Batman and Robin Eternal #9. James Tynion IV & Scott Snyder- Story, Jackson Lanzing & Collin Kelly- Script, Roge Antonio- Artist, Allen Passalaqua- Colors.
Bat-Shark Repellent. That got your attention didn’t it?
Reviews are generally done to give potential readers an idea of what a product might be like. Based on this review, a reader may decide to give this issue a shot, decide it’s a good jumping on point. Oftentimes, it’s the reviewer’s job to start a review with something intriguing to at least get the reader to finish the review and provide the reader with an enjoyable review. Bat-Shark Repellent at the top of this page has got to have you dying to know how this cliché from the old Batman TV Series fits into Batman and Robin Eternal #9.
The Present- Red Hood and Red Robin in Santa Prisca-
Jason and Tim are flying to the notorious island that houses the equally notorious super prison- Pena Duro. Tim’s intelligence has led them here, revealing a trail of attacks on Black Market technology dealers. All had business orders with The Order of St. Dumas. As they approach the island they are met with a couple of jet interceptors and they end up having to bail out. Jason’s a bit worried about the shark infested waters, but Tim reassures him that the three types of shark repellent he carries at all times will be enough to stop them.
They find that the prison has been renovated into a monastery/ church for the Order of St. Dumas. But they find an even bigger surprise- Santa Prisca’s most famous resident, Bane!
Surprisingly, they are able to get Bane to listen to reason and call a truce and they are able to get inside the monastery.
The Past, Robin and Batman in Prague-
Dick is manning the computer in the Prague Batcave, and he’s uncovered Scarecrow’s entire European organization, and developed a surveillance plan for his manufacturing sites. As Dick toils away, Batman heads out as Bruce to meet Mother and discover more about her operation under the auspices of wife shopping. However, it is Mother who surprises Bruce. She’s figured out Bruce’s secret.
The Present, Dick and Harper in Prague-
Harper’s none too happy that they are not out busting heads looking for Cassandra. She’s showing a lot of loyalty to Cass and Dick finds it very admirable. Harper ends up sharing her story with him- what happened to her parents and how she ended up where she is today. It’s a nice scene that makes this pairing stronger. However, it’s still a night of paperwork for the two as they delve into Batman’s files on their previous adventure in Prague.
Tim and Jason have made their way into the monastery and they discover a bit about the order of St. Dumas. They interrupt a ceremony as a novice takes a drink from the cellar wine and discovers he can now talk where he was a mute before. Tim and Jason are discovered rather quickly and are confronted by St. Dumas’ Avenging Angel- Azrael! And apparently, Azrael has been around for a while and his faith has brought more than the casual knowledge of the Bat-Family.
After Mother surprises Bruce with the knowledge of his masked secret, she bludgeons him with a character assassination. The pieces of the puzzle begin to come together a bit more at this point. And while not explicitly stated, that cliffhanger scene from the end of Batman and Robin Eternal #1 begins to take on different possibilities. She comes out and tells Bruce his visit to her was not about the ‘wife ruse’ but that he’s looking for an heir to the Bat that will not disappoint.
What are we to believe? Does Bruce fall under Mother’s sway either willingly or unwillingly? Or is that someone else under the cowl that gunned down those parents in the first issue? Either way, the creative team is crafting a multi-faceted story with some great character moments and surprises and they are not showing their cards.
So, in keeping with the opening of this piece-
Tune in next week- same Bat-Time, same Bat-Channel!