Review: Batman and Robin Eternal #4

4878987-bmrbet_cv4_ds“Deadly Dinner”

So this week opens up with action right out the gate. From the moment you turn the first page it’s an all out kitchen melee. Bruce Wayne (with no knowledge of his former life) finds himself surrounded by a variety of deadly cutlery wielding assassins, who want him dead.

Lucky for Bruce, someone has his back. His former (again unbeknownst to Bruce) partner Dick Grayson, knows his way around some knives since he grew up in a circus. (I wonder if knife survival looks good on a resume?) As good as Grayson is though he begins to get outnumbered and the cavalry arrives in the form of some Robins. Make that tons of them. Duke Thomas and his band of street kids from the comic We are Robin, happily join the fray. (Personally that was the coolest part of the issue for me as the Duke Crew know how to make an entrance and it was completely unexpected)

Just when the fight seems about even, in comes Batgirl! She cracks wise while stylishly kicking some bad guy behind as well as endearing herself to her comrades. She even tries to give Duke and the new kids some pointers.(Remember kids, crime fighting etiquette is the utmost importance) Before long the fight is at a close and our heroes mop up, so to speak.

Dick and Barbara do some short catching up, before Barbara being sent off to keep a close eye on Bruce for his safety. It’s noted here that something occurred that caused friction between them. (the editor’s note says see Batgirl #45, I haven’t so I will plead ignorance at this point)

The remainder of the issue consists of Dick having a heated phone discussion with Tim Drake (Red Robin) who is manning the Batcave and providing all the intel. It’s funny to me that with Barbara fully healed and back in her Bat gear, Tim has taken on a very Oracle-like role in the Bat books as of late. I don’t mind it and it’s certainly a natural role for Tim with his tech savvy. I still wish it were Barbara as Oracle truth be told, but I guess I’m just being stubborn.  Dick (in disguise) also goes to visit Bruce to alert him of the dangers that lie ahead as well as making him aware that he has his back. One thing I will say, is that I am very much enjoying the Bat-Team with Bruce out of the equation. It lets us see what the kids are made of, and allows for some interesting story possibilities. I am hoping this starts to move at a more break neck pace soon, as each week is starting to feel like filler.

Overall: So not a great entry, but not a terrible one either. It had it’s moments. Certainly the kitchen surprise with all the Robins was very entertaining, but the rest of the issue even including what should have been a shocking cliffhanger, just didn’t pack the emotional punch I think it meant to. (Now that cliffhanger bomb, from issue #1, there’s a different story!) I know plots on a big epic like this take time to build but c’mon creative team, try a little harder please. The savior of the week though was penciller Scot Eaton. His art was energetic and the man knows his way about drawing a kitchen. All in all each week the artists are really holding their own in trying to make each chapter as exciting as possible. I just hope the writers get the memo, and start doing the same. If you need me I will be cautiously optimistic waiting on the rooftop, using the Batsignal to make menacing shadow puppets. Till next time, Gotham…

Story: James Tynion IV and Scott Snyder Art: Scot Eaton
Story: 6 Art: 7.5  Overall: 6.5  Recommend: Read