Thursday, May 16, 2024

Batman And Robin #9 Review




  • Written by: Joshua Williamson

  • Art by: Nikola Cizmesija, Simone Di Meo

  • Colors by: Rex Lokus, Giovanna Niro

  • Cover art by: Simone Di Meo

  • Cover price: $4.99

  • Release date: May 14, 2024


Batman And Robin #9 arrives at the long-awaited reveal of the identity of Shush. She is and isn't what you think.



Is Batman And Robin #9 Good?

Well, this is going to go over like a wet fart in an unventilated elevator. Joshua Williamson cuts out the middle of the issue and completely reworks it (with a different artist) to hastily unveil Shush's true identity. While finally getting that unearned mystery out of the way is a positive, the reveal confirms Williamson made much ado about nothing.

When last we left the Dynamic father and son, Batman was captured by the evolved Man-Bat while Damian inadvertently helped Flatline arrest her wayward sister.

In Batman and Robin #9, Flatline attends Damian's school as a "transfer student" to help him expose Principal Stone, who Damian believes is both Shush and his former trainer, Mistress Harsh. The scheming students concoct a plan to start a food fight and force themselves into detention. When the food flinging leads to an inevitable meeting with Principal Stone, Damian turns the accusation dial up to 11.

[Spoilers Ahead - Turn Back Now]

Under direct pressure, Principal Stone admitted to being Mistress Harsh and training her most athletic students to become killers like Damian. When she sends her trainees to attack, Damian easily defeats them. Cornered, Mistress Harsh takes one of her students hostage at gunpoint.

Suddenly, somebody tases Mistress Harsh from behind. It's one of Damian's teachers, Ms. Hall, who reveals herself to be Shush. She adopted the identity to take revenge on Batman because she was a mentee of Tommy Elliot. She blamed Batman for Elliot's downfall and the collateral damage it created on her medical career.

Let's recap. Principal Hall is the former trainer of Damian, Mistress Harsh. A random teacher is Shush.

[End Spoilers]

When all is said and done, the Shush mystery is dispensed with, but not before Damian is given a clue to his father's whereabouts. When Damian tracks down Batman's location, he finds his father drugged and captured by Man-Bat, and the latter unleashes swarms of bats on Gotham City to spread his new drug.

What's great about Batman And Robin #9? The Harsh/Shush mystery is finally over. Now we can move on to better things. Plus, the Man-Bat plot is starting to pick up steam.

What's not so great about Batman And Robin #9? The Harsh/Shush reveal hits about as hard and is as memorable as a pillowcase filled with cotton balls. I don't know what Williamson was thinking by dreaming up a plot device that's this unbelievably lame. Plus, after nine issues, we still have no idea what Man-Bat is trying to do.

How's the art? Wildly, jarringly inconsistent. It seems clear that something changed with Williamson or DC Editorial because the middle of this issue was scraped out with a melon baller and replaced with a new version that's about as seamless as a Patriots football fan in the middle of the stadium at an Eagles home game. This issue is a genuine example of sloppy, lazy work.



About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.

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Bits and Pieces

Batman And Robin #9 is a sloppy, lazy mess of a comic. The Mistress Harsh/Shush reveal goes over like a lead balloon, and a guest artist was brought in to redo whole sections of the comic just to get the reveal out of the way. If you're paying for this comic, you're wasting your time and money.

3.5/10

2 comments:

  1. Part 1: Awful, absolutely awful. When will this storyline end already so maybe we can get another chance with a new interesting storyline? What is wrong with having 3 or 4 issue long stories with some long running plot elements in the background that we have to keep enduring these attempts at long running arcs that simply don't have enough material for them to be that many issues ( Nightwing has this problem to a lesser extent too, it's one of the reasons the Heartless storyline has gotten out of hand).This insistence on the Shush, Harsh identity mystery and man bat cult combo is just not working because there is nothing to it! At most this could have been told in 4 issues or so, but it's already issue 9 and the story is just stretched to oblivion and the void either because there are no better ideas yet for this series or that the writer genuinely thinks this plot makes sense and is interesting. This results in characters having to be nerfed so much for it to keep going or act out of character. This mystery could have been solved ages ago with a DNA sampling of Harsh vs Shush at least or a standoff ages ago instead of this going "undercover" that wasn't even taken seriously by the characters to begin with. Not to mention the Harsh character wasn't even a big deal in the past so we would have the tension of this resurfacing for Damian! How stupid was it that in the same breath Damian said you hid yourself well Shush, he also said but you just used your Shush voice in full view of me and my friend!! That whole scene and the pages after were just ridiculous, I already said last month that Damian not investigating his father's disappearance under suspicious circumstances is out of character and nonsense and they just keep insisting on making it worse by having Shush just hand the address to him for him to finally go and see where Batman went!!! So ask yourself, if Shush hadn't shown up when she did at the school and revealed herself out of her own volition which had absolutely nothing to do with anything Damian or Flatline accomplished, what Damian was going to do exactly??? Yell at Mistress Harsh some more so she says it outloud who she is while Batman is experimented on by man bat with him being none the wiser to any of it?

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    1. Part 2: and there are several moments like that for example what exactly was the point of Flatline going undercover and for just half an issue at that??? How did that help anyone? Couldn't Damian just get into detention himself? What did they actually accomplish together that couldn't have been done 5 issues ago??? And you can't say they just wanted to spend some time together when there was near to none pretence about them being normal teens hanging out with each other but rather two masked people on a particular mission. I am not expecting these characters to be geniuses all the time but when they are acting so below common sense and out of sync with basic human emotions even for untrained normal people, then it's frustrating. It's just to fill the time to stretch the plot. And let me not comment on the man bat cult. It speaks for itself i think.
      We don't even have the relief of having some heartfelt or particularly deep character interactions to help us endure this plot ( even the school characters are just underdeveloped and a sketch at this point, we have barely spent anytime fleshing them out and then are supposed to care about any rivalry or big reveal. Instead of this nonsensical back and forth of 'i know you are mistress harsh' and 'no i am not' that we have been getting for months now that isn't any deeper or twistier than the characters just yelling this at each other over and over , we could have gotten more time for other side characters of this supposedly long running series. The whole school thing is just arbitrary and nothing). I am just sick of this title and its art. Even writing a review for it numbs my skull with how boring it is. This title just feels like an aftertought, I wish they had given it to a writer who could have made it a priority. Williamson can write better than this but for some reason, maybe creative burnout, he hasn't in some time now. It absolutely baffles me that people aren't more angry with this title and instead are cool with it as long as Bruce says son once every issue or so. The bar for quality in comics is so low that you won't believe until you exprience it for yourself. I don't care what anyone says about the art, but sorry it's just objectively awful and incoherent. 3 out of 10. It's a horrible time for batman titles particularly and I dread these titles getting worse and making me wish we had this instead. For now I have just given up in this title, all future issues are probably awful too so unless I see otherwise or something ultra horrible I won't comment on this title anymore. For future issues that have no comments from me, just have these previous reviews as template. It's not even in sync with the other events that has happened to have that going for it at least so there's no point in reading this, you won't be informed of what's going on in general with Batman and Robin and you don't get a good standalone series either.

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