Batman and Robin Eternal #18 (DC)



Rating: 4/5 – Some Key Revelations About Harper Row Becoming Bluebird.
By ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas.

When Batman and Robin was first announced, it was with the promise that the story and revelations would shake up and shock the Bat-Family. Now eighteen issues in, most of those big revelations have been revealed and we’re moving closer and closer to the conclusion. Batman and Robin Eternal has had its ups and downs as have most of DC’s weekly series, but this issue is one of my favorites despite stretching out of some storylines that felt as though they’re longer than they need be to pad the weekly schedule.

My favorite plot line in this issue revolves around a glimpse to the past dealing with Cassandra Cain and Harper Row. Batman Eternal at its core has been about the “Robins”, or the sidekicks, in Batman’s life. Writers James Tynion IV and Scott Snyder continue the story with Ed Brisson scripting this particular issue and we’re thrown right into the action with the continuation of last week’s fight scene between Batman and Orphan. It’s well choreographed and entertaining with some solid Scot Eaton art, but since it continues from last issue it feels as though it’s gone on too long. The key moments in this issue are some pretty powerful revelations in regards to just how Harper Row became the Bluebird, and Cassandra Cain’s role in it. With the foundation that Tynion IV and Snyder have laid out, it’s a powerful reveal that makes this one of the must read issues of the series for people interested in the Harper Row character!

On the flip side, and this may be more of a critique of the series itself, the issues leading up to this point haven’t been all that enjoyable with appearances by Azrael, Scarecrow and others that have slowed the series’ momentum and created a much larger threat that isn’t nearly as compelling as the “smaller” story of Harper Row, Cassandra and the series’ main antagonist, Mother. As a single issue this was a great read, but it’s tough to review this issue on it’s own since the weekly releases doesn’t allow any easy jumping-on points, and I don’t think the past three to six issues have been nearly as strong. I’m hoping that this series can end on a high point and still have some big reveals.  Since I’m this far in, I’ll be staying till the end, but I don’t see this as a series to jump onto in the middle.

Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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