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Batman and Robin Eternal #16

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By James Tynion IV, Scott Snyder, Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly, Andrea Mutti, Roger Robinson, Goran Sudzuka, Gabe Eltaeb

“Oh, Bird Boy, you’re too young to know this of course, but a good joke is all about timing. And Batman’s has always been just terrible. Lucky for him, mine isn’t.”

Classic comedic advice from the Joker – who looks an awful lot like David Bowie this issue. The Joker says this line during a recreation of the classic scene between him and Jason Todd – and the scene definitely delivers!

Issue #16 of Batman and Robin Eternal gives some pretty great scenes (that would have looked a lot cooler on the cover than the Bat/Scarecrow thing) as Red Hood undergoes the trauma necessary to become one of Mother’s children…with a great twist on how the story we all know is handled!

Scripting this week on the story by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV is Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly. We again get a look into the past during Batman and Robin’s (Grayson) first run-in with Mother before getting more of the action taking place with Red Hood and Red Robin (Azrael is there too). Once we find ourselves back with the two Robin’s we’re met with some dense explanation of how exactly Mother has been creating her children, which is led by that nerd, Red Robin. The issue doesn’t focus on the humor these two characters have brought to issues prior, instead giving some intense scenes – the most intense featuring Jason Todd facing off against Joker.

On the artwork side of this issue is Andrea Mutti, Roger Robinson, and Goran Sudzuka sharing the art duties, and Gabe Eltaeb on colors. A great page, done by Mutti, features the quote seen above as Jason Todd finds himself back in that fateful place as he stares down the Joker holding his crowbar. We see Todd looking frightened as he realizes where he is, the Joker holding his own chin as he taunts the young Robin. A shadowed hand from Robin can be seen as Joker goes on about his great timing, showing how Robin is putting his hand out to plead with the clown prince. Eltaeb does an excellent job on the colors in this scene as he keeps the background of each panel covered in bright red, orange, and yellow. The crowbar is constantly made a focal point of each panel until…uh oh…did someone just grab the crowbar away from the Joker?

Issue #16 gives us another look at an iconic scene in Batman and Robin history – one that’s shaped Jason Todd in the Red Hood alter-ego he is today. The storyline we’ve seen Red Hood and Red Robin in the past few issues gets wrapped up as we head back to Gotham for more chaos. Oh, and that last scene we get at the end featuring another look into the past and Batman…did he just pick up a gun?

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