This week’s issue of Batman and Robin Eternal promises a Grayson vs. Red Robin showdown as Grayson digs deeper into Red Robin’s “true origins.” What sort of dirt will Grayson dig up? Is it good?
Batman and Robin Eternal #5 (DC Comics)
Lead Writer: Steve Orlando
Other Writers: Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV
Artists: Scot Eaton, Ronan Cliquet, and Steve Pugh
After seeing a flashback of Batman and Dick Grayson hunting down Crane (which also reveals that at one point, Orphan and Cassandra Cain worked together), we see Grayson back in the modern day investigating; he’s checking on Tim Drake’s parents…
Cassandra Cain leads Bluebird back to the church that Crane was hiding out at several years ago for some reason. Cain seems to want to show her something, but they are attacked by Orphan, who’s currently hiding there.
As Dick talks with Drake’s parents, As the girls fight Orphan, he tells Cassandra she cannot be saved or redeemed for what she has done in the past; she isn’t having any of that crap and slices that guy’s hand clean off. He takes off after this (not before a tracker gets placed on him) and Bluebird comforts Cassandra, telling her not to listen or believe anything Orphan said.
The issue ends with Red Robin arriving at his parents’ home and chastising Dick about what he has done and for exposing his parents. Dick tries to explain he was only doing it to make sure no one was secretly an agent of Mother (after all, Tim’s entire backstory is unknown to him) and it is something that Bruce would have done. Red Robin decks him for the remark and walks off angry that his fellow Bat-Family member would stoop so low.
I’ll keep this simple: this felt like the weakest issue of the series thus far. While the writing isn’t all that bad (though I hope these false leads don’t become regular occurrences, as they were in the previous series), it didn’t feel like a whole lot happened besides a few things. And then there’s the artwork — three different artists and three inkers (though Steve Pugh does his own inking) provide art for this book and it shows. There’s a glaring inconsistency between the artists’ styles and also some bad continuity yet again between issues (Tim’s house looks slightly different and now it is daytime all of a sudden when we left off at nighttime). The action and fight scenes also look very wonky; you can’t tell if someone gets hit or not, people bend their bodies in horrible and unnatural ways, limbs disappear, etc. Batman and Robin Eternal could benefit from one artist taking over the mantle.
Grayson showing off his anatomy-defying high hurdle skills.