Tuesday, May 27, 2014

[New 52] Batman and Robin by Peter J. Tomasi issue #7

"You try to murder my son and you EXPECT TO LIVE?!"

HOLY HELL! If people have been complaining about the lack of substantial action in the previous Batman and Robin issues (which I consider secondary only to the father-son character arc but that's my prerogative) then issue #7 Driven should shut them the hell up. This is worth all the anticipation in the world.

Artist Patrick Gleason is at the top of his game here; each panel sequence is rendered with a vicious style, pulsating with vigor and energy all throughout as it showcases the final confrontation between Batman and NoBody. Everything is just teeming with an ash-and-blood color palette that it's a real treat to the eyes. The scope of this issue would make a rather scintillating animated succession if it was in a cinematic medium. It certainly accomplished that certain vibe and feel to it. This is an explosion of color and fireworks that readers may have been looking forward to since Tomasi-Gleason has started this story, and it was definitely satisfactory.


The fight scenes also featured dialogue exchanges between Bruce and Morgan as the latter bemoans Bruce's personal crimes against him. It's worth noting that Morgan may be the reflection of what Damian could have been if he lacked constant and loving fatherly support. Morgan's motivation to take revenge on Bruce is quite pitiful. He blames Bruce for the loss of his own father's respect for him when the truth is Henri Ducard is not a role model any son should look up. Bruce makes a point to drive home the truth that Morgan is a nobody; an outcast who chose to embrace his anonymity and despair by failing to conquer them; and that Bruce is a somebody that will stop him from shedding more bloodshed.

After a few great pages of action, and with an unmasked Batman now holding down Morgan into the acidic container, he briefly catches the eye of his ten-year-old son who was bleeding and scared in the corner. Bruce would have killed Morgan right there and now but it was Damian's dazed expression that made him reconsider and remember his promise never to take a human life. In the grand scheme of things, Bruce knows what matters is that Damian is out of harm's way, and so he takes out Morgan and decides to tie him up in chains instead as he looked for a means of escape from the crumbling place. Bruce was preoccupied so he had his back turned away from Damian and Morgan. And an ominous exchange happens at that moment:

The issue ends with a punch to the gut. Damian Wayne has done the unthinkable and he didn't even have a moral discussion about it with his father. Remember what I said in my review for the previous issue of how awful it would have been for Bruce if he ever witnessed his son kill someone? Well...we all just became privy to that and I don't think that even I was the same person I was when I started reading Tomasi's Batman and Robin. It's that grueling and emotionally magnetic.



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