Thursday, February 11, 2010

Comic Book Review: Batman and Robin #7

Book Information
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Cameron Stewart

With the help of Britain’s equivalent to Robin, Squire, Batman goes on a hunt for a bomb hidden under the cities buildings and houses.  After jumping across a few boats, riding a top a few cars, and hopping on a motorcycle within the subway station, Batman and Squire find the bomb and the culprit responsible.  Apart from sailing overseas to the UK to assist in city wide threats, Batman has other motivation for visiting the Queens country.  Through much research and ingenuity on Grayson’s part, it is discovered that another Lazarus Pit, which has the power to bring back the dead, exists in the UK.  Only one thing is on Dick’s mind now…Bruce Wayne.

My Thoughts
Let’s be honest, the only person who has never come back from the dead in super hero comics is Uncle Ben.  As much as it pains me to say it, Bruce Wayne was going to rise from his grave, he has too big of a fan base for DC to just throw him out with the bath water and cry out “nevermore.”  However, I am glad to see Morrison taking a new approach and not reverting to the typical caught in time cop out that DC tends to rely on when reviving their heroes.  But truly I am saddened by this, Bruce Wayne was the last hero that hadn’t come back from the dead and it would have been nice to see DC stick with that.

Concerning the book itself, Morrison delivers another fine issue deep in the heart of British country.  New artist to the title Cameron Stewart brings his own flavor to a Gotham style UK with incredible accuracy and precision.  But where Stewart succeeds in personal style and talent, he fails in truly bringing the dark and gothic essence to the Batman reputation.  It was as if I was watching a Saturday morning cartoon where the characters faces are much rounder, child-like, and happy.  That type of art is good and I completely accept it as being worthy of being in the comic book field, however it does not serve the Batman world well, especially after that bang up job Frank Quietly did on that horrifically fabulous cover!

I did feel that the relationship between Squire and Batman was top notch, containing humor, persistence, loyalty, and everything that the current Robin, Damian Wayne are lacking.  I did feel that Knight, the British interpretation of Batman, was a little weak and lacking in interest.  But honestly, I might feel a little out of whack as well if I had a Prometheus style helmet bearing down on my skull.  But my interests were not peaked until the point where the four entered the cave with the Lazarus Pit.  No, wait…that’s not true.  Seeing Damian Wayne strung up by mechanical wiring and machinery in a Star Wars style life support system was pretty friggin hilarious!  (Does anyone like Damian anyway?)  The first half of the book was more or less a way of transitioning into Batman being in the UK and building up to the very interesting scene where the black glove of Batman splashes out of the pit in a fit of insanity.

One thing that I was enjoying about this title when it started out was how continuity was never an issue.  Issue one began fresh as if Bruce Wayne never existed and Dick Grayson was always Batman.  It kept referencing the fact that Bruce Wayne died, but it was enough for new readers to get the point.  Now we have the resurrection of Bruce Wayne, coupled by the introduction of Batwoman into this title, the freshness has now officially warn off and we’re back to two unnecessary Dark Knight titles.

Half of the book was ok, the other half was good.  Overall the book rates above average with me.  I’m actually quite excited to see if this truly is Bruce Wayne coming out of the pit, or if the body Superman carried out of Darksied’s lair was actually Batman’s. 

Rating: 7 out of 10 stars

Next Issue Coming February 10, 2010
BATMAN AND ROBIN double-ships in February with part 2 and 3 of "Blackest Knight" guest-starring Batwoman, Knight and Squire! Only months into his new role as Batman, Dick Grayson faces perhaps the biggest threat of his life. In hopes of attaining his heart's desire, has Dick instead unleashed a terror the likes of which the world has never seen?
Meanwhile, back in Gotham City, Alfred and a recuperating Robin are at the mercy of someone both fearsome and familiar…

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