Review: Batman & Robin Eternal #13


I review the 13th and latest issue of Batman & Robin Eternal, “Home Is Where The Heart Is”!

I hope everyone had a Bat-tastic final New DC Day of 2015!  It was a light week for my pull list, as I just had Batman & Robin Eternal #13 and Batman: Europa #3 on it.  It’s Thursday now, which means it’s time for my weekly Batman & Robin Eternal review.  Warning: There will be spoilers for that latest issue, “Home Is Where The Heart Is”, past this point.

To start the issue, Cassandra hitches a ride on an Argus plane to sneak into the Nursery.  Flashbacks have been a staple of this book, but the one here is especially strong, as we see what Cassandra underwent during her time at the Nursery.  It really got to me when Cassandra sees two of Mother’s children hugging and doesn’t understand it.  The Sculptor explains to her that it is a sign of affection, and Cassandra immediately hugs her, before The Sculptor reprimands her for doing so.  It really drives home the idea of how David Cain is attempting to strip Cassandra of all her humanity.

In present time, Cassandra infiltrates pretty far into the Nursery before being caught by David.  He tosses her into a pit where it appears he has thrown all of Mother’s children that were slaughtered.  James Tynion IV misses a beat here in taking over script duties from Ed Brisson.  This is where I thought the issue was supposed to link back up with the end of issue #12, but it isn’t made clear enough.  Cassandra’s horrified reaction to seeing the dead children is different.  Her facial expression is actually captured spot-on by Marcio Takara in this issue, but she doesn’t curl up in the corner as she was seen doing to finish the previous issue.  Instead, she simply escapes the pit to confront her father again.

Another part of the story comes full circle in a second flashback, as Cassandra meets with Batman.  This one took place during the events of Endgame, as Batman tells her he is about to battle The Joker and might die.  He gives Cassandra the flash drive, and then he tells Cassandra what is now one of my all-time favorite Batman quotes, before embracing her in a hug:

"You’re afraid.  I want you to understand something.  I know what they made you do.  I know how much it’s hurt you.  I know how much it still hurts you.  But you are not what they made you to be.  You are something more.  You are what you choose to be.  And you fought your way across the world so I would know what she’s about to do.  So I can stop Mother once and for all.  You aren’t a monster.  That’s what they tried to make you.  But it didn’t work.  You are a hero.  Because that’s the path you took yourself."

Not only did this make Cassandra tear up, but it made me tear up as a reader.  It’s a beautiful statement about forging your own path and not letting anyone change who you are inside.  Back in the present, Cassandra paints the Bat-symbol on her face with the blood of the slain children as Bluebird and Dick Grayson arrive just in time to help her defeat David.  Before they can get very far in doing so, however, Mother appears as a hologram to tell them she is about to blow up the Nursery and everyone in it.  What a cliffhanger for issue #14!

Next: Review: Batman & Robin Eternal #12

This re-imagining of Cassandra’s history is shaping up to be one of the absolute best origin stories in the DC universe.  We’ve hit the halfway point of the book now, and what I’m most looking forward to at this point is learning more about Batman’s involvement with Mother leading up to that final meeting with Cassandra.  “Home Is Where The Heart Is” warrants all five batarangs out of five, as it was a thrilling, emotional story.  Keep it locked to Caped Crusades for a review of the new Batman & Robin Eternal issue each week and for all your Batman news!