Wednesday, April 10, 2013

SPOILERS: Batman and Red Robin #19

Carrie Kelley, THROWING PIZZA AT DUDE'S FACES. That's pizza abuse! Pizza Dog does not approve. Anyways, she drops some old TV episodes off at the Wayne Manor doorstep for Damian, explaining the note from last issue, something that Bruce finds to be a bit odd. Wanting to know who was involved in his son's life, Bruce has Alfred drive him to Carrie's apartment, where a costume party is being held, and wouldn't you know it, Carrie is dressed as Robin. Bruce, being in a bad mood, just gives her back the shows, and leaves. Carrie feels like something is up, eventually yelling out the window "Where's Damian?" but she gets no response from Bruce, who has Alfred drive him away.

Elsewhere, Frankenstein of SHADE and JLD fame is fighting off the typical hellspawn he fights, when he gets trapped in some... uh, bat foam? As Bruce flies him away in the Batwing. Frank later wakes up in a familiar castle, to find Bruce planning some science experiences, mainly... he wants to perfect the science that brought Frank to life, and resurrect Damian.

This doesn't fly well with Frank, who tries to talk Bruce out of it, telling the sorrowful Dark Knight that he's headed down a very, very dark road. Bruce doesn't listen, which forces Frank to try and convince him physically, as he breaks out of the hardened foam. Frank manages to grab Bruce by the neck, telling him of his own son, and how he knows exactly what he's going through, but all Bruce can say is that Frank failed his son, and sends a grappling hook through the monster's chest, pumping it full of electricity.

Having been called upon by Alfred, Tim flies to Bruce's location, despite some tense issues of late. Despite Tim's feelings, Alfred tells him to be aware of Bruce's emotional state, and to cut him some slack, which is going to be hard to do when Tim finds Bruce hunched over a disassembled Frankenstein.

Tim tries to reason with Bruce, who brings up the fact that he and Superman were dead, so he's determined to bring his son back. Frank, still awake, tells Bruce that he should have figured out by now that he is neither alive nor dead, and sentencing Damian to a similar fate would be a huge mistake. Nevertheless, Bruce pushes on.

Tim eventually tries to physically stop Bruce from continue, and is met with resistance, as Bruce pins Tim to the wall by his cape. Tim has a backup plan, and gets his jet to target all of Bruce's equipment, burning it to ashes. Bruce gets up in Tim's face with a big old "fuck you" face, and leaves silently, while Frankenstine, still just a bunch of body parts, asks if anyone is going to put him back together.

Elsewhere, in Gotham, Carrie plays some not-Kinect games with her blonde friend who is fond of purple and totally not who you think she is, discussing the weirdness surrounding Damian lately. Turns out Carrie was giving him some sort of lessons? I don't know. Regardless, she comments on how weird it is that she's disappeared, and it turns out Bruce paid her off about ten times as much for his son.


The Good:

I'd figure this would be the case, but the fact that we now know the next few issues will be the five stages of grief, that's pretty awesome. Love that concept, and I love the fact it is going to be facilitated with rotating guess stars. Frankenstein was a surprise (well, before that art was shown) and worked really well as the voice of reason. The story of his son, and not wanting Damian to be a victim of the dark science that created him was pretty heartfelt, and hit deep.

The Bad:

A few points... Man, Bruce is fucking crazy. I get the reasoning behind it, I really do. It still bothers me about how rash he's being, but that's because I care about the character, and don't want him going nuts. It just rubbed me the wrong way. 

For a book called "Batman and Red Robin" there was a serious lack of Red Robin, which disappointed me to a degree.

I'm still unclear on what Carrie's relationship to Damian was. She taught him? or something? About movies/TV shows? It's not exactly clear. I felt the way the issue ended was pretty anticlimactic, and that scene would have worked better positioned elsewhere in the issue. The "so, is anyone putting me back together" line would have been a better ending, and lightened things up a bit, in a pretty dark issue.

The Bottom Line:

So, I like the concept, I really do, but Bruce being super crazy really put me off, combine that with the lack of Tim, the anti-climactic ending, and this wasn't my favorite issue. I feel like this was a victim of the Lazarus pit situation not being explained in Bamtan Inc last month. You question why Bruce, as distraught as he might be, would even think Frankensteining his son would be a great idea, and everything just comes off kind of weird... I also just don't know where they're going with this Carrie Kelley thing... it's confusing, to say the least. Ultimately, I like the big picture, but wasn't big on this stage of grief. 



  1. Also why go through all the hassle of kidnapping Frankenstein when a pack of Gotham ally cats is just as effective a la Ann Nocenti's Catwoman 0

  2. Carrie was teaching Damian how to act. Which is she sent him tapes, so he can learn from the videos. Who was the girl in purple supposed to be?

  3. - I doubt Damian needed to learn how to act from some girl, as i'm sure that Talia taught him, or had him taught well in nearly every field.

    - The idea of Damian needing lessons in anything is highly preposterous to me.

    1. That's where I was coming from. I don't have problem with them knowing each other or anything, but this was a ten year old who could perfectly mimic anyone's voice.

  4. The cheque that Bruce wrote, i'm surprised at all the detail to it. Is anything on there of any importance (eg account number, date, etc)?

    1. 1986 was the year Kelley was introduced

    2. And the middle set of numbers refers to Batman's first appearance. Still trying to figure out three first set of numbers