By James Tynion IV, Scott Snyder, Ed Brisson, Scot Eaton, Wayne Faucher, Allen Passalaqua
“The bigger question might be…why didn’t Batman trust you enough to tell you himself?”
A? No, B…is D all of the above?
We finally learn Batman’s master plan that he’s been concocting this whole time in issue #17 of Batman and Robin Eternal, as Ed Brisson takes the scripting reigns for the story by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV. The subtitle of this issue is “Let’s All Go To The Lobby” (which served to have the movie theater song running through my head for the first few pages) as a large portion of this issue is dedicated to some classic Batman action. This issue’s main purpose, however, serves to give background information, which in doing so brings down the opportunities for laughs and some serious action – there is a Batman fight in here though, so don’t lose hope just yet. Brisson does well to deliver a solid story, but we see this issue take a drop in excitement from issues prior as it hammers information into our heads. This issue had to happen though since we’ve had plenty of loose ends to deal with leading up to this, but even this issues final scene doesn’t offer the strong sense of urgency to find out what’s next as we’ve been seeing so far in this series.
On the artwork side of this issue is Scot Eaton on pencils, Wayne Faucher on inks, and Allen Passalaqua on colors. Batman gives a lot of the information for his master plan during his fight scene, which these three guys put together very well – who he is fighting would be spoiler material though, so let’s move on and find another scene to dive into. Orphan, who now resides in the clutches of Richard Grayson, has a great page focused on him as Grayson tries to find a method that works for getting information he needs out of Mother’s top henchman. The page consists of six panels, starting with Orphan spitting blood onto the glass wall of his cell in an effort to insult Grayson. Eaton even gives Orphan a Joker-like smile in one of the panels, solidifying his insanity during this time. Passalaqua covers the panels in red, blending well with the inks of Faucher as remnants of the spirals used in an effort to hypnotize Orphan still exist in the background. The quote seen above even comes from this page as it starts on the sixth panel with Orphan and Grayson staring each other in the eyes.
Overall this issue served to give readers some information we’ve been craving since the beginning, but when reading it you can’t help but feel it’s just going through the motions. This series has been strong all the way through, but strives when humor and action can take a front seat, and even with Bat’s grand fight we’re still left with wanting more – as we’ve received in issues prior. Eaton, Faucher, and Passalaqua deliver some great artwork – even giving us a quick panel of the two red heroes Gotham needs.