Review: Batman & Robin Eternal #15


I review the latest issue of Batman & Robin Eternal, “The Deception of St. Dumas”!

I hope everyone had a Bat-tastic New DC Day yesterday!  I had three books on my pull list: Batman & Robin Eternal #15, Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #2, and the premiere (digital-first) issue of Arrow: The Dark Archer.  It’s Thursday now, which means it’s time for my weekly review of Batman & Robin Eternal.  The latest issue is titled “The Deception of St. Dumas”.  Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly have taken back over script duties from James Tynion IV, and penciling this one is Christian Duce.

Throughout Batman & Robin Eternal, there have been three main storylines going on at once.  Dick Grayson, Bluebird, and Cassandra Cain have been the focus of one of them, Red Hood and Red Robin have been the focus of another, and the final one has been flashbacks involving Batman and Dick as Robin.  I am so in love with what was going on in the last few issues with Dick, Bluebird, and Cass, and I’ve never been a big fan of Azrael, so I already knew “The Deception of St. Dumas” wouldn’t live up to its immediate predecessors before I even began reading it.

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That being said, this was a really good issue.  It consists of Red Hood and Red Robin infiltrating Gnosis, the secret city of St. Dumas.  Red Hood has to go in as Red Robin’s sacrificial offering, and I love his humor as he is jailed — first scoffing at the fact that a pit could keep him captive and then conceding that things got “trickier” when a metal door closes over it.  In the mean time, Red Robin and Jean-Paul Valley square off in a pretty epic fight that ends in Red Robin encasing Jean-Paul in a cement-like substance.  Also, question for the readers: did all the wiring connecting to Saint Dumas remind any of you of Braniac?  Not only is the wiring blue, but with the theme of Saint Dumas acting as a great source of knowledge, I couldn’t help but see a parallel.

In the Batman and Robin flashbacks for this issue, Scarecrow delivers to Mother what is presumably the psychological profile of Batman that Batman told Scarecrow to give her.  Scarecrow tells her:

"It’s not fear that drives the Batman.  Not exactly.  It’s loss.  The man behind that striking cowl lost something dear to him–something that made him afraid.  Something that made him refuse to ever be afraid again.  But he is afraid.  Of losing Robin.  Of losing Gotham.  Of you."

Now, I’ve been attempting to decipher the reasoning behind why Batman wanted Scarecrow to tell this to Mother, but I’m not seeing the logic.  I suppose that’s why Batman’s the world’s greatest detective, and I am not.  However, I’m sure this will come into play very shortly.  Mother then arranges a meeting between Batman and his new, custom-built (it feels so wrong writing that) Robin in Cairo.  There have been several times now where I’ve expected to see the reveal of who that Robin is, but I’m feeling really good about the chances of finally find out in issue #16!

That wasn’t the only cliffhanger in “The Deception of St. Dumas”, though.  Red Robin attacks Saint Dumas after subduing Jean-Paul, but Saint Dumas gets the upper hand, giving Red Robin an electrical shock and a death sentence.  Meanwhile, Ichthys (the procedure that Mother has been using to imitate a severe trauma into one’s mind) attacks Red Hood, and it begins to force him to re-live his death at the hands of the Joker.

Next: Review: Batman & Robin Eternal #14

Like I said, this issue was really good, but not great.  It still warrants five batarangs out of five, but the best thing about it is where it drops us off for next week’s issue.  I am so eager for what may be the Robin reveal, and seeing Red Hood re-live that trauma is going to be very intense.  Let me know what you thought of the 15th issue in the comments, and be sure to keep it locked to Caped Crusades for the Batman & Robin Eternal review each week and for all your Batman news!