Batman and Robin Eternal #5. James Tynion IV & Scott Snyder- Story, Steve Orlando- Script, Scot Eaton, Ronan Cliquet, Steve Pugh- Pencils, Wayne Faucher, Ronan Cliquet, Steve Pugh- Inks, Gabe Eltaeb- Colors.
The theme of family continues in this issue of Batman and Robin Eternal. Whereas last issue touched on the expanding family, this issue sets brother against brother as Dick seeks out the truth about Tim’s past and has to face the consequences. This does not feel like a red herring, but a real conflict which will play out as this series progresses. The situation is getting more complicated, and it seems reasonable that at some point Dick might find himself facing Orphan and Mother alone.
The issue opens in the past as Batman and Robin have tracked the Scarecrow to a church in Toronto. As they listen in they realize that the Scarecrow is not alone and something is afoot. However, instead of getting the drop and Scarecrow and friends, Batman and Robin are the ones who are surprised as they crash through the window to find the Scarecrow and company gone. What Batman and Robin missed was the Scarecrow and Orphan. And Cassandra Cain working with Orphan. Really nice feel to this sequence that reflects a classic Batman and Robin dynamic. It also touches upon the detective elements which are so important to the Batman mythos. The dynamic between Batman and Robin is a real treat. It’s not something I’ve seen in quite a while, as it is significantly different than Bruce’s interactions with his subsequent Robins.
The Present- the Drake house–
Dick, using his Spyral hypnos, has arrived at Tim’s parents’ house. Using a cover story he gains entrance and when he see’s a picture of Tim he starts asking questions about him. Tim’s dead- what? The doorbell rings and Poppy shows up to continue to cause Dick trouble. Pretty quickly the house comes alive and starts defending the Drakes. It doesn’t take Tim long to show up.
The Present- Cassandra and Harper–
Cassandra has led Harper to the church seen in sequence in from the past. It isn’t long before Cass shows Harper a secret entrance inside a sculpture in the church.
Orphan jumps out of the secret room and attacks them. Orphan attempts to get into Cassandra’s head. Cassandra reacts by chopping off Orphan’s hand.
Tim is not happy. He feels Dick is endangering his parents by exposing them. It ends with Tim accusing Dick of being just like Bruce and feeling betrayed by Dick. Dick’s reasoning is sound- knowing Tim’s past he had to find out if what he knew about Tim was true. This has set Tim against Dick and with last issue surprise ending, it puts Tim as an outsider in the Bat-Family.