What a Dick
Written by: Tim Seeley
Art by: Paul Pelletier, Tony Kordos, Rain Beredo, and Carlos M. Mangual
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: October 14, 2015
While I have gone on record against reviewing a weekly book, I simply loved last week's premier issue of Batman and Robin Eternal. James Tynion definitely took the "go big" route by giving readers tons of characters and one of the craziest cliffhangers I've ever seen. The mystery of what Batman did to set up the Robins had me talking (and guessing) all week and I couldn't wait to jump into this issue. Of course, I realize that we aren't going to get too much...this is a six month long event you know, but I'll take whatever goodness Tim Seeley has in store. So, did this second issue continue the greatness? Let's find out...
The issue starts with Harper Row looking worse for wear. It looks like Orphan has given her the business since last week and he is now rubbing it in by taunting her while she bleeds. Then, right before he delivers the fatality, Cassandra Cain makes her second appearance.
I am already a fan of Cassandra in this series and if you like cute superheroes who kick major ass, get on the trolley with me. Orphan puts up a better fight than Dick did last week, but with Harper's help, they send the mysterious baddie flying out the window.
Speaking of Dick, he just happens to be on a fire escape below and tries saving Orphan, but the villain gets away with Cassandra hot on his tail. Why was Dick there? He tracked down Harper Row after seeing her name on that crazy list of Robins last week. When he finally meets her, she is bleeding out and her roommate, Spoiler, helps stabilize her.
While this opener was high on action, it did not match the excitement of last issue. I realize that it would be near impossible to give out that kind of awesome craziness each week, but a man can dream, can't he?
The scene transitions into another Scarecrow flashback and this one culminates into a forced bit where we "figure out" that Dick Grayson was a pretty insecure little Robin. I put that in quotes because it's pretty much given to the reader on a silver platter.
Back in the present, Stephanie Brown crushes on Dick Grayson (who can blame her?) while they take care of Harper and Dick takes Steph off his person of interest list...remember, she wasn't on the Robin list. The Tim shows up to the party and the issue takes a bit of a downswing.
It's not that I don't like Tim or his interaction with Dick, it's actually more about what he doesn't do. I'm talking about his non reaction to the bloody pulp that is Harper Row. He completely ignores her, but asks Dick if he's okay. Now we see who the real dick is!
It gets worse when he reveals that he has bugged Harper and Stephanie's apartment. He tries to convince everyone that he isn't a pervert, but I don't buy it. Of course, it was just a forced way to know what happened to Orphan and Cassandra, but it really came off bad.
The issue ends with the scene stealer from last issue, Jason Todd and he's at it again. Dick calls Jason to warn him that an assassin may be after him, but good old Jason has the situation well in hand already. The problem is, he looks like he has the wrong person in his sites.
This issue was a bit of a letdown after last week's stellar opener. It was a full out setup issue and we don't get one step closer to finding out anything new. I also had a huge problem with Tim (as I mentioned above) and didn't really like Stephanie Brown's characterization or dialogue either. I'm sure I will be back salivation once we get on with the story and it's mysteries.
As a whole, I thought Paul Pelletier's art was okay. It got the job done, but nothing really wowed me. Throw in the fact that some of the character work (Tim and Harper in particular) was not very good and I was left feeling a bit flat.
Bits and Pieces:
After such a great #1, I couldn't wait for this issue. Maybe I expected too much, but this setup issue had me disappointed and looking forward to next week for the wrong reasons. Nothing in this issue outright offended me, but nothing really grabbed me either. I'm still fully into this series, but that's still the result of last week's issue, not this one.