Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Batman and Robin #2 Review

Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Frank Quitely

Batman and Robin #2 was another spectacular outing from Morrison and Quitely that has all but washed away any lingering doubts about this return to the Batman titles (As you'll recall, I didn't much care for Morrison's first stint on Batman). While not a perfect issue, it did hit all the right beats and there are few comics that were as satisfying a read as this one turned out to be.

The best part of this issue and quite possibly my moment of the week had to be the Alfred and Dick talk that broke up an otherwise action packed issue. To be honest, if this was an 8-page comic just featuring Alfred's pep talk, I'd probably still pay the full price for the issue. It was that good. It wasn't Dick whining about not being able to fill Batman's shoes or any kind of rehash of Battle for the Cowl or the recent Winick Batman issue. No, this chat showed the precise differences between Bruce and Dick, gave a classic Alfred pep talk, similar to how he's always been there for Bruce, and was just about the best character moment for either character that I've read in years.

The rest of the issue, in comparison, was actually fairly straight forward and amounted to mostly a straight out brawl at the police station. If not for Quitely's art, this section would not be nearly as dynamic or enthralling as it ended up being. However, Quitely's art fails later in the issue, particularly when Robin meets up with Pyg. I'm still not exactly sure what happened there. At one point, Robin is covered in the red headed Annie doll lookalikes and the next there's someone with explosives blowing up that looked more like Robin, who was at the bottom of a dogpile a moment ago and now is standing, exploded than the actual person with the explosives. There's also two random people cowering in the background that were not shown anywhere else in the issue or previous scenes. It was just very chaotic and a bit uncharacteristic of his work.

Again, while I loved the issue, I'm also a little concerned about the pacing of the arc. Quitely is only on for three issues, to my knowledge, and this arc should be done next month. We still have no idea who the bad guy is, what he's after, what he's even doing or anything else. They just attacked a police station, there was some action, somehow we're at an abandoned amusement park and there's a bunch of crazies running around. I've been enjoying the hell out of it, but there's a lot left open to be covered in the next issue.

Verdict - Must Read. It's fun. Pure, unadultered fun. Something I can't say about too many comics. Is it perfect? No. Are there flaws? Yes. Do they matter? Not a bit.

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