Here is the review I wrote for Batman & Robin #11, as you can tell I really enjoyed the issue.
This was originally posted on April 13 2010
Batman & Robin #11
Writer: Grant Morrison
Penciller: Andy Clarke
Let me preface this review by saying that of every superhero comic book on the stands I think Batman & Robin is the best. Period. It has more ideas in 3 pages than most books have in a year. This issue begins with in a villa as we see a man with lashes on his back from a whipping. He also has the letter “W” on his back which he refers to as the “double you”. The Villa is being attacked though, like straight Bad Boys 2 DEA raid style. This guy who is wearing the same gear as the Black Hand peaces out in a helicopter. Then we go back to Stately Wayne Manor as Dick continues to discover new things in this secret area of the mansion while talking to Alfie. On the outside in the graveyard Robin and Oberon Sexton are accosted by some ruffians and proceed to give them a what for! (See you got to talk kind of classy when talking about Sexton, he’s that cool.) While scraping with the bad guys Robin notices something wrong with him. We see that his mother is controlling him like he’s Gerard Butler in that movie Gamer. Alfie tells Dick of the situation and He proceeds to get to the place of battle. But, on the way out he sees an upside down statue of bat demon named Barbatos. On the outside Robin and Sexton finish off the foes and Sexton proceeds to question the head guy and really just gets nothing but more clues dealing with the Domino killer. Robin talks to Sexton and then…POW! He hits Sexton upside the head with Sexton’s shovel and proceeds to beat up Dick with it as we see Robin’s hatin’ mother Talia laughing it up in the reveal that my man SLADE WILSON aka Deathstroke the Terminator is now controlling WiiRobin to kill his arch nemesis Dick Grayson, the new Batman.
What I liked about this issue from a writing standpoint is that it’s very concise and to the point. Morrison gets a ton of flak for writing “weird”, “for himself” or “Smarter”. Here, point A goes to point B then to C, yet staying within and moving the ongoing narrative of his Batman saga. He drops in all these nice little clues like all of the bad guys this issue are named after demons. Dick calls Alfred “Alfie” which is great because Michael Cane plays Alfred in the Nolan films and he also played a character “Alfie” in the 60s. Also, as unexpected as the Slade reveal is, it makes sense, because if Dick has a main bad guy its Slade.
Andy Clarke has been really surprising me with his work. I don’t read R.E.B.E.L.S. but I really enjoy his work in these past two issues of B&R. He paces out his panels smartly to move the action and not confuse the reader. His line is very smooth and not varying in weight. The inks in this by Scott Hanna are decent, nothing to glaring to me in either a bad or good way. The colors are fine but the texture on the grass I really don’t care for. I’m not a fan of the clouds either, sorry.
This is a good issue of Batman & Robin and while not as mind-blowing like some have been, it’s still better than most on the stands.