Sorry I’ve been away for a while. Been kind of busy. At any rate, I’m back now and have three Batman titles from my pull list this week.
Batman and Robin #19 (by Peter J. Tomasi with art from Pat Gleason and Mick Gray) is actually “Batman and Red Robin” on the cover, and features a thorough turn to the weird in the aftermath of Damian Wayne’s death.* This issue is bizarre, dark and morbid, with cameos from Frankenstein and Carrie Kelley that probably would’ve been better served by having their own separate issues. I also wouldn’t be surprised if there’s not a single element of this story (or either of the somewhat disconnected stories) that turns out to be relevant going forward, although Tomasi told the New York Post that his plans for Kelley “play well into the future.” (h/t IGN)
While Batman grieves Damian in that issue, he’s on to the first issue of a storyline with Clayface in Batman #19 (by Scott Snyder, with art from Greg Capullo and Danny Miki). I was really excited for this book because I loved the direction #18 was headed last month, but today all of that seems forgotten as they launch this new story. If I’d written a review last month, I would’ve recommended #18 as a good jumping-in point for people considering getting into the series. Now, you might as well skip it. #19 isn’t bad, it’s just not what I was hoping for.
Finally, the best book I read this week is Batgirl #19 (by Gail Simone, with art from Daniel Sampere, Jonathan Glapion and Marc Deering). It’s an epic conclusion of Barbara Gordon’s longstanding feud with her brother, James Gordon Jr., and the entire buildup to this event is worth picking up if you haven’t seen it.
This is also the only issue with a foldout cover that I think actually makes sense in connection with the story. I get the gimmicky nature of what DC is trying to do by giving every issue a “shocking” foldout cover in April, but when you try to cram a one size fits all promotion into dozens of books some of the results just end up contrived or silly.
Looking back at my books from last week, the foldout cover made sense for Green Lantern and I could see making a case for Green Arrow’s. But the Batman and Robin and Batman foldouts this week were little more than red herrings.
On my pull list for next week: Birds of Prey, Nightwing, Red Hood and the Outlaws
* – By the way, I still haven’t seen Damian Wayne’s end in Batman Incorporated. It’s not a title on my pull list, it sold out on its release date before I got a copy and, months later, I still haven’t found a reprint. So thanks for that, DC.