Batmatt is back with his take on Batman and Robin #4 check it out:
I was well-pleased with issue 4 of Batman and Robin. The last issue was iffy with the tie up of the Pyg story arc and the introduction of Red Hood.
I must now change my tune and say Grant Morrison is The Man. I don’t know what happened last issue maybe he was asleep, but he woke up. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to be hyper critical but the last issue was not my favorite. Enough with the old, now on to the new:
Issue 4 starts out by introducing a new baddie by the name of Lightning Bug. He is a thug running a protection racket backed up by some cool gadgets to help intimidate. He gets scared off by Batman and Robin then runs into the Red Hood and Scarlet. Scarlet is Sasha the unfinished Dollotron from previous issues, and she is now a psychopathic sidekick. She clocks Lightning Bug and the Red Hood shoots him but does not kill him. No, not yet, he has to check his iPhone and update his Twitter account.
“Excuse me, but I need to change my status update to ‘murdering a wanna-be supervillain.’”
He then shoots Lightning Bug and tosses him out a window. Bad guy has ceased to be, he is no MORE.
Batman and Robin are a little late to the action, because apparently they had to make a latte stop, and when they arrive it is raining bad guys and money. Floating down with the money is a red business card that Batman snatches from the air and it reads “vengeance arms against his red right hand.” Batman is not happy that they missed the Red Hood again, so what does he do? He goes to a fundraiser for Gotham Police. That’s what he’s got to do. I also found it interesting that the public, Lucius Fox included, does not know that Bruce is dead but thinks he is in hiding and trying to clear his name in his own way. I’m sure he will die in a skiing accident or crash in a small aircraft accident when they are ready to figure that one out. That’s how celebrities go out if it’s not drugs or a case of the crazies.
Dick Grayson is introduced to an odd looking man by the name Oberon Sexton. Dick also stated an alias of Oberon’s as Gravedigger. Being the Geek that I am, I looked up the name Oberon Sexton and it has several meanings. The one that stood out for Oberon was a legendary king of the fairies in medieval and Renaissance literature. He is best known as a character in William Shakespeare’s play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in which he is Consort to Titania, Queen of the Fairies. His last name, Sexton, means the church official who looks after the graveyard and may act as a gravedigger and bell-ringer. The connection makes sense now doesn’t it. For a minute I thought he may be the Red Hood, but my theory was proven wrong because the story transitions to the Red Hood’s lair.
The next bit of writing was in my opinion done very well. The interaction between the Red Hood and Scarlet is amazing and smart. The Red Hood seems to be educated and has a respect and a gentleness for Scarlet that he does not hold for anyone else. This is immediately followed by an interaction between Batman and Robin. We get to see the mentor role Dick has taken on with Damion. There is even a moment where Batman shows Robin how his hood can become a blindfold by yanking it over his head. Damion then shows Batman that he can fight blind, something left over from his training by the League of Shadows.
This is just some fine writing.
Batman and Robin swing into action, they are going to crash a business meeting of Gotham’s organized crime, but they are late to the party once again because Red Hood and Scarlet are already killing everyone in the room. The only guy left is Oswald Cobblepot, AKA, the Penguin. Batman and Robin get in between the Red Hood and the Penguin, who by the way, is saying he is innocent and he was at the meeting by mistake, who saw that coming? This is the first meeting between the Red Hood and Batman, and Dick utters the name “Jason?” AKA, the second Robin who had once taken on the role of the Red Hood.
Art: 5/5 A homerun again! I know I sound like a broken record but Philip Tan is amazing and should never stop doing what he does best, drawing.
Story: 5/5 The story really came back and grabbed me. I may have to go and look some stuff up to get part of the back story but I like that kind of thing. I can’t wait to see if it is Jason under the Red Hood and that’s what keeps bringing me back for more.
Main cover: 3/5 It was okay it just a standard shot of the bad guys of the story.
Variant cover: 5/5 Stop the press what is that? Why did this cover get shelved over the main addition? The shot was a little like Spiderman but way better in my opinion. I would have loved to see it colored and I would have bought that issue over the main issue. Very cool cover.
Final Thoughts: This issue was way better then the last by a mile. It is far superior with a lot of little golden nuggets to dig out if you so desire.
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