By James Tynion IV, Scott Snyder, Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly, Roge Antonio, Allen Passalaqua
“You’d rather swim the pacific? I bet the sharks would just love your bony ass.” – Red Hood
“Don’t be dumb. I’ve got three different forms of shark repellent on my person at all times.” – Red Robin
Doesn’t Jason Todd know that every good vigilante needs to have shark repellent on them at all times?! I’m surprised he left home without it.
Issue #9 of Batman and Robin Eternal sees the two former Robins going on an adventure together as some sort of…dynamic duo?. Where are they headed? The home island of Bane of course! Because apparently they weren’t in enough danger already. Scripting this issue, from the story by James Tynion IV and Scott Snyder, is Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly. This pair of writers keep stride with the humor that’s been prevalent in most of the issues so far, even going a bit further with the laughs than previous issues. As Red Hood and Red Robin face off with Bane and a whole new world of problems we’re also shown a bit of what’s happening back at Gotham with Grayson and Harper. Kelly and Lanzing do a great job at putting both the teams at constant odds with one another (RH/RR constantly mocking one another, and Grayson/Harper getting on each others nerves). The inclusion of Bane this issue also brings a new element into the mix – is he friend or foe this time around?
The artwork this issue is done by Roge Antonio with the colors by Allen Passalaqua. There’s a number of great scenes filling up the pages this issue, but there’s one that stands out above the rest – Enter Bane. Bane’s emergence into this issue comes via a swift “KRAK” as he emerges from the forest and delivers a devastating punch to the face of Red Hood (the loud “Krak” noise coming from Hood’s mask cracking). Antonio does a great job at depicting Hood as pissed off after the punch as he uses shadows to give Hood’s mask a grimace appearance. There’s also a bit of a comical side to Bane as Antonio draws him leaping off into the background after delivering his punch. Passalaqua gives Red Robin a heroic scene as he stands above the wounded Red Hood with the sun setting in the background. We also get another comedic line this scene, but this time from Red Hood. When RR asks him if he’s okay RH responds that he’s fine, but he also adds in regards to Bane, “…that half-skinned grizzly bear owes me a rematch”. Does Hood have a chance against the man who broke the bat?!
Issue #9 of Batman and Robin Eternal brings to attention some new players in the Mother saga, as well as gives us a bit more information regarding Grayson’s past alongside Batman (who is really Bruce Wayne?!). The dynamic writing duo of Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly keep the story filled with light-hearted humor, while showcasing a grim storyline surrounding Batman’s former sidekicks. The artwork by Roge Antonio and Allen Passalaqua delivers the punches and keeps the momentum flowing, all while reminding us that Bane can still be Bane without his Venom (seriously, this guy doesn’t need that stuff…if you see him just run…unless he’s leaping…then you may just have to laugh).