Batman and Robin #13
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Frazer Irving
Finally! Finally we get some more Batman and Robin after list issue’s edge of the seat cliffhanger ending! But is it good? It is, in fact, quite good. This arc feels like it could be a swan song for this amazing title, but if it is then at least it’ll go out on a bang, right? It’s got a little bit of everything you could want from The Joker, to The Black Glove, all the way to tieing together the stories from the first issue. Morrison is one of the best there is when it comes to putting together the complete story, even if it doesn’t click that he’s doing it until a good ways through.
We’re treated to the return of Dr. Hurt, as well as the fallout of the Sexton reveal from last issue, and the issue just builds from there. The plot is very Morrison, and it took me reading the exposition a few times before I could wrap my brain around it, but the story is solid.
The art is a big step up by Frazer Irving, as a few weeks ago I was saying that my problem with his Return of Bruce Wayne issue was that anybody who wasn’t a pilgrim looked like a caveman, and thankfully that doesn’t happen here. The book is deliciously dark and gritty with faces that have an almost photo-realism to them despite, you know, not being traced photos. Everything is creepy in its own way, and the level of detail is just awesome. While I can’t claim to have follow much of his work (really just this, the Return of Bruce issue, and his Klarion mini for Seven Soldiers), this is by far the best looking thing that he’s draw, in my humble opinion. I absolutely adore it.
After the events of the last arc I was expecting this book to spend more time focusing on ties into the Return of Bruce, but upon reading I realized that it doesn’t even broach the subject, something I liked. The longer this book spends focusing on the events of the Bruce Wayne mini, the less that it can successfully accomplish on its own merit. By not revolving around the plot of an ongoing mini series it isn’t stifled with having to maintain pace with it, only going as far per issue as the mini allows.
This book is strong from start to finish, and without giving too much away, the interactions between Dick Grayson and James Gordon are great, not enough time has been devoted to the relationship between these two men that know each other under different guises. There’s a way Dick treats Gordon that could not be imitated by Bruce, it’s more of a fatherly respect then a friendship. He doesn’t call him Jim. It’s also nice to establish that James Gordon is too good of a cop to not know that he’s talking to Nightwing.
The issue is great from shocking beginning to shocking ending, and I can not wait for the next one. Morrison is in overdrive as he races us towards both the finale of this arc as well as the Return of Bruce Wayne.
Tags: Batman, Batman and Robin, Frazer Irving, Grant Morrison, Robin, The Joker