Review by: Nick Fovargue

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community think?

Avg Rating: 4.2
Users who pulled this comic:
Variant cover by ANDY CLARKE

Size: 32 pages
Price: 2.99

I have a real love and hate relationship with this series much like I do with just about everything Grant Morrison does. I find it very difficult to comment on this book without turning it into a commentary on Morrison in general. I am fascinated by what he writes but totally frustrated by it as well and any opportunity to vent that frustration is almost too tempting. That said I will try to persevere.

I am one of those who jumped on Morrison’s Batman with B&R #1 and as the series progresses I find myself increasingly left behind. Morrison seems to be circling back to his ongoing storylines more and more and doing little to catch me up. For instance, I have no idea who that guy at the beginning of the issue is, except that others on the internet seem to be really excited by him, and I have no idea who the goons who attack Damian and Sexton are. I don’t need everything explained to me up front, and with Morrison I don’t expect it, but at least show me enough so I understand why I should care about what I am reading.

What makes this so irritating is that I am really intrigued by the overall story and characters and can’t wait to see what comes next. If there wasn’t so much good with the bad I could just stop reading the book. Dick and, especially, Damian continue to be a lot of fun. I also really like the way Morrison makes such good use of Alfred. Mr. Pennyworth has always been a favourite of mine and seems to get his due here far more than usual. Many have commented that they are enjoying the Dick/Damian dynamic but I think it is really a triple act, not a duo, that makes the character interactions so much fun. And I believe Alfred has been as important figure in the crime-fighting team the last few issues as either of the guys wearing the tights.

In this issue, Damian and Sexton fight off some demon-cult goons (at least that’s what I think they are), Dick makes some discoveries below Wayne manor, though we don’t actually find out what they are, and just before it seems we are going to get some answers Damian’s mother interrupts everything with some remote controlled interference. One trouble I have here is that I don’t quite buy the idea that there are all these hidden clues and passages around the place that Alfred and Dick never knew about and that have apparently survived all the years of Batman’s adventures using the manor as his base of operations. But again, that doesn’t mean I’m not eager to see what happens next.

Andy Clarke’s art seems the best fit since Quitely left after the first arc. He does the best job of recapturing the look and feel established in the first issues, without quite crossing over into the weirdness of Quitely’s figure work. That said he does not have Quitely’s mastery of motion and storytelling and the action here doesn’t equal Quitely’s work, or Stewart’s either for that matter. Still his Damian looks great in motion and in close up and his Alfred is pretty good too. Clarke continues the same approach to Dick as Batman that we have seen throughout, he looks a little too young and skinny to look quite like a convincing Batman, which I thinking is fitting.

For the larger tapestry of what Morrison is doing here I want to give the book a 5 for story but my frustration with how he tells some of it makes me want to give it a 3. I’ll just split the difference I guess. Man I hate this book! And I can’t wait for the next one.

Story: 4 - Very Good
Art: 3 - Good


  1. Good nuanced review.

    If you’re really interested by the backstory and stuff, you should just search how the previous few years of Morrison’s Batman. It’s been a fantastic read, and every new issue of B&R will make you want to reread some of the old issues in order to uncover new insights that you didn’t quite notice the first time through.

    I can definitely understand why this can be a bit frustrating to someone who just jumped on with B&R #1. If I hopped on a new series, liked it a lot, but then 10 months later I was told that I needed to plunk down $$$ for back issues or tpbs if I wanted to understand a lot of what would behappening from now on–then I’d be a little puzzled and frustrated too.

    But it is worth it. The mysteries are so cool to work on and try to solve, once you’ve got all the issues.

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