Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Batman and Robin Eternal #11 Review



Same Old Song and Dance


Written by: Ed Brisson
Art by: Fernando Blanco, Christian Dulce, John Rauch, and A Larger World Studio
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: December 16, 2015

While I was so into this series when it began, I have slowly, but surely started regretting it even before opening the cover each week.  I know that's not a professional thing to admit, but I am being honest.  So, trust me when I say that each week I go into my review with an open mind and nothing would make me happier than to tell each and every one of you that that issue is kick ass and I am back on the Eternal trolley.  A man can dream, right?  Well, one of the best things about these weekly books is that after a couple of issues, the creative teams change and it's like springtime in Cricklade. You all know where I'm coming from!  So, is this the issue that puts a smile on my face or will I be left looking out my window, longing for better days?  Let's find out...


Like life, Batman and Robin Eternal  has been like a box of chocolates...you know the rest and  it's that unpredictability that makes me shake my fist at Mr. Russel Stover (fancy chocolatier that he is) and the nature of this story.  I never know what we'll get, especially when a new team jumps on the book and this week, Ed Brisson gives us a Cassandra Cain origin story.  I didn't see that coming. Well, it's here and it wasn't half bad.

The issue opens where we left off last week...Harper and Dick being greeted by " The Sculptor".  Of course, they traveled all the way to British Columbia to find David Cain (Orphan, if you're keeping score), but find out quickly that they were lead there by "The Sculptor", who happens to be a telepath. Boy, I hope they tell us her actual name, because I'm already sick of writing "The Sculptor".



While she initially seems interested in Harper, her attention shifts to Dick Grayson and smoking like a bad ass!  After Brisson makes sure we know that Dick's brain is locked up tight against "The Sculptor" (seriously!) and that Canadian cigarettes are shit, she tells Dick that he must stop Mother and what she has planned.  Okay, I didn't see that coming, but it makes perfect sense, in a sick, perverted way.  "The Sculptor" looks at these poor, molded children as works of art that Mother now is trying to destroy.  As an artist, she wants her greatest works to live on.  No folks, she is not a good person.

The issue goes a bit off the rails when Dick asks the "Woman who molds children and is smoking like a bad ass" to tell him where Mother is and she tells him that she has to show him.  With her GPS?  Nope.  With a hand drawn map where "x" marks the spot?  Nope.  With a...screw it, she is going to use mind powers, but Brisson already stressed that Dick's brain is Fort Knox, so she has to mind share with Harper.  And thus begins the Cassandra Cain origin I spoke of earlier.



The way this all works is that Harper and  the "Lady who works for Mother, but want to stop her while smoking like a bad ass" walk through her memories so that Harper can see the evil that is Mother so they will know what they are up against.  Problem is, the Cassandra Cain story we see doesn't really involve Mother.  In fact, we are told that it all is going on behind her back.

We do get a lot of David and Cassandra Cain and it's heartbreaking and really solidifies Orphan's status as a villain and Cassandra's as a sympathetic character.  We see the lengths that Orphan will go to please Mother, but also prove that he is right.  Poor Cassandra is stuck in the middle and after seeing the moment when Mother discovered and quickly banished her, the mind share takes a detour to Gotham and a pretty grizzly scene.  It may not explain everything, but it shows the reader why Cassandra ran off when Harper grabbed her hair back in Prague.



The issue then heads towards what every reader has wanted to see since the beginning of this series...We finally get to see which Robin Batman got Mother to make for him.  Psyche!  Right before we get the big reveal, Dick inconveniently freaks out and pulls Harper out of the mind share.  God damn it!!!  The issue ends with Dick trying to force "The Sculptor (I gave up), to show him Batman and the molded Robin.  Please make it happen.



Like I said, the Cassandra Cain origin story wasn't half bad.  It basically pulls her original story into the New 52, sets up Orphan as a real asshole and makes me feel so bad for cute, little, serial killer Cassandra.  I was actually enjoying learning about Cassandra a bit at a time and through her actions instead of having my hand held, but if this gets it out of the way for better storytelling, I'll be all for it. The only real problem I had in this issue is when Harper first sees Orphan in the mind share and acts like she forgot everything that lead to this issue.  She figured out that Orphan was David Cain and traveled to his home, but she sees him and says, "That's the dude who tried to kill me" and has to be told who he is.  This series has been full of little moments like this and I'm sure they will continue.  Overall, this issue felt like it wanted to be something bigger, but only ended up pissing me off when the channel was changed right at the best part of the show.

I really didn't have much of a feeling toward the art of either Fernando Blanco or Christian Dulce. Blanco did the art in the mind share scenes and it did the job, but don't wow me at any time.  Dulce provided the real world scenes and they were adequate, but too quick to make much of an impression on me.  What I'm saying is that overall, the art was okay.

Bits and Pieces:

Ed Brisson jumps on Batman and Robin Eternal, but it's pretty much the same old story.  We get a Cassandra Cain origin that is nothing shocking and when we are about to get the bottom of one of this series biggest mysteries, we are snatched away and get nothing.  Nothing!  The art and story just happen and when I was finished reading the issue, I didn't feel any closer to the destination.  In fact, I didn't feel much at all.

5.8/10



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24 comments:

  1. Better issue than last week. Finally got some more Cassandra and a very descent Origin for her. Problem with this issue is Dick getting stupid at the end. Why wouldn't he be patient 1 more minute?
    I am wondering who is the Heir mother ment. I think the obvious choice would be Harper, the predictable plot twist answer being Tim. But I'd like it to be either Cassandra or Jean Paul. If it where Cassandra it would be a good way for mother to take back Cassandra from David. And if it were Jean Paul it make sense why he's So similar in motif to Batman.
    Lastly I'm hoping the sculpture isn't the real mother, because that would make what dick did in this issue one of the stupidest things he's ever done. I mean come on.... Who trust a person who can control your brain.

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    1. I didnt even get my mind there that the Sculpture could be Mother and this old lady is just a front ... I rant down low about the old Mother.

      I tend to think there moving in the direction of Tim or Harper myself. I wish they would just reduce the cast all these moving parts are just to take up page space it almost seems at points just on a smaller scale than the first Eternal.

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  2. I concur with your assessment. This issue has caused me to officially drop the book. I am done.

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    1. If they would just get the essence of these characters more accurate and more consistent this story could really be good. This is why people hate weeklies. If this where a bi-Weekly book I'd bet it would be so much better. What sucks so bad is I'm already 11 issues in, and if I where to stop now, it would have been a real waste of money. Hopefully all this pays off. But I won't hold my breathe.

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    2. I'm with you...once I start down the weekly path, I stick it out. Just about half way home and it's not looking good.

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    3. I've never seen a book that has been dropped like this one. Every week, someone else bails and I can see why every single time.

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    4. Which is worse than the last eternal since people really started dropping it from around #29/30 compared to this one were nearly everyone has bailed by issue 5

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    5. Yea, I guess the people who were burned by Batman Eternal gave this one a try, but have learned better and for out quick. I am always one to stick it out to get the whole story, but if I wasn't reviewing this book, I would have dropped it around issue 6 and just waited to hear why Batman did what he did and who the Robin was...that's all I want to know

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    6. True, I am the same when it comes to weeklies, thank god I didnt buy futures/worlds end 😎

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    7. the damn podcast is making me have to read all the books, even Eric's so I had to read both Futures and Worlds End...but I get back at him by making him read both Eternals!

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  3. I like Cassandras origin story. I stopped reading after the Knightfall stuff when i was a kid entering high school and picked back up with New52 so I dont know much about her and I enjoyed it a lot.

    Im confused at this point why someone (not even Batman per se) just doesnt smack this old lady and solve this whole problem since shes just pisses all over everyone constantly. There have been at least 5 people within smacking range while she spews hate at them.

    Batman and Robin Eternal feels like being a Bills fan. The beginning always starts off good, you middle along keeping hope alive throughout the middle (of the season or issues), then you lose it at the end to the damn EAGLES and want to throw yourself threw the nearest patch of drywall as a punishment for ever believing in this god damn crap in the first place .... but you see it through anyway cause really what else is there to do?

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    1. Now I'm starting to like the book more!

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  4. That cover though, it really brings me back...to watching Platoon as a kid

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    1. http://33.media.tumblr.com/366f7867c9edb25f282239f8fb37ea9d/tumblr_inline_n4ykulgwyZ1rn628q.jpg

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    2. After seeing the cover I am very curious but after reading this review and the comments I am no longer curious. Still a cool cover though!

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    3. the cover is amazing...I thought I was suddenly at a Jefferson Airplane concert with the Weird Science Get Fresh Crew in tow.

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  5. this series is starting to suck just as bad as the original Batman Eternal did!
    i have no idea how they managed to spread that garbage over 52 issues???

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    1. With about 30 shitty issues in the middle!

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  6. Well, its not like there are better books than this one out there...what other bat-books better than this one are there? Batgirl? nope, Red Hood and Arsenal? nope, Batman Beyond? nope, We are robin? nope, teen titans? nope, catwoman? nope, only Batman's main title, detective comics and Robin son of Batman have been enjoyable...so don't prettend that there are better options out there, because there aren't.

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    1. What about Grayson? And I like We are Robin and Catwoman way better than this, but that's a crazy argument. I'm not going to buy or recommend a book because there aren't any better Bat books. There are plenty of good non Bat books out there and anyway...if a book sucks, don't read it, period.

      You don't have to justify why you like it, if you like it, great, but it seems like you are trying to convince yourself a bit.

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    2. What about Grayson? And I like We are Robin and Catwoman way better than this, but that's a crazy argument. I'm not going to buy or recommend a book because there aren't any better Bat books. There are plenty of good non Bat books out there and anyway...if a book sucks, don't read it, period.

      You don't have to justify why you like it, if you like it, great, but it seems like you are trying to convince yourself a bit.

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  7. The story as been really good so far, with a pace normal for a weekly...Cassandra has been awesome so far, although not nearly as good as old Cass, and her origin-story was compelling as always, although not as good as old Cass...but then again i don't find any character now to be better or even equal to their pre-flashpoint counterparts.
    All in all, this series isn't the best, but its the best we have.

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    1. I haven't liked it...I think the characterizations have been off, the dialogue has been horrible and we haven't really been given a real story. If you are comparing it to, say Batman Eternal, then the pacing is similar...as in we are not getting much of anything. While the Cass origin was okay, I wish they would have continued giving us bits and pieces to figure out instead of a huge info dump this issue. Then we almost learn a huge part of the story and it's ripped away from us. What a tease! I'm glad you like it, but you are actually the first to tell me that and I can count at least 10 people who already dropped it.

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