Outside of some wonky plot decisions (which I’m sure he had no choice in), Ed Brisson’s first issue writing for Batman and Robin Eternal was pretty solid overall.
Can he continue the trend in the second issue, though? Is it good?
Batman and Robin Eternal #12 (DC Comics)
Lead Writer: Ed Brisson
Other Writers: Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV
Artists: Javier Pina and Goran Sudzuka
After the events of last issue, Dick Grayson makes the Sculptor show him the past and the supposed “truth about Batman.” The question is as it was before: will he like what he finds out?
Sculptor takes Grayson on a trip through her mind; first, she shows him her past and how she was a victim of Mother as well. The Sculptor’s family was killed and she was taken in by Mother so that the villainess could use the girl’s mental abilities in her brainwashing and reprogramming operations.
After being shown all of the details on how Mother’s system works and Sculptor’s reasons for being fed up with her current situation, we then see the pivotal scene with Batman and Mother. Apparently, Mother manages to “convince” him that Dick Grayson was a failure as a Robin and that she can give him the Robin he truly deserves. However, Batman says he’ll get the kid himself and apparently off the parents for her. The scene ends there before any more details can be given.
After that, the Sculptor disappears, warning Grayson and Harper Row that they need to hurry, as Mother is going to be closing her operation very soon due to their interference and having also found a better technique to do her mind-molding. Grayson is not sure what to make of everything he has learned, but he knows that the two of them will need to find the kids before it’s too late.
The issue ends with it seeming like our heroes are too late; somewhere, a bunch of kids and teens have been slaughtered and left in a bloody heap inside of a cave. A blood trail from the bodies leads over to a cowering Cassandra Cain, who seems out of it.
My thoughts on Batman and Robin Eternal #12 are similar to last issue’s; Ed Brisson’s writing is still pretty good, even if it’s mostly exposition and explaining matters. The pacing is decent, the story flows well from panel to panel, the characterization seems to be on point for everybody, and the dialogue/narration are fine. Like last time, some of the plot choices may rub some people the wrong way depending on how they feel about the characters, especially with the ending. The only big difference between this issue and the last was that this one felt a bit lighter on story (also, the opening is much different from how the last issue closed out). We got a look into Mother’s operations, but the story did not move much at all.
The artwork this time is split between Javier Pina and Goran Sudzuka. Pina does the scenes in the present reality and Sudzuka draws the moments in the mindscape. Both of them are pretty solid, with one or two exceptions (Pina has some problems with foreshortening in some panels), and both of them seem to do their own inking, since no inker is mentioned in the credits. The characters look fine, the layouts flow and read well enough, and there are a few visually striking scenes — the ending in particular.
Most Memorable Moment:
What the hell is wrong with your legs Harper?!