Wednesday, June 19, 2013

SPOILERS: Batman and Batgirl #21

So, Batgirl is breaking up a heroine ring, and Batman shows up, but doesn't say a word. He beats the crap out of everyone, blows up the heroine, and as Babs tries to say something, he comments on her lack of bat symbol rather passive aggressively, and leaves. The Babs goes to talk to her dad, but perched out his window, unable to actually tell him about everything involving her mother and James Jr.

Elsewhere, Batman is still wreaking havoc on all sorts of criminals, and Babs eventually tracks him down to a connivence store hold up, where he offers himself up in place of the hostages... but just kicks the absolute shit out of everyone anyways, all while Babs records what happens. When things are wrapped up, Bullock tries to put his hand on Bruce's shoulder to tell him they've got it covered, but Bruce decides to be a total dick, tells Bullock never to touch him, and throws him into some one of the shelves.

Babs later intercepts Bruce in the Batcave, showing him the footage of how he's acting, which just pisses him off. They start yelling about how Bruce is going too far, Damian, and whatever the hell else, all getting to the point where Babs grabs the Robin costume and says she'll be Robin if it's what it'll take to snap Bruce out of it. Bruce just gets pissed and yells at her to leave...


The Good:

For fill-in, the art was pretty good?

The Bad:

We've reached new peaks in Bat-jerk Batman. This isn't entertaining, nor is it emotionally resonating, it's just bad. Like I've said in every review of this arc so far, I get it, Bruce is grieving, but holy crap, is this bad. It's just so over the top in every way, Bruce is just being a straight up fucking asshole, and in no way is it enjoyable to read. Because he's reacting so insanely, it's hard to even feel bad for him. How are we supposed to sympathize with a character who is just being a total dick to other characters we like in every single issue? Then there's Babs... "I'll be Robin if that's what it takes!" (paraphrasing) what the!? That's just dumb. Don't insult me like that.

The Bottom Line: 

With each issue of this arc, I get more and more disappointed. On paper, this is a great concept for post Damian issues, but execution is just so bad. Batman's son has died, a son that I absolutely loved, perhaps more than Bruce himself, and I'd like to feel bad with him, but these issues are making it god damn impossible to. Take the absurd way Batman is acting, and add the equally absurd potential solution Batgirl brings up, and I'm just at a loss... I really am... the score is generous, I'll say that.



  1. i'm pretty sure the "i'll be robin" was more of a hypothetical statement, more than in a literal sense. People seem to be miss reading this a lot, and if you take it in the hypothetical "we're willing to help you out in whatever way we can" sense then its actually very clever writing, as it suits the Bab's character traits we've come to love over the years.

    I agree with everything else though, dick bruce I can't feel sorry for at all, I do not care. Perhaps the point of this arc is to throw some sympathy towards each member of the Bat Family after the DoTF arc and how everyone seems to think they're the ones treating Bruce abit too cold?

  2. I think Batman is bouncing back and forth between the anger and the bargaining stages. You don't have to finish one stage of grief to move onto the next. The "bargaining" isn't supposed to be about Batgirl trying to offer a solution to a missing Robin.
    Bruce is ultimately grieving for his son, who cannot be replaced by Barbara or anyone else.
    The bargaining should have been between Bruce and himself. Barbara should have just been there to set off an event that makes him have internal dialogue where he negotiates with himself.
    There were other bargains being made in thise issue between Batman and the thugs and between Batgirl and Batman. But there is a reason Bruce snapped at Barbara: she doesn't get it. Even speaking from the child's perspective, she doesn't fully get it and Bruce is still in a very sensitive position.
    The issue was good overall. Some nice artwork and nice internal dialogue from Batgirl. The confrontation at the end wasn't so bad. I did bother me when Barbara talked about how she "used" to be paralyzed, like it was just something she was cured of.
    This is a good arc, they just need to work on how Bruce is going through each stage and not loss focus because of the cameo from whatever Bat-ally.