Review: Batman & Robin Eternal #5


Warning: There are spoilers for the latest issue of Batman & Robin Eternal #5 below.

I hope everyone had a terrific New Comics Day yesterday!  The weekly Batman & Robin Eternal series continued with its fifth issue, titled “Arms of the Thunderer”, and it was an intriguing one, featuring some serious inner conflict between two members of the Bat-family.

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This issue began with one of the flashbacks of Batman and Robin from when they were working the Scarecrow case.  They are staking out a meeting between Jonathan Crane and Orphan.  It is pretty confusing what roles they each are playing here, but then Cassandra Cain shows up and threatens Crane when he refuses to comply with Orphan.  Batman and Robin try to crash the party, but Crane, Orphan, and Cassandra have all left by the time they arrive.  There were finally some more inklings into what Mother had to do with the Scarecrow case back in the day, but they didn’t let us see enough of the conversation between Orphan and Crane.

In present time, Dick Grayson is at the house of Tim Drake’s parents trying to get information.  It seems as though he thinks that Tim is a product of Mother.  Jack Drake pretty much confirms this theory when he says that Tim “arrived” to him and his wife.  Then we get a second storyline running.  While Poppy invades the meeting and fights with Dick, Cassandra and Harper Row fight Orphan back at his and Crane’s meeting spot from five years ago.

Dick takes out Poppy, and Cassandra and Harper get Orphan to flee (after Cassandra chops his hand off), but not before he confirms something else fans have been suspecting, calling Cassandra and Harper his “children”.  Cassandra continues to have epic battle scenes!  Then Tim arrives on the scene at his parents’ house and berates Dick for investigating them.  I’m totally on Dick’s side in this argument, because with almost the whole Bat-family on Mother’s list, you can’t leave any stone unturned.  Plus, in the last issue, we saw Tim talk on the phone with Mother.

The best line in the issue comes right here at the end of the issue, when Dick asks Tim if he thinks Bruce wouldn’t have done the same thing he did, and Tim sucker-punches him and says “You’re right, Dick.  That’s exactly what Bruce would have done.  And that’s exactly why I’d never expect it from you.”  In reality, Dick is the closest thing to Bruce there is, and I love that.  So, Tim is definitely involved with Mother in some way, but it’s still unclear exactly how.  His parents are under some sort of protection, but I’d really like to know what they know about the situation.

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I wish we would’ve gotten more information in this issue.  With it being a weekly series, I thought that Batman & Robin Eternal would be moving faster than it is.  Overall, I’ll go ahead and give this issue five batarangs out of five, if only for the fact that I still see the series headed in a really awesome direction.  Next week, James Tynion IV takes back script duties from Steve Orlando, so we’ll see where that goes.  Where will Dick search for answers next?  Keep it locked to Caped Crusades for continuing coverage of the weekly.