begin this issue with Lighting Bug being fried and mutilated by the Red Hood and his sidekick Scarlet, a victim of Professor Pyg.  Batman and Robin come into the scene too late but pick up clues, which only raises more questions about who the Red Hood is.  A new character is introduced into the book as well, Mr. Oberon Sexton, whose face is masked to hide the scars from his wife’s murderer.

Batman and Robin again go on the hunt and find Red Hood ready to kill the Penguin.  Moments before Red Hood pulls out his flaming red guns and begins firing them at the dynamic duo, Batman under his breath asks himself if this villain is Jason Todd.  And if that is so, this could be an interesting development.

My Thoughts: This is an exceptionally conflicting issue.  Red Hood is obviously the bad guy here, and Batman the good guy.  However, I couldn’t help myself but cheer for Red Hood when he busted in the meeting place and started killing all the men surrounding the Penguin, and who wouldn’t cheer for him deep inside right?  When these men were discussing how to make addicts of “housewives, children, policemen, and judges,” who in their right mind wouldn’t want something done to these people? 

This issue makes the reader truly think about the difference between right and wrong.  It’s obvious the Red Hood has an agenda…to stop crime.  His new slogan “Let the punishment fit the crime” is creepy and weird, but there is some logic to it.  Morrison digs in deep and pulls out what most men and women crave, a sense of justice.  But most of us, deep down inside, want to find these criminals, and end it right then and there.

Now, seeing as how this type of story has been done before (people taking the law into their own hands, and killing the evil and the corrupt type of thing, ya know?) this story has to have a bigger angle to make it original.  And it will all come down to who is behind the mask of the Red Hood?  To be quite honest, I’m hoping it’s not Jason Todd, but someone else that we weren’t expecting in the least.

Philip Tan, the new artist, does a fine job, although I do miss having Quietly on this book.  Tan brings the typical artistic style to the pages of this issue, where as Quietly gave us something different and unique.  I honestly will miss having him working with Morrison on this title.

Overall:  A great read.  I would say that the sense of urgency is very high, but not quite to the point of what it was in the first three issues.  But we are getting a new villain here, so who knows what Morrison is trying to do for us now.

4 out of 5 stars

Next Month: Batman and Robin #5
Are two Dynamic Duos too much for one city? Batman and Robin find themselves at cross-purposes with Red Hood and Scarlet. Who's right? Who's wrong? And who will end up being the chosen protectors of Gotham City?

1 comment:

  1. Your review is very insightful. I agree with you, although the idea of the vigilante that kills criminals has been done before (see Dexter, or even Azrael in Batman's own world), there is still something about the concept that makes readers think, especially when the Red Hood is being compared and contrasted with Batman.

    I'm interested to hear what you think now that Red Hood's identity has been revealed. I'll keep an eye out for your next review...