Comic Books


• Welcome guest-artist Andy Kubert!

• In the wake of unspeakable tragedy, Batman is in danger of losing his humanity!

• And in the backup story, fan-favorite character Harper Row returns—but will she be able to pull Batman back from the brink?

Story by Scott Snyder
Art by Andy Kubert, Sandra Hope, & Alex Maleev
Cover by Greg Capullo, FCO Plascencia, & Andy Kubert

Price: $3.99
iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage: 0.1%


seanxxo03/14/13NoRead Review
batwomanbeyond03/14/13YesRead Review
IthoSapien03/13/13YesRead Review
DavidClark03/13/13NoRead Review
Avg Rating: 4.1
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  1. Wow they should really just treat Batman Inc. as out of continuity, they really crammed the “ramifications” into the last issue of Detective too

    • I think the difference is ‘Tec is mid-arc at the moment and this book is not. So any references to Damien’s death shouldn’t be so jarring.

  2. I gave up on Batman Incorporated at issue 04, wasn’t enjoying it, [I had already bought 05+06 and I just didn’t bother reading them.]

    So I can imagine not enjoying this issue as much as I have the first 17 issues.

    • I’m sorry, but I don’t quite understand your complaint. This issue is still written by Scott Snyder (and James Tynion IV, who’s done a lot of the backups), not Grant Morrison. Chris Burnham isn’t on art here either. If you don’t care for Damian, a prominent character in Inc., then wouldn’t this be a welcome turn of events for you? Also the backup features Harper Row. HARPER ROW.

  3. I love that cover and looking forward to seeing Harper Row again!

  4. Is Maleev doing the Harper Row back-up? That’s awesome!

  5. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much love for a character based on such a fleeting appearance. Can someone explain all the deep and immediate affection for Harper Row?

    I’m not being snide, I’m asking honestly. I mean, she was cool and all, but we didn’t spend much time with her. Now people are already pining for her to be the next Robin? Which, to me, didn’t seem like her style from what little we know of her. Am I missing something?

    Help me out, iFanbase.

    • Yeah, I’m with you, she’s been around for… what, 5 issues and only appeared in one? I don’t really consider her a “fan favorite” yet.

    • +1 I’ve got nothing against her, but I don’t get it.

    • I’m with you. It took me a second to remember who she was.

    • +4, I guess… I reaaaaaally hope she doesn’t become the next Robin, though.

    • I would like it if she became more like the new Oracle, rather than a new Robin.

    • For me it was a combination of Becky Cloonan’s art paired with these great character moments. Her shaving her head, the way she conversed with Batman. Part of it had an Oracle feel, and the fact that she’s an electrical/tech expert(ish?) jives with that as well. In any Big 2 franchise, it’s great to see breaths of fresh air like her, and I trust Scott Snyder will differentiate her enough from Barbara/Oracle (moreso than he already has) in any coming issues. I’m not sure how/if she’ll make appearances given the Zero Year announcement though.

    • Unless the “fan favorite” bit is supposed to be a clue that she’s ACTUALLY Stephanie Brown?

    • She saved Batman’s life … without her … that’s enough. You don’t have to have a character around for long to be a GREAT character. IMHO

    • @AmirCat: Personally, I need a little more time before I can call her GREAT. I’m a third or fourth date kinda guy. But that’s cool. There is no right or wrong answer. I’ve just been seeing this outpouring of love for the character and didn’t really understand why.

    • I wouldn’t say I’m in love with her. But I do think she was created to become the next Robin. Not sure why Snyder would create some random character for no real purpose, other than to help out Batman once in a while. But I must say I haven’t disliked her in what couple appearances I have seen her make so far.

    • No help here either. I don’t get it. This issue was a wash for me because of it being centered around her…Batman and Robin was memorable.

  6. Did Maleev switch over to DC? That’s awesome sauce! Does he have more DC projects lined up?

    • Agreed. I love Maleev, I still miss his insanely suffocating and depressing DAREDEVIL run that made me want to take several baths a day to scrub off the horror of life that will never vanish.

      I hope we get more BATMAN out of him! 🙂

  7. Luckily with Snyder doing a ‘Year Zero’ story line this might be the only ‘mopey Batman’ we get for this title. Then again he did just lose his son so I’m not going to judge this too harsh because it is going to be so bleak.

    Nice to see Kubert back on the book though and same goes for Harper.

  8. I assumed Harper was taking over Harold’s role, not Robin’s, not Oracle’s.

  9. It’s so weird going straight from DotF to the huge outcome of another title so quickly. The pacing is ridiculous.

  10. Nice cover by Capullo!

  11. Scott Snyder has writing skills to spare. This was really well written, both Kubert and Maleev were great and I enjoyed the backup co-written by JT4 a lot!

    But I think the place where this is going is just not for me.

    I am aware that comic book stories are as cyclical as they can be, but perhaps the fact that this is taking me directly back to the death of Jason/start of Tim Drake’s career, one of the first superhero comics I read, makes me feel too strongly like this is rethreading the same old steps. Perhaps I’ll be surprised and the story won’t go on that direction, but it really feels like we are seeing the rise of a new Robin.

    So yeah… really well done, but I don’t know how interesting it is for me.

    • It won’t be for too long anyway as the “Year Zero” storyline will kick in and all this will be in the future for the Batman title anyways.

  12. This was a wonderful issue for me on all counts. Story beats, characterization, art, all wonderful and a nice break before another huge storyline. I’m still deciding whether or not I’m in on Year Zero for issues (though Snyder’s lack of teasers and spoilers is refreshing)…

    5/5 for me but I imagine Batman and Robin will nab the pick from what I’ve seen.

  13. Wow. Terrific issue.

    It sure was nice seeing Kubert’s Batman again. And Maleev is never a bad thing either. People complain about mopey Batman every time something tragic happens, but personally I love this stage of his cyclical grief. I’ve always been a fan of the times when Bruce pushes his body and mind to the absolute limits out of rage or obsession. As long as it doesn’t drag on for months, which it obviously won’t. The guy’s gotta mourn like anyone else, and I thought this issue handled that beautifully and succinctly.

    And I admit, I’m starting to see the appeal of Ms. Row. She’s quite a gal.

  14. I guess it was going to happen sooner or later when Harper burst on the scene, but it looks like she will eventually be the new Robin and I don’t really know how I feel about that if it’s true.

  15. Really enjoyed this issue, and definitely hoping to see more of Harper Row. Kinda sucks that this Year Zero thing is going to be so long which might mean not a lot of Harper. I`d be happy if Harper got her own book to be honest and have a feeling it would sell really well…come one DC get on it!

  16. I enjoyed this Harper Row issue much more than the first one, even though I really liked that first one. For me, this is the best Andy Kubert art I’ve seen in a long time. Greg Capullo casts a large shadow on this book and I think Kubert stepped up to the challenge.

  17. I thought this was good, but not great. I like Harper as a character, but I’ll be bored if she becomes another Robin. I think that if a fanbase–not just a few fans, but all of them–can guess what’s going to happen months in advance, then the story isn’t all that great. I’m still holdong out hope that Snyder is just setting everything up to look like she’ll become a new Robin, and then use the readers’ expectations against them.

    I did however, really love Maleev’s work on the back-up. I would be down for him to give Capullo a break the next time he needs one; his style is fantastic, and a nice break from the traditional superhero mold. I liked that his Harper wasn’t all buff and breasty like Kubert’s version.

  18. I am actually all for Harper as the next Robin, she’s a terrific character.

  19. I guess I’m a bit of an outlier here but I didn’t really enjoy this. This totally felt like “A lonely place of dying” to me with the rage filled reckless Batman and the Robin wannabe who pulls him out of that state. Although Maleev on Batman is pretty awesome…wouldn’t mind seeing him work on Bats more!

    • I agree. I really didn’t like much in this issue other than Maleev. Felt like an old story being retold, I don’t really rate Kubert’s batman that much and Harper doesn’t seem to be a particularly interesting character. She’s like Jason Todd and Tim Drake combined.

  20. Notice how the cover is empty boots, it seems kind of like they’re saying there are shoes to fill. I still think Harper would make a much better Oracle than a Robin.

  21. I really struggled to enjoy this. It felt like Snyder and Tynion IV was covering the same ground when Todd died. Harper could have easily been replaced by Tim Drake and we could have had a reboot of ‘A Lonely Place of Dying’. Plus Snyder is a really bad liar because he is TOTALLY setting up Harper Row to be some kind of sidekick. You don’t have scenes of her training and sneaking on rooftops to not get us ready for something. The art was also kinda disappointing with Andy Kubert. Looked way too stiff in a lot of places and it felt more like ‘posters’ than actually let the pages breath. Maleev actually did a better job in my mind and the Nathan Fairbairn colors worked nicely with his pencils.

    Hate to say it but this was probably the worst issue of this Batman run to date. Hopefully we get passed this mopey Batman and we get better things starting next month.


  22. At first I was disappointed to see this wasn’t drawn by Capullo but then I really started digging Andy Kubert’s work. The covers were heartbreaking. I found the story to be very deep and emotional and am liking Harper and her brother more all the time. Solid issue as always.

  23. More Maleev please!

  24. I think I’m missing something. I love everything Snyder writes but these issues with Harper, I’m just not feeling them. Everyone went nuts for #12 (the Cloonan drawn one) and I felt it was average. And again here I didn’t love this issue, it just felt kind of filler for me. I liked how Kubert drew damaged and worn down Batman and Maleev is a legend, nothing he does is bad in my book (more Maleev please!). However this just didn’t click with me. I’ll still give it a 4, I can appreciate the skills on display but I can’t wait until we get back into the swing of things with the next arc. The Year Zero concept sounds brilliant, hopefully building off the excellent #0 issue. Plus I kinda missed Capullo here, something doesn’t feel right without him drawing this book.

  25. Man there were some very poorly drawn faces in the Kubert chapter. Never been a big fan and this issue just took me back to the ugliness that was flashpoint.

  26. Too soon!

    I don’t hate Harper Row or anything, but aside from the facts that she once saved Batman’s life and has a gay brother (yay for both) I don’t love her at all yet… and having her foisted upon me as the obvious next Robin *right* after poor Damian died… it really rubbed me the wrong way. Much rather, I’d have preferred at least one issue of Batman on his own before stuff like this happened.

    I knew that any issue following the incredible BATMAN #17 would feel a bit slow and subtle in comparison. But… this was actually salt in the wound. Boo.

  27. Doesn’t anyone agree with me that the “next Robin” setup is a little too obvious?

    I’m genuinely surprised to see so many people complaining about something that is nowhere near happening yet. Even for comic fans I think this particular complaint is a little premature. Even if it does turn out that way, it looks like we have an entire year of origin story to get through before it happens.

    • I agree with you, it won’t be for a while with this long origin story. Unless they do incorporate Harper Row into he Batman and Robin comic then it won’t be happening for a long time, atleast into next year

    • Yes, I commented above that I’m holding out hope that Snyder is just toying with readers’ expectations. I don’t see him telegraphing a move so obviously; maybe Harper will want to be Robin, but Batman will find a better use for her skills or convince her that it’s not her place. Good point about nothing concrete really happening till after year zero.

  28. This was the best issue in awhile. I like Kubert’s Batman, and I liked how there wasnt anything too over the top. The Banesque dogs were pretty cool. Snyder did a great job with Harper’s dad. It was good. The switch to Maleev was a shock to the system though, and I must admit I don’t like having 2 pencillers on every book. I find it distracting having to adjust to new “acting” from the same players, no matter how good the art is. Whatever Snyder does with Harper is ok by me, but she sure isn’t Damian. The time placement of this issue was strange though. No Joker references, and a little “off” if he just lost his son, but whatever. The punch in the face seemed like a very natural reaction though now that I think about it.

  29. Kuberts Batman looked fantastic. I loved how beat up he was looking as his rampage went longer and longer. Other than that this was mediocre for me. I’m not really into Harper. She’s ok but I don’t want her to be a regular character. Year zero doesn’t sound overly interesting either. The good news is there’s 5-6 other places to get my bat fix. How’s Detective doing these days?

  30. Love this issue. Love Kubert and Maleev. Love Harper no matter what her roll is gonna be.

  31. If Harper’s the new Robin, I’ll have an extra $3.99 to spend every month.

  32. Moving really fast on the Harper Row becoming Robin storyline. But maybe Snyder is trying to push everyone down that path just to pull the rug out from under us at the end. He seems like too good a writer to make it so obvious.

    • It seems like she’s too much of a copy of Tim Drake becoming Robin. It’s the same story. Hopefully she gets killed or becomes a villain or something. If she just becomes Robin, that’s pretty boring and uninspired.

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