Monday, March 21, 2016

Batman and Robin Eternal #14 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

We don't necessarily make much progress here, because Tynion has to wrap up the loose ends in the past and the present before we can move to the next phase of the story.

In the present, it's clear that we've learned everything that we're going to learn about Cassandra and Orphan (at least for now), so it's really a matter of escaping the bomb that Mother set under the Nursery.  Thankfully, Dick has some pent-up anger at Batman, so he's sufficiently motivated to take down Orphan; his eye-scan allows the team to access a jet hidden in a hanger.  In their escape, Cassandra and Harper have a nice moment, where Harper stresses to her that she understands that Mother and Orphan made her kill and that she doesn't think that she's a monster.  I'll admit that I can't quite remember why Cassandra would specifically worry that Harper would think that, since I don't think that Harper knew about the blood on Cassandra's hands when they were last together, in Prague.  But, I think Tynion might be implying that Cassandra would worry that anyone would eventually see her as a monster once they learned more about her, so it works.  Tynion also has Harper lose her shit over their impending death, a reminder that she's still a newbie when it comes to death traps and Bond villains.

In the past, Scarecrow convinces Batman to send Robin to diffuse a bomb so that they can talk alone.  He confirms that Mother hired him to develop her trauma toxin, but he's appalled by the scope of her plans:  she wants to use it on the entire world, turning every child into one of her children.  He surrenders to Batman, since he knows that Mother will have him killed once he delivers the toxin.  But, Batman reveals that he needs Scarecrow to return to Mother and provide the psychological background on him -- as crafted by him -- that Mother wants.  Scarecrow balks, but he's left with few options.

As we move to the next phase of the story, it's time for us to start getting more information about Mother.  First, we still really know nothing about her motives. Last issue, we saw that she was kinder to her children than I expected her to be, but we still don't know what drivers her to make them "better."  (Crane tells Batman here that she's insane, which is obviously saying a lot, given the source.)  But, we also need some insight into her resources.  Even if Crane's toxin worked on every child in the world, how exactly does she propose to train them?  Is she going to take over a small country and use it as a Nursery?  She appears to have an unlimited amount of funds, and we really need to know where she got them.

I'm giving this issue three stars, as I did last issue, but I'll admit that they're weak threes.  The art has been inconsistent in both issues; better art might've strengthened the scores.  That said, I'm not giving this issue two stars mainly because Tynion does a solid job on the dialogue, and he and Snyder are still advancing the plot logically.  But, we're halfway through this story at this point, and both Batman and Mother's motivations (and, in fact, actions) remain a mystery.  We need to address that soon, before this series starts feeling like its predecessor, where the characters are doing things simply to stall so DC can sell more issues.

*** (three of five stars)

No comments:

Post a Comment