Because I’ve been so slack lately, and because he got several comics in the mail at one time, Batmatt is back with several reviews in one post. So, since he keeps it pretty succinct, I will do the same thing. Read on For Batmatt’s reviews of Batman and Robin #’s 5 through 9 and Batgirl #7.
So it has been a long time since you have heard from the old Batmatt but I want to let you know I am still kickin and I am here to get you all caught up on the latest in the Batman and Robin saga. I also have a few surprises for you, so no peekin. First, I am going to change things up a bit in an effort to be less spoilery and just give you my thoughts on each book. Second I am going to add reviews from other Batman titles and Trade paperbacks and maybe a little something else once in awhile just to mix it up in the Matt cave. So let us start with Batman and Robin Issue 5.
Batman and Robin Issue 5
Story- 5/5 Great writing, I read the issue and was totally disappointed when I got to the last page. I want more and now I have to wait till next month. Dang Gina. Very fast paced and action packed and I have to say the best issue to date.
Art- 5/5 I think I am going to just use the name Philip Tan for five out of five. Oh that is some awesome art work I’m going to give it a “Philip Tan”. I mean come on Tan brings it month after month, I have seen so many artists over-use shadow… yah we get it Batman lives in the shadows. I mean a silhouette once and awhile is fine but other than that use detail… like Philip Tan. Wow how did I get on that rant?
Cover- “Philip Tan” Great close up of Batman and Robin looking down the barrels of Red Hoods Handguns.
Variant cover- “Philip Tan” Great action cover Batman and the Red Hood grappling with each other and shots missing Batman and going though his cape. Awesome, but I see why they chose the main cover for the release.
Batman and Robin Issue 6
Story- 5/5 I am really warming up to Damien and some of more subtle aspects of the stories as well as bringing in nods to things like the Death of Robin.
Art- 4/5 Now I did not give this issue a Philip Tan (see last review) and this is due to some panels were not as high a quality as other panels. I am not sure if this was artist’s prerogative but I did notice it. Maybe Philip is just resting a bit so the next issue just ROCK. With a cross-over like Darkest Night he will have to bring his A game.
Cover- 5/5 but I have to tell you I have little bias. I am a total freak for choppers and the old school on the cover of this month’s issue is sweet with the exception of the color. I’m not a fan of pink but it is the Flamingos bike so what you gonna do?
Variant Cover- 2/5 Now before you start yelling at me the art is fantastic and a total throw back to one of M.C. Escher’s sketches I just don’t like the Red Hood mask. It looks like a tube of lipstick. There I said it…whew, I feel better. So this is strictly a personal reason for not liking it so if you don’t like it I’m sorry you feel that way.
Batman and Robin Issue 7
Story- 4/5-ish I really like where the story is going and the re-introduction of Knight and Squire, which I found out they have a rather long history in the Batman Universe as peripheral characters. I also need to mention Batwoman was in this issue as well. The story takes place in London and really like the new local; Morrison shows that Batman is not stuck in Gotham. The story does flash to Damien going through a complete spinal replacement surgery under the close scrutiny of Talia Head. The biggest question I have for this entire issue is where did they get a spine matching Damien? I mean he is still a growing boy; did they rip it out of some other ten year old? The ish is because this was a total set up issue for the next few issues and because of this a lot of ground work had to be laid and it feels like the issue did not get to any kind of resolution.
Art- 5/5 There is a new artist for Batman and Robin and his name is Cameron Stewart. So I would like to have a moment of silence in respect for Philip Tan just to say he will be missed and I am forever hopeful that he will come back and draw my favorite dynamic duo… That said I am really impressed with Stewart’s work, it is very clean and not to cartoony. He does a fantastic job of showing the action of the story.
Cover- 5/5 Since the entire issue was located in London I would like to use one of my favorite British phrases “Brilliant”. The cover was very reminiscent of issue 620 of Detective from the 80’s. Batman and Robin was beautifully drawn by Stewart
Variant cover- 3/5 It is a fun cover and shows where the issue is but I can see why Stewart went the main cover. This issue had a dark undertone with the preparations for raising Bruce from the dead and the Variant just lacked that darkness needed to express the issue.
Batman and Robin Issue 8
Story- 3/5 I am not very happy with the direction of this story. Ultimately this is a story of the failure of the resurrection of Batman and I think it could have been done so it does not fall flat. I really feel that this story arc is doing just that falling flat. The story does have some good action but why is Batwoman even in the story. IDK, I just hope it picks up in the next issue because I was not happy with where the characters ended up. SPOILER- Batman, Knight, Squire, and Batwoman are buried under a ton of rock and Batwoman is mortally injured. Zombie Batman is now in Gotham looking to kill wheelchair bound Damien.
Art- 5/5 Some more great artwork by Cameron Stewart. I have nothing to criticize in this issue. My favorite art from the issue was after crazy Batman came up out of the Lazarus pit and the fluid is dripping off his mantle and also the hit from the taser style bat-knuckles. This is an effect achieved in Photoshop to give the appearance of light and it makes the page pop.
Cover- 5/5 Awesome cover of Zombie Batman rising out of the Lazarus pit and facing off with Batman and Batwoman. I really like the use of the color orange it brings a sense of heat to the cover.
Variant cover- 1/5 the variant cover is just that a variation of the same cover, the characters are just in different positions and it does not convey the a sense of tension that the orange cover does.
Batman and Robin Issue 9
Story- 3/5 I am going to stay with the three because there was some good action and the last page that had any redeemable qualities. SPOILER of last page- Dick realizes that Tim Drake was right and Bruce is not dead.
Art- 5/5 Cameron Stewart is drawing this issue as well and he continually brings a high quality to the board, very nice work. My two favorite panels both involved Alfred; the first is when he is holding back Zombie Batman from killing Damien by grabbing his cape and pushing the up button in the elevator. Classic kill a zombie move and the next one is a throwback to Shawn of the Dead as Alfred uses a Cricket bat to fend off Zombie Batman.
Cover- 4/5 Not my favorite cover but the art is spot on and I have come to realize I have become invested in a new Robin. I did not want to see Damien leave the series and I am glad he is back and getting healed up for the continued fight.
Variant cover- 1/5 Just did not like this cover I don’t know why and I know they can’t hit a home run every month. I’m just glad I did not but the variant so I would not be disappointed.
There you go your all caught up with our favorite pair of crime fighters. As an added bonus I would like to review the latest issue of Batgirl. I have been reading this since it came out and I really like how the character is developing. If you are not up to date Stephanie Brown is the current Batgirl after Cassandra Cain decided to walk away from the crime fighting biz. Barbara Gordon “the original Batgirl” was not to keen on this but eventually relented and is backing up Stephanie from behind the curtain as Oracle.
Batgirl Issue 7
Story- 5/5 Bryan Miller is the author of this issue and I have really been enjoying the development of Stephanie as Batgirl. Steph is confident without being overconfident; she realizes that the bat on chest is a target that she did not have to deal with as Spoiler. I really like the almost sibling bickering between her and Damien when Batman and Robin cross into the story. I am looking forward to the next issue titled a reunion with the Red Robin; which is the persona that Tim Drake took on after handing over the mantle of Robin to Damien.
Art- 5/5 This issue was penciled by Lee Garbett. I have said it before there was a time that I was not a fan of certain types of artistic styles used in the comic industry. But I thank God that none of those artist are working for any Batman title I am reading. Garbett is a strong artist with very clean lines and a complete understanding of the anatomy of the human body. I don’t like blocky characters.
Cover- 4/5 As I said above I am not a fan of blocky characters and Batgirl came across as a little like that. The art inside the comic was much better.
My final review for Review-apalooza will be one of my favorite Trade paperbacks,