Written by: Tim Seeley
Art by: Paul Pelletier, Scot Eaton, Tony Kordos, Marc Deering, Wayne Faucher,
Rain Beredo, Joshua Cozine and Troy Peteri
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: October 21, 2015
Weekly books are a funny thing. There is an ebb and flow to the storytelling that has as much to do with rotating creative teams as it does from the weekly schedule. Like the teams (or because of them), characters and plots come and go throughout the books run, but this one already feels different. While Batman Eternal dealt with a bunch of(too many?) characters, after three issues, Batman and Robin Eternal has been more focused and I am already grateful for that. It doesn't hurt that I'm a huge Dick Grayson fan, but I also enjoy the other characters and hope they remain in the forefront throughout the entire series. Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Harper Row, Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain can be in every single issue and I'd be a happy man. Who knows what the future will bring, but all the mentioned characters are in this issue...so am I a happy man this week? Let's find out...
Fans of All-Star Section Eight should get a kick out of this week's opener. Last week ended with Jason Todd and Cassandra Cain in Noonan's Sleazy Bar, complete with smashed picture of Sixpack and the Grapplah! THE GRAPPLAH! It's a quick Easter Egg, but made me smile.
We then see Jason and Cassandra and my smile wasn't so big anymore. I don't know what happened to Cassandra over the week, but she went from looking like a cutie pie to...something else. Must have been a tough seven days. Jason looked great, it was his dialogue that threw me off. After the awesome interaction between Jason and Dick (and Tim Drake as well) in the first issue, this feels forced and out-of-character. I love Jason and Tim Seeley gives the reader a funny Cheap Trick joke, but the other attempts at humor missed the mark for me.
If you read the last issue, you know that Harper got the crap kicked out of her to the point of almost dying. Well, somebody better tell her companions, because she's still in bad shape. Tim finally notices she's around (and in bad shape) and everyone heads to the Batcave to fix her up.
Just an aside before I go on. Why is the T-Rex in the Batcave? Joker took it in Endgame and at this point it should be part of the scariest slide in all Gotham. I know it's a nitpick, but it shook me out of the story.
In the Batcave, Harper get's the care she needs, but she quickly becomes an afterthought when Dick plays everyone Bruce's message about "Mother". Then Seely uses Cassandra Cain as a tool to show the reader the differences between the three Robins. To get her to talk, Dick is nice, Jason wants to bust heads and Tim uses psychology. It may be heavy handed, but I liked it.
After Cassandra gives each what I hope isn't the Dim Mak, Dick gets a "call" from Spyral. We find out that Poppy is still on the run and that Spyral, and Agent Zero in particular, had a run in with "Mother" a long time ago.
I mentioned in last week's review that I was already getting tired of the Scarecrow flashbacks because they were too redundant and while we get another one, I liked this one because of Batman. Sure, it deals with Dick telling Bruce about his fears, but Bruce's scientific demeanor and the bombshell he drops at the end didn't make him look nice, but it sheds a light on why he had a Robin.
The issue ends at the Beacon Tower where Gotham is throwing a party for Bruce. Dick is on his way and you just know that some sort of shit is going to go down...but from where? As we saw before, with Mother involved, the danger can come from anywhere and it does. It's a cool cliffhanger that makes me want to jump into next week's issue right now.
This issue was okay. It does push the story forward more than last week's issue, but Seeley's characterizations just felt off. Jason in particular, especially after the awesome first issue of this series that nailed him. I also wasn't a fan of the art overall and I'd like to chalk it up as too many cooks in the kitchen, but it wasn't a transition issue, but just a mediocre art issue. I don't want to sound like a big jerk, but I didn't like what I saw.
Bits and Pieces:
I am still a fan of this series, but it mostly comes from the stellar first issue. While this issue pushes the story forward, the characterizations were not strong as Tim Seeley seemed more intent on cracking wise than giving the reader meaningful interactions. While the art wasn't strong either, I did like the way the book ended and where the story is going. I still recommend the series, but unfortunately, can't give this issue top marks.