Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Batman and Robin Eternal #4 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)


In this issue, we not only learn that some of the Gala guests were also on Mother's target list, but that they were actually the sleeper agents that Mother activated to attack Bruce.  Thankfully, the "We Are Robin" crew was there dressed as staff members and jumps into action to help Dick protect Bruce.  (Apparently they were following Bruce for his protection, though Orlando doesn't tell us what motivated them to do so.  After all, in "Batman," Bruce's relationship with Duke is described as strained.  Maybe it's clearer if you're reading "We Are Robin?")  Batgirl also arrives and the extended group makes short work of the attackers.  Duke challenges Dick, and Dick reveals that he was the original Robin.  He promises to have a longer conversation with Duke (though I'm not sure Duke feels one is necessary), but then goes to talk to Babs.  He apologizes for his behavior in "Batgirl" #45 and asks her to watch Bruce given "events."  Babs essentially rolls her eyes at him at the idea that his behavior would prevent her from helping, so I'm glad to see that we're good on that front.

We learn that Dick is concerned that the Robins' names are on the same list as the sleeper agents (now confirmed to be the "designer human beings" that Mother creates).  His concern seems validated by the fact that Tim gets a call from Mother at the end of the issue.  Dick is already suspicious of Tim for his failure to break through the "data moat" that Mother erected around Beacon Tower, particularly because the Tower was built with Wayne Tech.  As such, it's not surprising here that he goes dark and and heads to the Drake household.

This issue is solid, but I'd say that I find Orlando's banter to feel much more forced than Seeley's.  Snyder and Tynion definitely deepen the threat here, though it'll take me a while before I know if I buy them.  For example, it's unclear if Tim is working for Mother and, if he is, if he knows that he is.  Although Dick blames him for not breaking through the data moat to help him during the fight, we saw Tim actively trying to talk to Dick.  So, either Tim was trying and couldn't succeed to break the moat or Mother was somehow inhibiting his normal talent with computers.  It didn't seem like he was consciously undermining Dick.  It goes to the fact that the most interesting revelation is probably that the "designer human beings" are more numerous than we thought and possibly unaware of their status as such.  But, if Dick is suspicious of Tim, shouldn't he also be suspicious of himself?  Aren't they all sleeper agents if some of them are?  I guess we'll see.

*** (three of five stars)

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