Monday, March 24, 2014

Batman and Aquaman #29 Review

Written by: Peter J. Tomasi
Art by: Patrick Gleason
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: March 19, 2014

Having a Whale of a Time

Batman and (fill in the blank) has not been the same since Damian died.  I know, it doesn't take a rocket surgeon to come up with that nugget, but the rotating guest stars have only made me wish for a new Robin to be introduced so we can get on with it.  Granted, Damian was great and the dynamic between him and Batman made this book a must read.  So, when I heard the book would feature the "Hunt for Robin" arc I was excited.  Well, after reading this issue, I'm a little less excited and a bit more skeptical.

Peter J. Tomasi wastes no time at all getting to the action.  Batman (and stowaway Titus) are on the trail of Ra's al Ghul and it's lead then to an Island in the Pacific Ocean.  However, as they approach they are met by Aquaman.  He has his reasons for showing up, but they are really a stretch.  It just doesn't feel organic at all.

Granted, I love Aquaman so after overlooking the setup, I enjoyed the action.  There is a boat load of it. Both Batman and Aquaman are pissed and want nothing more than to take Ra's down. Unfortunately for them, Ra's has a plan of his own and it's pretty messed up.  Readers of Batman Inc will squirm with both disgust and delight.  Spoiler warning...Ra's gets away, but Batman finds out his next location.  The issue ends with next issue's guest star agreeing to join Batman on the next leg of the hunt.  Again, it already feels a little forced, but I'll save my judgement for next month.

My other major problem with this issue is the art.  I hope I can convey this properly because it's not Patrick Gleason's art itself that disappointed me.  I like his art, but the more guest stars that enter the book, the more his lack of variation bugs me.  Aquaman looks too much like Batman.  Maybe it's the big, squared chins that Gleason seems to be so fond of, but I hated the way Aquaman looked.  There are some really cool panels this month and Gleason gives us some of his better action scenes, I just wish Aquaman looked better.

Bits and Pieces:

If this is the start of us getting Damian back, I'm all for it.  However, Aquaman seemed forced into the issue for no better reason than to have Aquaman in the book.  Just give us a new (or old) Robin so this book can get it's identity back.


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