Written by: Genevieve Valentine
Art by: Alvaro Martinez, Scot Eaton, Raul Fernandez, Wayne Faucher, Sandra Molina and
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: November 25, 2015
As a whole, I've been enjoying Batman and Robin Eternal. Sure, not every issue has been a hit, but the mystery of Mother, Batman and the Robins has kept me guessing throughout. Things are moving along at a really good pace (unlike Batman Eternal) and the concentration on a set number of characters has given it a sharp focus (again, unlike Batman Eternal). Genevieve Valentine is back for this issue after giving readers an excellent one last week. So far, she is by far my second favorite writer on this series right behind James Tynion. Did this issue push her ahead or did it set her back to the level of Tim Seeley and Steve Orlando? Let's find out...
It's all about the ballet again this week and the issue begins with another Bruce Wayne/Dick Grayson flashback at, you guessed it, the Prague Ballet. After Bruce asked too many questions about Mother last issue, I didn't think he's ever get a face-to-face with her, but I was wrong. It doesn't go far before we switch to the present day with Dick and Mother in a similar situation.
To say Mother jumps right into playing with Dick's greatest fear is an understatement. She tells Dick that the reason Bruce sought her out was to get an heir...someone better than him. She even offers to show him exactly the who and what of it all if Dick will just leave with her, leaving Harper and Cassandra to die. Mother may know a whole lot, but she doesn't know Dick. Of course, he passes up the knowledge he desperately wants to help the girls he barely knows. That's what makes him a hero. The fight ends with Cassandra running off into the night after Harper pulls her hair. I know that sounds strange, but it makes total sense.
The middle section of the book may have been dominated with ass kicking fights, but we also see that Bruce planted a tracker on Mother after their meeting and that Madam Kovar kind of cheats her way out of her deal with Mother. The tracker is cool enough and a way to continue the flashback next week, but the second part has me worried...for Kovar and Sarangarel. My guess is that they are really in the book to show you what happens when you alter the deal with Mother. After her disappointment in having to shut down the Prague operations, I don't think she will just look the other way here.
We then check in with Jason Todd and Tim Drake in Gamorra. It really felt like I missed an issue as the two are chasing a guy (tech dealer, Jean Metier) into a church. After some not so good dialogue between Jason and Tim about fist fighting in churches, they find Jean and he is pretty out of his mind. We get an awesome POV through his eyes and you can see why he's scared. It's not a huge part of the story in this issue, but it was my favorite part.
This was not as strong as last issue. It just felt like something was missing and it ended with little to no hint of where the story is heading. The best we get is Dick hoping that Mother shutting down the operations in Prague will jar some information loose about where to go next.
The art of Alvaro Martinez was strong again this week. His cool looking backdrops return and while there is one really bad panel with a very bad looking Dick Grayson, everything looks really good.
Bits and Pieces:
This was yet another disappointing issue of Batman and Robin Eternal. That is all the more upsetting after Genevieve Valentine's strong effort last week. While Alvaro Martinez's art was good once again, the story is setup...for something. While I'm sure we will get some more Bruce/Dick flashbacks featuring their pursuit of Mother, the present day story is very up in the air and that doesn't have me excited at all. I love Valentine, but I cannot recommend this issue.