Thursday, December 31, 2015

Batman and Robin Eternal #5 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

This issue is well executed, though I didn't get through it without a few raised eyebrows.

First, I was surprised to learn that Hypnos could not only hide the user's identity, but actually hypnotize someone, as Dick does here to Tim's parents.  I'm pretty sure that we haven't seen it used that way in "Grayson," though I wouldn't swear to that.  But, it certainly makes sense that Hypnos could do that (it's in the name, after all), so I'm not complaining.

The more interesting revelation, at least to me, is that Tim has created an entirely new identity for his parents.  Their name -- and his name -- isn't "Drake."  I vaguely remember something along those lines from the early days of "Teen Titans" in the "New 52!" but Tim's history has become such a mess after the reboot that it's hard to follow.  Tim is suitably pissed at Dick for tracking down his parents.  (He discovers that Dick did so when Poppy follows Dick to the house and attacks.  The interruption broke Tim's mother's hypnosis and allowed her to activate the security system.)  Dick says that he had little choice:  he previously could respect Tim's wish to keep so much of his life secret, but he can't afford that luxury now that any of one of them could be a sleeper agent for Mother.  That said, Orlando implies that Dick might be right to be suspicious:  Tim's dad refers to Tim as having "arrived," instead of being born.  Combined with Tim answering a call from Mother last issue, Snyder and Tynion certainly seem to be setting up the revelation that Tim is one of Mother's bio-engineered children.

The other main event is Cass leading Bluebird to a church where Orphan is hiding.  (In a flashback, we see Orphan meeting with Scarecrow there years earlier.)  Cass did so not to turn in Bluebird but seemingly to get her to help take out Orphan?  Maybe?  Her motives for bringing Bluebird there are really unclear to me, since Cass couldn't believe that just she and a wounded Harper could've stopped him.  Perhaps the most interesting part of this sequence is the fact that Orphan makes a comment about not caring if he kills his children (referring to Cass), drawing a parallel between him and Batman.  Snyder and Tynion seem to be putting him out there as Batman through the glass, darkly at this stage.

All in all, it's another solid issue.  It's not as thrilling as some of the other issues, in part because Orlando isn't the most emotional of scripters.  His style perfectly suits "Midnighter," but it works less well here, when the whole point of this issue is the confrontation between Dick and Tim.  But, everything makes sense and nothing occurs randomly, so I'm cool.

*** (three of five stars)

No comments:

Post a Comment