BATMAN AND ROBIN #14
What did the
Art by Patrick Gleason & Mick Gray
Cover by Patrick Gleason & Mick Gray
Size: 32 pages
Two months in a row and Patrick Gleason doesn’t do a full issue of this series. That is really troubling for me on a whole lot of levels. Apart from the one ‘Court of Owls’ tie-in, Gleason was able to keep up an impressive, monthly schedule. Sure we get to see some pages by him in here but not to see a full issue by him is really disappointing.
Don’t get me wrong, what Gleason does in this issue looks fantastic as always. The opening sequence with the zombies fighting Batman was full of energy. The incredibly fat zombie is horrifying to look at but beautiful in a sick way. He does both the beginning and ending sequence of this comic and I guess it sort of works. He’s able to balance the action and the emotional aspect of this issue pretty week. But then you had the majority of this issue with Tomas Giorello on pencils and….well it just didn’t impress me all that much. Looking up his previous works it looks like his work is more in the vein of ‘adult’ comics such as Conan or Heavy Metal. While Mick Gray and John Kalisz stay as inker and colorist for his sections, they just don’t mesh well with his painted style. Even with my dissatisfaction with his pages, I don’t really hate his work. I just don’t think his style works for a Batman comic is all. He does have this one panel of Batman in profile and it looked pretty damn good. (It has a 1980s, Dick Giordano feel to it) But then you see him struggling with drawing Damian as a kid or other wonky layouts and it weighs out the good stuff that’s here.
Peter Tomasi is a great writer, but sometimes he doesn’t always write the best issues if you get what I mean. Basically, he has some good ideas but the dialogue can be a bit wonky at times. A cult raising the dead is a predictable plot but you could try and spice it up a bit here. But the dialogue in this issue was pretty bad, kind of Bronze Age bad. Everything reads either too sappy or just embarrassing at times. This isn’t the first time I’ve notice this when it comes to this series but it usually isn’t this bad.
It’s a shame that this book is seemingly going down a bit of a slow tailspin. Sure, we get some nice pages by Patrick Gleason but we don’t get a full issue by him and the fill-in pages by Tomas Giorello just don’t match up. Add in some pretty wonky dialogue by Peter Tomasi and I worry about the future of this book. For a time, this was seriously pound for pound a great read just like Scott Snyder’s Batman title. But now, I’m starting to worry that this series might have lost that luster and then some.
Art: 3 - Good