Review: Batman & Robin Eternal #12


I review the 12th and latest issue of the weekly Batman & Robin Eternal series, “Head Trip”!

I hope everyone had a Bat-tastic New DC Day yesterday!  It wasn’t a big one for me; I only had two books on my pull list: Batman & Robin Eternal #12 and Batman: Arkham Knight #12, but that means I can finally get caught up on Batgirl.  It’s Thursday now, which means it’s time for my weekly review of Batman & Robin Eternal.  The latest issue is titled “Head Trip” (a title actually better suited for last week’s cover), and Ed Brisson is back for a second-straight issue on script duties, with Javier Pina and Goran Sudzuka penciling.  Warning: There are spoilers past this point.

Sequels are a challenge.  Just ask Frank Miller.  However, Brisson followed up my favorite issue of any title since the New 52 launched with a sequel that will also be remembered (fondly) for a long time to come.  Issue #12 again focuses solely on the Dick Grayson and Harper Row part of the story, as Dick uses his hypnos technology to see into The Sculptor’s mind to find out what Batman did with Mother.

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We first learn The Sculptor and Orphan’s origins.  I had been so caught up with Cassandra Cain’s history that I hadn’t even thought about the pasts of The Sculptor or Orphan, and how they became involved in Mother’s operations.  As it turns out, they (or rather their parents) were Mother’s first victims.  Mother raised them as her children, and eventually they each took up the jobs within the process that they currently hold.  The Sculptor hated everything about what she was doing but didn’t see an escape.  Meanwhile, Orphan enjoyed every bit of orphaning a plethora of innocent kids.

What I had been waiting so eagerly to see since issue #11 was the meeting between Batman and Mother, which The Sculptor finally shows Dick after revealing her past.  Batman commissions a Robin to replace Dick, but he makes the rare request that he be the one to murder the child’s parents, rather than having Orphan do it.  And this finally comes full circle to take us back to the final panel of issue #1, where Batman tells Mother that the murder “went according to plan”.  Unfortunately, the big reveal of which of Dick’s successors to the Robin mantle was the one provided by Mother wasn’t answered!  I had fully expected to find out their identity in this issue, so I was disappointed at first, but it does leave me with something to really look forward to.

The issue concludes with Dick and Harper racing to save Mother’s children at the nursery.  However, Cassandra has gotten there first, and all the children are dead.  Was it Cassandra that killed them?  Will she still be there by the time Dick and Harper show up?  The preview for next week’s issue seems to begin with Cassandra sneaking into the nursery in the first place, so it looks like we may go back a little bit to see what she’s been up to.

One thing that really stood out to me in “Head Trip” is how threatening a new member of Batman’s rogues gallery Mother is.  She is as powerful as Ra’s al Ghul, and yet she also has a sociopath on the level of Joker or Mr. Zsasz under her thumb.  The images of the cold-blooded murders of countless families were quite disturbing, but they really do shine a light on how imperative it is that the Bat-family takes her down.

Next: Review: Batman & Robin Eternal #11

This issue gets five batarangs out of five.  I liked last week’s issue a little bit better, but this one was phenomenal in it’s own right.  Next week, James Tynion IV takes back over script duties for issue #13.  Keep it locked to Caped Crusades for weekly reviews of Batman & Robin Eternal and for all your Batman news!