Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Batman and Robin #37 Review *SPOILERS*

Written By: Peter J. Tomasi
Art By: Patrick Gleason, Mick Gray, John Kalisz
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: December 17, 2014

To Hell and Back Again, A Batman Tale

This is what we've been waiting for people.......... You know except for Robin Rises: Alpha, which we're also waiting for, but this is what we've been waiting for that we get today!  When we last left our heroes on Apokolips they had gotten to the Chaos Cannon, storing Damian's body and after Batman thoroughly beat the hell out of Kalibak we saw Darkseid rise and I don't know about you but I peed a little.  So that's where we are people.  Red Robin, Red Hood, Batgirl, Cyborg and Titus followed Batman into hell and now we're about to see the final conflict that will determine the fate of our little pumpkin headed boy: Damian Wayne.  Let's check it out.

Explain It!:

Our story begins in a "holy shit" kind of way where we see that Darkseid hasn't forgotten about how Batman and his friends fucked him up before and now that he's awake, he plans of dishing out a little payback.  So while you might not be a avid reader of Batman and Robin, you just might want to pick this issue up because it's the time that Batman went to Apokolips to pick a fight with Darkseid......... That shit just doesn't sound right but it does sound bad ass.  So Batman V. Darkseid: Dawn of Ass Whoopery is happening in this book without the courtroom nods but we see that even with Bruce's big bad Hell Batsuit, he still isn't much of a threat to the lord of Apokolips. 

To add a little more suspense to the story, Darkseid throws Batman into the chamber holding Damian's body and the Chaos Shard and both go toppling over a cliff.  Not wanting to bring back a shattered body, Batman flies down and catches both the shard and his son, but he forgot to mind his surroundings because Darkseid straight up torpedoes down on Batman's back driving him into the ground.  If you guys out there in interwebs land remember what it was like when Bane broke Batman's back..............this seems a whole hell of a lot worse.  Good thing we have the Hell Batsuit going on but even though it protected Bruce from totally dying there, it is seriously damaged and won't hold out much longer.  This is the part of the story where things just seem to lose focus for me.  As much as I can suspend my disbelief for a guy in a robot bat suit fighting a god, from here on out I kind of lose that.  So Batman is down and out but we know our hero won't give up and to get out from under Darkseid's boot heel he turns his wings into bats................ That's what I guess I'm seeing here.  As much as I've loved Patrick Gleason's work for this story, this book is kind of hard to follow the action at some spots.......... this being one of them.  So bats distract Darkseid long enough for Batman to give him a face punch and we're left wondering some more if we just saw metal wings turn into bats.


Back at the Chaos Cannon, Cyborg was damaged last issue and can't get his body to work under his own power so it's up to Batgirl to open him up and get his mother box going so they all can make like an egg and get the hell out of there.  So with Red Hood and Red Robin fighting off the incoming parademons, Barbara finally gets the mother box to work and a boom tube opens.  Back down at the fight Darkseid seems to think that Batman's friends are going to leave him and Batman takes this moment to ask Darkseid to kill him...................WTF!?  Omega Beams Ahoy!  Only this time Batman holds up the Chaos Shard and absorbs the beams into it............. Did you know it could do that?  Did Batman know it could do that or was that just like a flinch and it happened to happen?  So now with a fully charged Chaos Shard, Batman uses most of his remaining power to shoot Darkseid with an energy blast and our hero makes his escape with our other heroes and we all get back to the Batcave safe.  Darkseid seems to be okay with the fact that Batman just made him his bitch, but while he doesn't take immediate action he does say that he'll see him soon.  Still he got punked in front of his son and nobody wants that to happen.  Now Damian Wayne will taunt Kalibak with "My dad can beat your dad up".

In the end, Batman's Hellbat Suit seems to be damaged due to the Chaos Shard fusing to it's chest piece and it's got about three minutes until it explodes................ Shit.  At this point Batman is freaking out because he only has a small amount of time to bring Damian back and he's becoming all rock craggy and explody.  So what does one do when faced with a problem like that?  Why you rip the piece of Chaos Shard stuck to your chest off and stab it into your dead son's chest................ Right?  I guess it's right because when Bruce does this his skin becomes normal again and Damian comes back to life.  Damian is actually alive again and while I knew it was coming, I don't think it really hit me until the end of this issue when I saw him hug Bruce and say "father".  

It's a beautiful moment..................... But that only lasts a second because we're given a cliffhanger where it looks like Bruce collapses and possibly dies.   Why isn't Bruce's suit exploding anymore?

That's it for this issue of Batman and Robin and the end to the Robin Rises story arc at least for being numbered in this series.  Next we'll have Robin Rises: Alpha where we see some of those strange superpowers Damian seems to have now as he tries to save his father's life.  But that's later, let's talk about this issue.  While I've been anticipating this issue of Batman and Robin for awhile now, I have to say that this felt really anti-climactic.  Bruce just seems to know what a Chaos Shard does and how to use it and we as readers are sitting back watching wondering "huh?"  Let's go through the events.  Omega Beams charge shard, shard fuses to the hell batsuit's chest, Bruce becomes The Thing, Hell Batsuit is about to explode, Bruce stabs Damian, Bruce is no longer The Thing and Damian is alive.  I have no idea how any of those things went down and how the Hell Batsuit didn't explode in the end.  So it's very confusing or down right nonsensical about how we get from point A to B here and while I'd love to say that Patrick Gleason is on the top of his game, I just can't.  I really had a hard time trying to figure out what I was looking at in some spots and maybe that's where some of my confusion lies........... I don't know.  So the first half of the book is awesome while the last half will leave you shaking your head at what you just read.  See you when we take a look at Robin Rises: Alpha, where hopefully some of the elements from this book are explained further. 

Bits and Pieces:

This is what all of us Damian Wayne fans have been waiting for and while we get the outcome that we wanted, the journey to get there was a really confusing one.  Even now I'm not sure what went down in the ending and if it even made sense or not.  It just was and hopefully when we conclude this story in Robin Rises: Alpha, we'll get some of the answers to what happened here............ Hopefully.  But even with that and some confusion due to Patrick Gleason's art, this is still an enjoyable issue because of it's story and what it promises for the future.  Go check it out but don't expect all of it to make sense.


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