Saturday, April 24, 2010

Comic Book Review: Batman & Robin #11

Book Information
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Andy Clarke & Scott Hanna

Damian Wayne and Oberon Sexton keep Dick Grayson safe from harm as he attempts to uncover the mystery behind Bruce Wayne’s time traveling disappearance.  But while this happens, we find Sexton is not what he seems to be, and Talia isn’t a loving mother as I’m SURE we originally thought. 

My Thoughts
It seems my eyes are not what they used to be as I couldn’t see the greatness of this book that everyone else sees it to be.  The book has some pretty outstanding moments, but quite frankly, overall the book lacks in a substance that I would deem as an awesome achievement on the part of Grant Morrison.

What we have at the beginning is an out of place introduction which actually works well in the overarching theme of the story.  Raising questions in reader’s minds is one of my favorite ways to open up a story…one of Morrison’s better qualities.  I won’t reveal who this mystery guest is; you’ll just need to read the issue yourself.  We then transition into the graveyard rumble scene while Grayson embarks on some pretty epic discoveries below. 

Like I said, the book starts off great and ends great, but the stuff in between brings the book way down for me.  The bulk if this issue consists of a redundant fight scene with small glimpses of the much more important plot driving aspects of the story.  The mystery that Grayson seems to be unveiling and the unmotherly usage that Talia takes on her son were not utilized to the extent that could have made this issue even better.  The strong points of a story should never be under minded for the sake of an action sequence that really serves no purpose except to fill up space.  The last five pages, however, are pretty epic and clearly show that some revelations will be made next month as too Sexton’s identity, and possibly the whereabouts of Bruce Wayne. 
Rating: 6

The themes in this issue actually come off pretty strong, like the possibility of Sexton’s Identity being that of Bruce Wayne and Talia taking control of her son to kill Grayson.  But what hit me the most was how Damian’s immature, abrasive behavior has been nothing more than an act.  I’ve never like Damian, even before he took up the Robin mantle.  For the past ten issues, Morrison has given Damian the same annoying demeanor that I’m sure we all have come to know and hate, but this month’s issue approaches the young lad’s character a little differently.  Damian’s entire attitude has been nothing more than a fa├žade to help cover up his own weaknesses and torn childhood; finding some way of coping with the fact that his upbringing and parentage has been less than satisfactory.

I do wonder how the mythology of Barbatos is going to play out in the Return of Bruce Wayne and why it’s an important clue in the story.  Mythology is one of my favorite aspects of DC Comics which gives me hope that the return of Bruce Wayne could be better than I originally thought.
Rating: 9

Fans seem to really enjoy Andy Clarke’s artwork.  I don’t share those sentiments.  I find his penciling to be incredibly static and wooden, having very little emotional impact and visually appealing qualities.  The Graveyard fight scene was a poorly done piece of work. I felt like I was watching a fight scene with action figures.  You know how you have too pose your figures before making them fight the bad guy?  Was Clarke playing with his Batman and Robin toys as a way of inspiring his art?  Whatever the case, I did not enjoy it.
Rating: 0

Rating: 5 out of 10 stars

Next Issue Coming May 5, 2010
All is revealed in this final installment of "Batman vs. Robin" – the identity of the Domino Killer, the terrifying secret of the dominoes, and the shocking truth behind El Penitente! All of this, plus the surprising return of a fanfavorite character!

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