A short crossover between two titles and the thrilling beginning to the RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE (ugh…). This was an interesting week for the Bat-verse.
Batman and Robin #10:
Well, this was a fairly more text-heavy issue of the comic. It had some bright moments like Alfred adjusting the temperature to the Batmobile or Damien actually showing some positive emotion. I’m intrigued by Oberton Sexton. I like watching Dick get all detective-y and try to inspire Damien to do it too. I’m a little disappointed that Damien has been brainwashed. I love the inks and the shading by Andy Clarke even if he draws Damien a little too old and some of the angles are a little awkward (see Talia sitting on her throne).
Overall, I guess I’m along for the ride… even if the Library is too massive. Even if I find it to be a little dumb that Bruce Wayne couldn’t even recognize himself in some of the portraits of his family. Even if the Wayne Mansion was basically destroyed and now all of a sudden there are hidden rooms being found (especially when you would think that Bruce Wayne as a contingency plan for everything making it seem likely that he’d have the entire mansion sonar-ly mapped out).
You know what’s strange? Batgirl was more badass in Red Robin #10 while Red Robin was more of a badass in Batgirl.
I at times either love or hate the art in this issue. It just seems like the scratchiness really serves it while noses can come off too pointy. Plus, I’m pretty sure Stephanie’s boobs change sizes probably 8 times. The reveal of her in a strapless dress has some nice inking, but her boobs are suddenly gigantic when, for the most part, before they were well contained in her costume. Does her costume just serve as a massive sports bra? I don’t understand. The inks really vary in this issue which throws me off.
The best part is really the writing. Bryan Q. Miller has captured Stephanie Brown’s voice that I think no other writer really has before. It’s both funny, emotional, and strong. Where the art fluctuates in its quality, the writing stays consistently great.
Red Robin #10:
I like how the cover actually shows that characters grow up in comics. Anyway, like I said before, Tim may be all super smart and figure out Ra’s Al Ghul’s plan in this comic, but it is Stephanie who truly shines.
The first scene is completely badass and got me to chuckle a bit with pure excitement at seeing Stephanie finally outclass Tim.
Ra’s Al Ghul is at his best in this issue, but I don’t really see why he actually meets Tommy Elliott/Hush/Bruce Wayne stand-in in person. This is totally against his style of being in the shadows. Nevertheless, he is a menacing badass, and I love it.
On one hand, I’m really sad to see Chris Yost go because his run on this book has been great with 3-4 issue arcs all building onto each other for a massive story and actually showing the grim Tim Drake finally coming back to his older roots of being at least partly cheerful.
I am so happy that Marcus To is on this book. He is a really underrated artist at the moment. Sure, some of his angles are pretty conventional, but he is on the right track to being one of the greats. His style is simplistic, but he has great shading (congrats to Ray McCarthy for inking) and is very respectful of all characters.
Two simple artistic problems happened in this issue which is mostly the fault of an editor for not catching. 1. Stephanie’s dress is different from the party than in Batgirl (both books were probably being drawn at the same time making it hard to coordinate the designs), and, on page 5, Tim’s Robin costume is a hybrid between his original and his Post-Superboy death one. I think this is mostly because the colorist messed up, but who knows.
Overall, it was a fun read that made me crave more pages afterward.