Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Batman and Robin Eternal #20 Review

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Written by: Tim Seeley
Art by: Roge Antonio, Geraldo Borges, Allan Passalaqua and Marilyn Patrizio
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: February 17, 2016

We are almost there guys...the end of Eternal is in sight.  I know that I've been a bit of a Negative Nancy at times during this season, but it's been a long ride and sometimes I get a bit cranky.  Once we get to Wally World, everything will be alright.  I mean, it's definitely open, right?  Sure it is, which is good because I wouldn't want to force John Candy to let us ride the Whipper Snapper.  That would be messed up.  Messed up indeed.  Since we don't have to worry about that, I'm going to let you take the wheel of the Family Truckster while I review this week's issue.  Here goes...

This week's issue opens where we left off...St. Hadrian's is under attack by it's own students being controlled by Mother's signal.  We see Miss Gold and Paris Pantoja holed up in the Gym, Tim, Dr. Netz and Helena heading to shut down the signal and Dick Grayson and Jason Todd fighting to stop Harper Row from killing Cassandra.

It's an okay start even if Miss Gold seemed a little too excited that Paris would have to kill her friends and Tim Seeley changes Harper's reason for attacking Cassandra a bit from last issue.  You will not hear me complain too much about the later because it makes a lot more sense than what we were told at the end of last issue.

We jump back and forth between the groups and for first half of the issue we don't get much new information.  There is some good action with Harper continuing to go nuts on Cassandra and (everyone else around her), Dick finding and fighting Poppy and Helena and Orphan battling it out in a scene that could have been lifted right from Die Hard.

This goes on until Cassandra, Harper and Jason are taken out a bit conveniently and we see that all of this was a plan to get Helena and Dick alone with Orphan and Poppy.  Really?  I'd like to think that it was more of a "thinking on your feet" type of plan, but it really seems like Seeley is saying this was the plan all along and it really is a 1 + 2 = Z type of situation.  Just on the surface, it seems like a whole lot of extra work to get what Mother wants.

We already were told by Tim what Mother was after (the Somnus Satellite) and after probing Helena and Dick's mind with "The Eye", she has the codes to activate it.  That's when Tim finally is able to shut off the signal and while that's great, Orphan and Poppy got away and took Harper and Cassandra with them.

As the issue ends, we are given a huge reveal of why Spyral has a giant mind controlling satellite and it's very personal and already feels like a way for a certain character to hit the upcoming Rebirth with a huge reset button.  I was so torn about this because I like what it can (should?) end up doing, but it felt forced and pretty unrealistic how it would be allowed. Then the book ends and we get an awesome cliffhanger that has me so pumped up for next week's issue and rights a huge wrong of this series.  I can't wait.

As you can probably tell, I am a little more positive this week, but I didn't mention my biggest complaint yet.  The dialogue in this issue was pretty horrible. There were parts that I had to reread and still just shook my head and moved on.  Dr. Netz was the worst offender, but Jason Todd had a few awful lines as well.  So, with that and a couple of forced moments, this issue was far from perfect, but better than it has been lately.

The art was a mixed bag as well.  The action scenes flowed well, but some of the character models were off.  Miss Gold seemed to de-age throughout the issue and Dick Grayson looked odd in a bunch of panels.

Bits and Pieces:

While this issue is far from perfect, I liked it more than what we've been getting lately.  The issue is filled with good action and while the dialogue was pretty bad and certain things felt forced, they still moved the overall story forward and for that I will overlook a lot.  The art was also a mixed bag, but the cliffhanger has me excited for next week which leaves me kind of in the middle with this issue overall.  Hence my score.


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  1. Not great issue, but in comparison to what we've been getting it's definitely more Servicable.

    The one really big Gripe I have with this issue is that it destroys what I thought this Series was Going to be. I thought this was a All Robins adventure, but what I get is a way for DC to "Try" to get me to like Harper more than I Like Cassandra, Stephanie, And Even Helena to some degree. I'd didn't need 20 issues to get to know someone who I should learn after I learn about Cassandra, Stephanie, And Helena. Hell I dare say I know more about Harper now than New 52 Tim Drake, which is a travesty.

    And I'm not excited about the ending. I really hoped that the new 52 was going to actual break the mold and give us some thing new, but that is Utter Bull Shit. The Status Freaking Quo. This event should have only taken placed in Grayson, Because this is how there are going to Retcon his Identity being known. True this is not as Bad As Spider-Man Making a deal with the devil to undo do his marriage but it still really sucks.

    The New 52 was suppose to be something new, but every tom something new happens it how can we undo it. Superman & Wonder togather, Undone. Barbara not being anything like Oracle and regressing her role to a teeny bopper just because she got her legs back even though that should have made her more bad ass to be oracle and kick actual ass like batgirl, Undone. Dick learning how to be a hero with out the Crest of the bat family because lord knows his character peaked when he was batman and God forbid him to have something new to his character, undone. I wouldn't be surprised if Superman identity is magically erased from everyone's mind as well. I Fucking hate the status Quo. But it doesn't matter what I like, or what's Good For the character.

    Sorry for the rant. Issue was actual a welcome improvement from last previous issues but The Statues Quo Thing makes me so mad, that I wonder why I spend so much money on stories that will eventually all have no reporcussions.

    1. I agree and I hate the idea of this being the way we are going to get Dick back as Nightwing...will EVERYONE loose their memory of Dick's identity???

    2. ...and I believe that the pre flashpoint Superman will be the way they get everyone to not think Clark Kent was ever yes, they will magically erase it from everyone.

    3. Jim - Kurt Busiek (if i remember correctly ) did a VERY similar thing with Iron Man when he wrote that book. Tony Stark used some bad guy invention to erase the whole world's memory of who he was. It included everyone... friends, enemies, etc. He had to re-reveal his identity to all of his allies again ( I guess, somehow, he destroyed every newspaper and erased every internet article about his identity as well... but that is conjecture because they never really explained that part. I imagine Spyral has the resources to erase the Internet and destroy all documentation and every news article in the world, including purchased hard copies, that covered the reveal of Nightwing's identity).

      Anyway... For some reasons it still seems better than using magic although it is just as lazy. I think outing Dick Grayson to begin with was a terrible idea. It made the fact that the average person couldn't connect it to Batman's identity just that much harder to swallow.

      This is probably my favorite issue in awhile. Finally, we got a cliffhanger that made me want to read the next issue.

      And I really hope that however they fixed Superman's identity issue; it makes Lois Lane look like a shit head. Her rationalization for revealing his identity was ridiculous. She looked Superman in the eye and told him, I did this so that the bad guy can threaten to reveal your identity. She's such a dick bag.

    4. Agreed on new 52 Lois being a "Dick Bag" Jasks. My hopes for the superman titles are that Superman is humbled by this Very Human exisistance and when he does get his powers back that he would appreciate the fact the Super Powers don't make you superman, but if you read the solicits you know that there's going to be some new series where Superman is looking for other people who are as powerful as him to make a League of "Supermen". Clark is not going to Learn anything from this Truth experience. Also from the Solucits we know we are getting a Trinity book and Superman and Wonder Woman is getting cancelled, meaning that Superman isn't most likely going to try and fix his relationship with Diana even though he was acting like a royal asswhole. If you read the Annual he was actually ready to propose to her,.....He lost his manhood we she try's to protect him during his depowering.

      I am a huge fan of a Superman & Wonder Woman relationship. Main reason is "Kingdom Come". If you haven't read that elseworld story do yourself a favor and Do. I thought that this is what we might get in this Earth-0. But The Statues Quo will probably ruin that even though Pre Flaspoint Superman is a completely different Superman from a completely different Universe. They even Brought Pre Flashpoint superman here to the this new universe and still they can't have one be Lois & Clark, and the the other be Superman & Wonder Woman. Because the statues Quo. I hope superman doesn't get his identity back so we have some new stories and I hope Superman fix his relationship with Diana. Screw New 52 Lois and Screw the Statues Quo.

    5. Jim I can't get the feeling out of my head that this rebirth thing is going to be the oblivion thing That is going to try and merge Pre flashpoint universe & The New 52 Earth-0. So DC can pick and choose what things they like from each continuity and make a brand new universe out of the Corrections DC is trying to make to there new Continuity that they have made no less than 4 years ago.

    6. Firstly, I agree completely with Jim's review, and with the comments above.

      Regarding the issue itself:
      Yes, the dialogue was certainly off, and that especially worries me if Tim Seely will be the sole writer of whatever next iteration of Grayson/Nightwing we get, but I did like the art, just not the transition from one artist to the next. If either one had been left solo on the book, I think it would have been fine.
      Sadly even with the ending cliff hanger, the plot has completely lost my interest. This is supposed to be a book celebrating the legacy and necessity of Batman and Robin, and it has failed that mission statement for at least the past 4-5 issues. And Anthony, your initial comment on still knowing so little about N52 Tim Drake was spot on!

      Regarding the New 52's mangling of characters and Continuity:
      ...Too much to say.


    7.'s funny that when I read your comment on the mission statement of this book I was like, "Oh yea, THAT is what it's supposed to be about." This book has turned into a bit of a prison sentence for me with me marking off each issue on the wall...some are good, other's are bad, but I just want to get out and go home. Maybe if I don't shiv someone in the yard, I'll get out early on good behavior!

      Anthony-I have the feeling that DC still has no idea what they are going to do or even what they want to do.

      jacks- I do agree it's better than a little bit. And one of my hopes for Rebirth is that we get a better Lois the one in Lois and Clark. She has been a real jerk for far too long.

  2. This god damn magic satellite pisses me off ... so it's a giant men in black memory eraser in the sky? I've been behind this series but I'm not down with this as a resolution. So will the court of owls not remember any of this either? Is robin war pointless? I'm turning into Jim now and becoming more pissed with each issue this satellite pops up.

    1. Damn Branden, I didn't even think about that but it would undo the fact that dick is part of the court of Owls Because they wouldn't remember him.

    2. Ya it's my main issue with all this ... Robin War just happened, Dick is a Global owl and now this is going to erase everyone's memory but the Owls, but nobody knows who the owls are ... so how does this avoid targeting them . I can forgive minor holes in plot but this is too glaring

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