Batman and Robin #6
I have had nothing but positive things to say about this book for the first five issues, but I was a little disappointed in this one. Specifically, the bait-and-switch that Robin pulled on NoBody seemed to be too predictable.
I got the feeling that they wrote themselves into a tough spot, and rather than open up an overarching theme of rebuilding trust between Bruce and Damian that could have fueled the book for possibly a couple of years, they chose to bypass that and give us the payoff now.
Granted, I can understand why they would do this. This book is supposed to be Batman and Robin adventures, so the quicker the two are on the same page, the better.
That said, I think with a commitment to long-term booking this book could have been milked for two or three films when Warner Bros. reboots the Batman movie series again.
Even so, despite the bait-and-switch, the writing was solid. We got the finish to Bruce's flashback and the emotion Damian showed was consistent with what we saw from him at the end of Batman #5. Artwork for this book has been consistently good as well, and I'm glad that we finally got a cover that isn't red.
Overall, this is setting up nicely for the first major arc to wrap up either in issue 7 or 8. And I'm serious about this becoming a film one day. This has been a fun dynamic (duo haha).
A brief, two-issue arc concluded here, as Gretel and Barbara had their showdown quicker than I expected.
Of course, this book will be remembered for Barb's fight with Bruce early on. I'm not sure what to make of it other than the fact that this was a way to get Barbara over as the permanent Batgirl.
Sadly, though, what it did for me is make me wonder what in the world happened to Stephanie Brown. Seriously, after Leviathan Strikes we've gotten no indication of what has happened.
I sincerely hope that this issue is resolved soon. When Stephanie donned the femme-cowl, we got a flashback in the first issue showing Cassandra passing her suit on to her. I still don't know if Spoiler exists in this new universe six months in!
Anyway, the mother-daughter dynamic is moving at a pace too slow for me to care about and the cops in this book need to take a chill pill.
As a whole, I'd say this is a passable issue, but definitely one of the weaker ones of the new series.
Wild Card: Detective Comics #6
As I said before, each month I'll be looking over another book and reviewing it. I figure I'll start with the Bat-books and then expand through the rest of the DC Universe.
This month is Detective Comics' turn. Most of you know this as the flagship, "A" book of the entire company.
When DC chose to reset the book to #1, it drew the eyes of many for immediately using the Joker and concluding the book with the Clown Prince's most deranged act of mutilation yet.
This led to the Dollmaker arc, and that in turn has moved into a storyline with Oswald Cobblepot a.k.a. The Penguin.
In this issue, Cobblepot has opened a new Iceberg Lounge and is working with a group of criminals, who are apparently going to join forces to stop the Bat from getting to them again.
Meanwhile, Bruce's new girlfriend now has a sister in the crime business, and this twisted sister (:D) proceeds to put her in danger. The cliffhanger as to her survival is chilling (if you cared for the romance, that is).
I will say that I enjoy this book as a more cut-and-dry brand of Batman. While Batman has been slowly expanding the villainy with the intent of causing a multi-title climax, Detective seems to be doing the 4-issue, 'wrap it up nicely' style of story-telling.
I like the episodic format, especially since issue #1 sets up one hell of an arc whenever it is revisited.
As for this issue, I felt it was pretty weak, and Batman doesn't seem as crafty as he usually is. I am looking forward to a Batman-Penguin showdown, as I love the villain, but it's still too early in the main feud to be interesting just yet.
If I were you, I'd skim this one in the store and buy next month's, as Cobblepot should be getting a crack at the Bat soon.
See you next week!