Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Batman and Robin Eternal #18 Review



Very Weakly...

Written by: Ed Brisson
Art by: Scot Eaton, Wayne Faucher, Allen Passalaqua, Gabe Eltaeb and Saida Temofonte
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: February 2, 2016

A weekly comic book takes a lot of commitment from all parties involved.  I'm obviously talking about the writers and artists, but I'm also talking about the readers as well.  In fact, I'm talking about them the most because I am one of them.  Sure, that is a bit selfish, but we are the ones paying money each week and all we ask for is to be entertained by a good comic book.  I'm only speaking for myself here, but I don't think the creators have lived up to their part of the bargain.  Sure, there have been good issues and moments, but overall, this weekly has been inconsistent and the good times have been few and far between. Did this issue start a swing towards the positive and get the story in order before the home stretch?  Let's find out...




The issue opens in St. Hadrian's where the Robins have teamed up with Spyral to figure out what Mother is up to and then how to stop her.  The majority of the early dialogue is between Dr. Netz and Tim Drake and it's okay, but the whole concept of them working together and what is actually said feels very off to me.

If you have been reading Grayson, you well know that Netz is no good.  Maybe it will be revealed that she is up to something, but as of now, she seems on the up and up.  Bullshit!  It may be a timing thing, but having her and Helena helping Dick and company just feels wrong.  Then there is what Tim says about ichthys...it only works on children.  Yet, the thing that got Tim and Jason heading to St. Dumas in the first place was a "signal" that triggered a bunch of adults at the Welcome Back Gala for Bruce Wayne.  Somewhere between then and now, it all got warped and perverted into something that fir the story better.  Again, Bullshit!



Meanwhile, Harper is where we left her last issue...in Spyral's prison yelling at Orphan.  She just can't believe her ears as Orphan badmouths Cassandra.  Really???  It's all leading to what Cassandra did when she was in Gotham with a night to kill.  I usually don't like to spoil things, but I want to talk about what happened and if you are surprised by any of it, you haven't been paying attention at all.  Before going on, I have to ask the question...where the hell did Poppy come from?  I looked back at last week's issue and Harper and Orphan are alone.  There doesn't even appear to be another cell last week, but all of a sudden, one appeared with Poppy in it.  Neat trick.

We then get our first flashback and again, it spits in the face of last week's issue.  Brisson left Batman seemingly knocked out with Orphan hovering over him, but here they are fighting again.  I wouldn't mind it if there was an explanation, but there is none.  Then Batman brings down the house and Orphan and Mother are trapped under the rubble.  If you get the feeling I didn't like this issue so far, strap yourselves in, it's about to get real bumpy.



Mother tells Batman to reach into her pocket and get out the device she has there.  If I didn't know better, I would have thought that Mother was looking for a date!  Is that a small device in your pocket, Mother, or are you just happy to see me?!?  It's some sort of video recorder that shows Batman the who, what and where of his heir.  We see a man and woman and it's so obvious who they are.  What's not obvious is who is recording this video.  Seriously, who the hell is there in Gotham filming these "lowlifes" as they steal copper pipe in an abandoned building?  The video continues as the woman gets murdered and the man gets away. Who is recording this?!?!?  I won't even get into the dramatic close ups this mystery filmer is using.  He or she is the Orson Welles of hidden murder videos.



This all leads up to the big reveal that Cassandra was in Gotham to kill Harper's parents.  Who out there is the least bit surprised?  It's bad enough that this was so obvious, but it pissed me off that Brisson toys around so long to reveal it.  Everyone involved (especially Tynion and Snyder) must really think that everyone reading this book are just grade a morons.  Well, we are paying for this piece of shit story so they may be on to something.  I also want to mention that at the beginning of the series, Mother told Orphan that Cassandra was a disgrace and she never wants to see her again.  She doesn't seem to have any issues with her now...during the most important mission ever.  When did she have this change of heart?  When?!?!?!?



The book then goes back and forth between present and past with Orphan telling Harper that Batman knew and didn't take her in as his new Robin and Batman yelling at Mother until she does the only cool thing in this entire issue, bite a hidden cyanide tooth and seemingly dies.  At this point, I could care less.  By the way, at this point, it seems like Poppy and her cell have disappeared.

The issue ends with the Robins figuring out that Mother may use the signal (which I'm now so confused as to what it actually is) to target schools, just as it targets St. Hadrian's.  Boy, could that have been timed any better?  That's when Dick realizes that Harper is missing and we are left wondering what will happen next month when she is under the signal's influence.  Guess what?  Poppy's back and I hate this series!

I don't think I can tell you how much this issue infuriated me.  We get yet another lame reveal that is presented like it's M. Night Shyamalan worthy...come to think of it, it is.  By that, I mean it is pure and utter crap.  This issue is filled with so may inconsistencies that everyone involved should be ashamed.

Scot Eaton tries his best to pull the book up by his art alone, but sadly, it's as inconsistent as the story.  Some of it looks pretty good, but then you get a panel like the one below.  Since when is Cassandra a 75 year old asian woman???





Bits and Pieces:

While I haven't been the biggest fan of Eternal up until now, this issue makes me want to give up reviewing this book, travel to Tibet and become a monk.  In fact, I want to do anything and everything to avoid reading another issue like this ever again.  I now officially hate Batman and Robin Eternal.

2.5/10
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20 comments:

  1. Cassandra is the only thing wrong with that panel? Tim Drake needs some Rogaine and Dick looks like he belongs in the Justice Society.

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    1. Woof. That's not a pretty panel.

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    2. lol!!! You are so right! It's just that Cassandra had me so scared! Tim also looks like he just had three strokes!

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    3. I think our heroes were replaced by their doppelgangers from Earth-M.......... The Mongoloid Earth.

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    4. That is not nice...it's Earth-22 (Chromosome)

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    5. That is not nice...it's Earth-22 (Chromosome)

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    6. Jesus, you guys like the handicapped like Hitler liked the Jews.

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  2. Jim I no fan of this issue, but I think a 2.5/10 is bit unfair. While we all saw this coming, and this makes the story bland & predictable. There was exposition from the flashback story and the present time story. Jim your just mad at putting your faith in this story repeatedly and being let down. 2.5/10 is a personal score. What would you really give this?

    If I had to I'd gives some where between 4-5/10. Even though I like you really hate the predictability of this issue.

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    1. there are so many things that don't make sense...please explain what the "signal" really is and why did it effect adults earlier but now is said to only effect kids, why is Mother using Cassandra to kill Harper's parents when she told David to take her away and never let her see her again (which in the timeline is not that long ago), when did Spyral capture Poppy because last issue Helena wanted to know what Orphan knew about her, who was filming the video that Mother shows Batman, why does Mother suddenly look 30 years younger from last issue and Cassandra aged 50 years, why is Spyral even helping the Robins, how come the issue opens with Batman fighting Orphan when last week ended with Batman knocked out and Mother telling Orphan to kill him (which she repeats after a bit this issue), could the timing be any crazier that just when they realize Mother would target schools, their school is targeted...add to that the lame reveal and this is the most error filled nonsense I have read in a long time...plus the art had bits that just looked downright awful!!! I understand that things get messed up with so many writers, but a bunch of this is off from Brisson's own issue last week.

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    2. Ya there were a few panels where I really had to think Would I "give it" to Mother?

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    3. I sent eric a panel and we both said we'do do her...though eric has said that the whole series!

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  3. Im starting to think unless your a need every issue collector maybe the way to treat weekly's is to check in on them only once or twice per month. Maybe sneak a peak when the big names actually write the book instead of just thrown their name up on the cover for a hard on cause they get name recognition. I still cant really "recall" any lasting effects the last Eternal had on the Batman universe come to think of it. Has it really been and is it just going to continue to be flushing out Bluebird for 78 issues?

    All that being said I dont hate the story as much as Jim has ... I've had fun with it more than not but it is still 100% filled with inconsistencies both art and story wise. Ill finish this one but pass on the next Eternal .

    Eternal II is kinda like Chipotle at this point I keep going back even though I know it has the potential to turn my stomach and put me on the shitter with disappointment.

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    1. Both Eternals are just a Bluebird setup. At least that's consistent with DC...Futures End wasted a whole year setting up Tim Drake to be Batman Beyond.

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    2. So I guess world's end, although filled with nonsense, is the only weekly that lived up to its name by destroying the world. Then again it could be considered a setup for convergence.

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    3. and a setup for Earth 2 Society

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  4. I understand the hate for the issue, especially as it would have been far more satisfying if Tim, or Jason had been revealed as the "Mothered" Robin, or even a twist like Carrie Kelly, where the attempt went wrong and she never became one.

    Potential wasted, certainly.

    But my real gripe towards this is that Dick hasn't taken charge and rallied up the team with a solid plan yet. Yes, we all know he's not Bruce, but at this point it feels like the former boy-wonder , and leader (in previous continuity) of both the Titans and the Justice league, should have put his troops in the field already. With Batman gone, he should already be the acting head of the clan.

    I think King and Seeley would have respected that, and Tynion & Snyder, better get on it.

    My Two cents at least - Fall

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    1. Yea, Dick (or anyone else) hasn't taken the fight to Mother. I guess the last 8 issues will have that since we already know the 2 big mysteries. Hopefully Dick will step up, but I don't have any faith in this story doing anything right.

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    2. This is the same problem everyone has with these eternals, they have their protagonists remain idiots until it's necessary for the writer

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  5. I give up to this site, when I found it I was very pleased but now instead of well constructed reviews the only thing I see is a guy crying over what he thinks is wrong. Maybe I'm getting the wrong message here but in almost all the reviews what I see is how they shit in every aspect of any story without any consideration if that plays or not in the story. Maybe I'm wrong here but that's what I get from it, I prefer to give up to the site

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    1. I thought that I did say what "plays or not in the story". This issue was full of inconsistencies that went against what we already were shown in the series leading up to it. I guess you are looking for a site that will lie to you and tell you everything is going to be okay, but if I don't like an issue, then I won't pretend I do. While I know that it seems that we are negative, I would say that's more of an indictment of the quality of the books that DC is putting out nowadays. I may be wrong, but isn't that the main reason they are about to go through a Rebirth? There are plenty of sites you can check out that will tell you every issue is a 10/10 and I suggest you check those out from now on. Before you leave forever, though, I just want to know why people want to bitch and moan about everything DC Comics, but then want high scores on every book. Also, what would you have given this issue?

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