Batman and Robin Eternal #6. James Tynion IV & Scott Snyder- Story, James Tynion IV- Writer, Tony Daniel- Pencils, Sandu Florea with Mark Morales and Tony S. Daniel- Inks, Tomeu Morey- Colors.
If last issue pushed the story forward sufficiently, Batman and Robin Eternal #6 pushes the story to the edge. It also makes a great argument for a Batman and Robin title starring Bruce and Dick in the roles they made famous decades ago. Their chemistry is positively charming and engaging in a way that recalls the past and makes Batman seem human. This story may eventually reveal the reasons that Bruce is the way he is, because in the flashback sections so far, Bruce is a lot more human than he is usually depicted.
The Present, Dick and Jason–
Jason and Dick are at St. Elijah’s, and discussing what they’ve just seen as they realize Bruce is gone from them and they are going to have to do this on their own. They’ve left the Lucius Fox Center for Downtown Gotham Youth watching Bruce hook up a TV and cable for the kids. Dick and Jason figure out that there is an underground training facility beneath the church, and Dick realizes that it all goes back to the case with the Scarecrow from years ago. Cassandra was there, Bruce gave her the flash drive, so she’s been a part of it from the beginning.
The Past, Batman and Robin–
On the Scarecrow’s tail, Dick overreaches himself as he executes a marvelously acrobatic series of moves with grappling gun to land on a moving plane. But it’s a trap- the Scarecrow is not on board and Dick finds himself looking at a bomb and a snarky note to Batman. Despite having warned Robin repeatedly, back in the Batcave Batman is surprisingly understanding. He comes across as quite human and relatable. It’s somewhat surprising and one can only wonder if this is done for comparison with how Batman will emerge from this story.
Bruce has to make his appearance at a fundraiser upstairs. He is talking to an old friend who is inquiring as to Bruce’s plans for starting a family. This fellow, Maxwell Dossey, then begins to spin the tale of how he met his wife, Alicia. Or rather, the REAL tale of how he met his wife. She was rescued from the streets and raised and cultivated to be a trophy wife by a woman named Mother.
Maxwell sees an ominous figure in another part of the Wayne estate and suddenly turns it all into a joke. But it’s enough for Bruce. He goes to the cave and get facial recognition software working on the mysterious figure and does searches on Alicia and Mother in the database. He even accesses the security cameras at the Dossey residence just in time to see Orphan take them out. Bruce jumps in the Batmobile and gets there as fast as he can, but it’s too late. He’s got two murders now to investigate. He begins the file on Mother. This sequence is marvelous, it plays upon the detective aspects of Batman as well as moving the story forward. It has expanded the scope of what’s been going on in the book so far.
Bruce wakes Dick and tells him to “get ready,” they are going to Prague, where Maxwell met Alicia.
Dick and Jason continue their discussion, to determine the next course of action. Dick’s got Harper and Cass in a safe house. Jason calls him on it- the second time in two issues a Robin has accused Dick of being too much like Batman. Jason and Dick pick Cass and Harper up on their way to Prague, and we get a tantalizing glimpse of Mother who is quite happy about the course of events. 4 1/2