BATMAN AND ROBIN #9
What did the
Art by Lee Garbett, Andy Clarke, Ray McCarthy, & Keith Champagne
Colors by John Kalisz
Letters by Dezi Sienty
Cover by Patrick Gleason, Mick Gray, & John Kalisz
Size: 32 pages
For about eight issues I was loving this series. It started off slow but soon Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason gave us some of the best Batman and Robin issues since this series started. Of course, being a realist (and not a pessimist as SO many people think I am), I had a nagging issue in the back of my head saying it is not going to last. Patrick Gleason certainly, as impressive as he has been here, could keep going at this pace. And of course I was right because guess what? He’s not in this tie-in issue to the Night of The Owls!
Instead we have Lee Garbett and a cameo by Andy Clarke towards the end. Now I know people love Garbett from Batgirl but I am pretty much indifferent from what I’ve seen. He’s not a bad artist but he’s one of those guys that’s just….’an artist’. There’s nothing to his style, and it’s the same in this issue, that will make me remember him once I close the book. The beginning of the issue almost changed my mind because he was doing a bang up job mimicking Gleason’s style. But once the issue gets going the pages really get rough. Lots of empty panels and some really rough designs. There’s this general that Robin has to save and I swear one minute he’s normal looking then the next he’s the Incredible Hulk! Like I said earlier there really isn’t anything here to be in awe of….it’s just ‘there’. But there is one sequence I particularly liked and that was Andy Clarke’s section. It’s when the book goes into flashback and while I’ll remind you later in the review I thought it was a bit unnecessary it did look mighty pretty. I’ve always been a fan of Clarke’s pencils and everything in that two page sequence was more impressive then the eighteen pages Garbett did.
The story itself is pretty bland by Tomasi if I’m being honest. He’s done a great job with Damian for the first arc and this fill in issue is pretty bland by comparison. It feels like it has no connection with the previous eight issues so there is no growth or experience from Damian from killing Nobody. Granted the other problem might be that the Talon is pretty generic in this issue and he’s treated more like a Jason Vorheees then anything else. In Nightwing, Kyle Higgins did a fantastic job blending history and action in his Night of the Owls tie-in. This issue is just as generic as an action title could be. Also, we didn’t get the epic sword battle promised on the cover….which could have gotten more points if we had something like that then just a shoot out.
This will probably go down as the worst issue of this run since the New 52 started. It’s not terrible in that it’s a 1-star issue; but it’s just bland. The story is generic, the art aside from Andy Clarke’s pages is pretty ‘meh’, and overall I’ve seen better tie-ins since this event started. I said in my last Nightwing review that it was a tie-in issue done right. If this issue is ANY indication then this is how you do a tie-in issue all wrong.
Art: 2 - Average