Graphic Novel Reviews: Batman and Robin 012

The Story

Batman and Robin, aided by Nightwing, Red Robin, and Red Hood, fight Terminus and his goons. Batman gears up in an exoskeleton and fights Terminus. Batman easily beats Terminus, but the latter sends out a code to launch a warhead. Batman then proceeds to rip off the ending for The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, AND Monster Hunter Vendetta.

The Review
Remember how last month I said this story needed more setup, and that the basic ideas and concepts of the story could have made for an iconic Batman story? Well this month I get to say that ideas and concepts don’t make for a good story if the execution is flawed.

I’m not sure who to blame for this story, I want to blame the editorial department for the overall rushed tone of the New 52 books, but I have no evidence backing that stance up. Does the fault lie with Peter Tomasi for the breakneck pacing of this story? I really can’t tell.

Either way, I think my opinion of this issue is damaged by my earlier analysis that the basic story idea could have been someting great. If I had not come to that realization perhaps I could have let this story slide under the radar. As it is, I’m thinking this is one of the worst New 52 stories, of those stories I’ve actually read.

This entire issue was resolution for things that did not have the proper setup. Terminus’s entire plan could have been something great, and the payoff is played as if the plan is a grand master plan. But as a reader I am left feeling nothing but annoyance because the entire story took place in three issues. That’s not enough time to tell this kind of story.

Terminus himself was of course boring, but I could care less about that. I saw potential in this story. And this issue could have been great, as the ending for a story that spanned more than two other issues. Even the Robin vs the former Robins was a bit of a let down, with Nightwing refusing to face Robin. It makes sense for his personality, but it makes the best part of this storyline feel like a sidenote.

A lot of this issue felt like the art was trying to make up for the lackluster storytelling. There were several images, including the four Robins looking towards the sky, and Batman soaring in front of the rising sun, that were clearly meant to be iconic images. But how can these images have any kind of weight when I start thinking about how much I want to be watching The Avengers right now?

As the conclusion to a story this issue would have been perfectly acceptable, if somewhat formulaic and hoaky. Unfortunately the story behind this climax is mysteriously absent. Not every story can be a winner, and hopefully the next issue will be an improvement.

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