Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Batman and Robin by Grant Morrison issue #10

Grant Morrison graces us with yet another three-issued arc entitled Batman vs. Robin and the issues were illustrated by no other than Andy Clarke whose work I became a fan of from New 52's Detective Comics written by John Layman a while back. In the next three issues, Clarke demonstrates just how exciting his artwork truly is and I think my favorite parts include the panels that need more detail than usual, considering this was supposed to be a spooky mystery story as well where Dick and Damian with Alfred uncover hidden passages in Wayne Manor where a hallway consisting of ancestral portraits may lead to clues as to the real location of Bruce Wayne who is trapped in another dimension thanks to Darkseid.

Now there's something very accessible about Morrison's B&R issues these days that relaxes me especially when they are mostly composed of fun-filled, action-packed scenarios that are so dynamic to look at in the pages that any convoluted plot thread seemed excusable. It was definitely that for me. Sometimes a comic book doesn't have to be insightful or deconstructive or philosophical (though I consider myself to be one of those people who always wants comic books to intellectually stimulate me). But a healthy dose of your quintessential superhero comic fodder is essential too, and I am enjoying the fuck out of these B&R issues that all my ratings from #7-12 will be consistently a solid 8.

Morrison's Damian Wayne is not really the Boy Wonder I fell in love with (it's Tomasi who ultimately defined this character for me), but I like his rebellious streak a lot even if he comes off too bratty for his own damn good. Besides, I believe that he's beginning to trust and care for Dick in his own stubborn way. I can't say the same about his relationship with his mother Talia Al Ghul who continues to challenge norms on maternal love and care. Ergo, she believes that her son is the perfect heir for her father's perfect kingdom so he has to be the perfect killing machine who will perfectly murder anyone she considers unworthy of being closely associated with Damian. To showcase what an utterly horrible mother she is, Talia surgically implanted some device in Damian's spine that allows her to control him physically by putting on some Cerebro-looking helmet and basically turning her son into a puppet and making him attack people at random. I guess she doesn't want any flowers and greeting cards for any Mother's Day event ever. God, Talia needs a new hobby. Turning your son into a monster is not good color on her.

The most peculiar thing about reading Batman and Robin for Morrison's run is the fact that I don't mind if Bruce Wayne doesn't come back just yet to allow Dick, Damian and Alfred some more time to grow together as a well-powered team because I'm frankly happy with the way things are going among the three. Unfortunately, Talia's around to ensure that Damian won't form healthy attachments with good people who actually accept him unconditionally, so that puts Damian in a tough spot. I can really sense that he's trying to change, and not give in to his murderous instincts. He is still a Wayne, not just an al Ghul.

Anyway, this was another fine issue that kept me turning the pages. I laughed every now and then too because there is some goofiness that balanced the what-the-fuckery in between. Loving the set-up. Loving Clarke's art.


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