Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Batman and Robin Eternal #13 Review



My Kind of Scum

Written by: James Tynion IV
Art by: Marcio Takara, Dean White and Saida Temofonte
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: December 30, 2015

I may have lost a whole lot of faith in this book, but I have to admit that I was looking forward to this issue all week.  Why?  James Tynion, that's why.  I still haven't figured out if he is the best writer of the Eternal bunch or if him and Scott Snyder just save the best bits for his issues, but I'm guessing it's a combination of both.  He couldn't have come at a better time as we just hit halftime, are down by a couple of scores and I really need a pep talk to head back out and win this one.  So, did Tynion pull a Vince Lombardi or a Chip Kelly?  Let's find out...  (For all you non American readers, just insert something great and something over hyped and bad into the name slots above and go with it)







After two issues full of flashbacks, I was glad this issue started in the now.  Sure, I had no idea what was going on at first, but Tynion quickly pulled the curtain aside and showed us a badass Cassandra Cain doing badass things.  She heads into Mother's Nursery and believe me, I don't think they have to worry about Bill Porter banging on the door selling brushes.  Then the flashback begins...oh, great.



While I wasn't a fan of the origin story flashbacks in the last two issues, I liked the one we get here because it's all about the feels.  It shows little Cassandra trying her best to deal with her awful upbringing by stalking Mother's children as they arrive at the Nursery.  It's one of those "the grass is always greener" things, but in a real fucked up way.  While you can never say that Mother's children have it nice and easy, they do compared to Cassandra.  There are a couple of really touching scenes here, but the best is when Cassandra learns what a hug is and tries unsuccessfully to use the new knowledge on Sculptor.  The way she brushes the little girl aside like a stray dog is awful, but powerful stuff.  This is the part that makes you appreciate the groundwork that Ed Brisson laid out the last couple of issues.  It feels like the Cassandra Cain origin in now complete.



It all leads back to the present and a confrontation with Orphan that felt a little forced and convenient. I did like the dialogue here, though, as it plays off so well with everything that happened in Cassandra's past.  That continues as we again go back in the past to see when Batman gave Cassandra the thumb drive that started off this whole series.  Batman comes off as the greatest person in the world and I am left believing that Cassandra would do just about anything for acceptance and a little hug.  While I was left a little bit confused on how Cassandra's information got on the Bat thumb drive (Did Batman take Cassandra's info, put it on a thumb drive and hand it back?), I guess I'll have to go with it.

The issue continues with a pretty good fight between Cassandra and Orphan, especially if you've been waiting to see David Cain get his ass kicked.  It does, with the help of Dick Grayson and Harper Row who finally show up after leaving Sculptor's mirage mansion.  The issue then takes a turn for the worst for everyone involved as we see how far Mother will go to get rid of her past mistakes.  I'd say it was an explosive ending, but it wasn't...yet.



I liked this issue.  I didn't love it, but it's a step in the right direction.  The Cassandra flashback did a ton for understanding the character and if I could step inside the comic and give her a big hug, I would.  As far as the overall story, not much happens here to move it forward until the cliffhanger.  It was a damn good cliffhanger, but I'd trade it for some solid information...you know, like who Batman's heir is or was that really him with the smoking gun.  Just saying.

I really want to know what happened to Tony S. Daniel.  I thought he was going to be doing a big chunk of this book's art and I was wrong.  It isn't the first time...  It didn't bother me that much this issue as Marcio Takara did a fantastic job.  The part where Cassandra "puts on" her mask was so great and the panel with Batman and his flowing cape during the flashback was one of my favorites in this series.  Great job all around and a special shoutout to Carlo Pagulayan, Jason Paz and Romulo Fajardo Jr for such an awesome cover.

Bits and Pieces:

This wasn't the series best issue, but it was one of the better ones.  James Tynion gives us a heart felt Cassandra Cain history lesson and I really liked it.  While it may not have pushed the overall story ahead as much as I was hoping, it ended with a crazy cliffhanger that I'm hoping gets resolved soon.  If this weekly could maintain the quality of story and art found here, I'd gladly stick around for the second half of the story.  We can only hope.

7.0/10


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14 comments:

  1. This was a great issue. And it showed everyone why Cassandra Out of the Batgirls or female crusaders in Gotham that she is a much more compelling character. I can only hope that the focus we got on Cass in this is follows the rest of this falling series. No more Spoiler and Definitly no more Harper, or at least keep there involvement to a minimum. I find that one of the reasons the story is lacking in previous issues is that there are to many caped vigilantes running around Gotham these days and most of those character shouldn't be treated like bat family characters.
    Another nit pick I have is that have is with how characters look. Please Tynion, give us an age for Cassandra, that way other artist can draw more consistently. Some issues she looks fifteen others eighteen or nineteen. A few issues back we saw Cass in a flash back along with dick who was Robin at the time. She only looked 2 or 3 years younger than him. I'm sure I'm not the only person who wants to know.
    Other than my nit picking aside, this was a good issue of batman and robin eternal. Hopefully we don't get another 2 bad issues for every good one we get.

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    Replies
    1. I agree with everything you said! Cassandra's age has just jumped all over the place and it is getting annoying...like Red Hood's mask, Harper's look, ect, ect, ect...

      I did enjoy this issue more than most, but I think it won't last...if the solicits are to be believed, we get Tynion next issue and then it's back to Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing for a couple and then Steve Orlando! Oh goodie

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  2. Well.
    I was not sold on Cassandra before. I didn't see the big deal about her and I was just not wowed.
    Now...I must say, wow.

    Now im hoping that the rumored 'Birds of Prey featuring Harper, Stephanie and Cassandra' series actually happens.

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    Replies
    1. I agree...this issue made me want to hug Cassandra and her putting the "Blood Mask" on to fight Orphan was so awesome!

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  3. Considering we're at the halfway point in this series, it's making me wonder when the story's going to really start to pick up. Any day now.....

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    Replies
    1. I'm with you. I liked the issue enough, but it's starting to feel like we always get a good Tynion issue, followed by 4-5 issues of little progression and then Tynion back to push things forward again. The bad part is, this issue didn't really do much until the cliffhanger, but it was still one of the better issues in a while.

      I think we aren't going to get much until the last 6 issues and that sucks.

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  4. I havent hated this Eternal as much as others and its still an improvement over the first one with a much tighter focus. My issue is too much flashback and forth. I like it a lot at first but now the mixture is way off lately and Im losing my place in the story.

    Also its been like a month without Tim and Jason ... give me more Red Hood and his ninja blade gloves please!

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    Replies
    1. I'd like to see more Jason and Tim, but I'd like to see them team up with other people instead of each other, while Dick is teaming up with Harper... Man that sound dirty.

      Give me some other dynamics to see. For Tim I'd like to see either him and Batgirl or him and Spoiler team up. And for Jason I'd like to see him team up with Cassadra or Damain.

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    2. I would love Tim and Batgirl as well as Jason and Cassandra. And I want to see Damian!

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    3. I think Batgirl made her one appearance either that or shes watching the hell outta Bruce.

      Red Hood with anybody but I would like to see Harper, I think his humor would play well with her character.

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    4. I am actually with you...Red Hood with anybody and no, that's not "shipping"

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    5. I'm with you on on more Red Hood in this story. But I want him to be more important to the story. It be great if Jason was the one to Find out Cassandras mother is Lady Shiva, since in the new 52 Jason is one of her Protege. I'd still like to know how Shiva came to conceive a child with David Cain. Does this mean the League of Assassins has something to due with Mother.
      Besides that I think between Jason Cassandra and Damian, they all have had really hard goes at life. It be nice to see them relate to one another.

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  5. Cassandra cut off Orphan's hand in issue 5. He has his hand back in issue 13. Did I miss a previous explanation of why he isn't missing a hand?

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    Replies
    1. I believe it is one of those shiny cybernetic hands...though a little explanation would have been nice.

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