Travelling Man's Blog

Review: Batman and Robin Eternal Issue 1 by Travelling Man

batman and robin eternal


















Story by James Tynion IV & Scotu Snyder

Script by James Tynion IV

Pencils by Tony Daniel

Inks by Sandu Florea

Colours by Tomeu Morey

Letters by Tom Napolitano

Published by DC



Remember last year when I read all of Batman Eternal?

Remember how it was basically six plots welded together?

Remember the fight between Batman and Bane that took up a single panel and the cover of the next issue?

Yeah. Good times.

Anyway, much as Whitesnake once sang, here I go again on my own. The good news is that this already feels like a far tighter, more interesting story than Batman Eternal.

A lot of that is due to the fact that Bruce Wayne is off the table. I strongly suspect he’ll show up further down the line but for now the lack of Gotham’s most passive aggressively abusive billionaire philanthropist poor person puncher is a very welcome change. Bruce casts a very long shadow across his city and his books and when Batman Eternal gave way it was always under the weight of his reputation.

Which is why him not being here is so much more fun. The cold open for this issue drops us into the middle of a gloriously OTT vertical motorcycle chase that introduces Dick Grayson, Jason Todd and Tim Drake in short order. It’s a smart action sequence, well rendered by Daniel and scripted to give all three of the first Robins their due. Dick’s a badass! Jason’s slightly crazy! Tim’s very clever! Teen Robin Squad, activate! That kind of thing.

With the focus established, Tynion IV cleverly shifts to the new Batman. Whether you like BatGordon (BatJim? Batbot? Iron Bat? Do we have a name for him yet?) or not is cleverly folded into the story as he does the one thing his predecessor didn’t; stops recruiting waifs and strays. That leads to the best scene in the issue as Harper Row is told she won’t be getting training, should retire and proceeds to kick BatJim (Let’s go with that for now) and his armour’s collective asses without breaking a sweat. I love that Harper being shortchanged by events is folded in here and that she, and by extension Spoiler, are getting the spotlight. It’s about damn time.

And speaking of about damn time, another character who has been long, LONG overdue a return to the Bat books returns here. I won’t spoil it. Read the issue, it’s worth it just for that.

Especially as there’s so much more going on. The central mystery seems to be folded around a case Dick may not remember fully but Bruce clearly does. There’s a neat cameo from the previous Batman that’s essentially a written confession and a genuinely disturbing sequence where Dick finds out just who he can’t trust. Which is anyone. Oh and one HELL of a closing sting.

In short, this feels and moves like the comic Batman Eternal tried to be. It’s snappy, pacy, confident and character-focused even as the mystery deepens. Daniel’s art is good, Florea and Morey’s inks and colours work beautifully in the final scene especially and Napolitano’s lettering is a vital part of every scene, shifting gear as required. It won’t be eternal, because what is? But based on this first issue, Batman and Robin Eternal can stick around as long as it likes.

1 Comment so far
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Glad you enjoyed it! Look forward to seeing you at TB

Comment by Scott Snyder

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