Graphic Novel Reviews: Batman and Red Robin 019

The Story
Carrie Kelley drops off a note at the Wayne estate, with a bill for Damian, and a request to set up the next batch of what can be assumed were acting sessions. Bruce Wayne goes to her apartment, where a party is underway and Carrie is wearing a Robin costume, and leaves the note and DVDs she left behind.

Batman then proceeds to kidnap Frankenstein, and set up in the Frankenstein Castle to perform tests geared at replicating the process that brought Frankenstein to life, on Damian. Alfred sends Red Robin out to check on Batman, and once there Tim realizes what Batman is doing. He interrupts the research and Batman leaves, furious at Red Robin for interfering.

Back at Carrie’s apartment, she and a roommate talk about how Damian stopped coming to lessons, and how she hoped he was okay.

The Review
Well then, didn’t this issue go a strange, strange place. First off, that cover, we’re really bringing Carrie Kelley into the main universe? I’m not sure how to feel about this. She was a fun character in The Dark Knight returns, but there was something sacrosanct about her being a non-canon character. I don’t know if this means she will become Robin for real, the cover certainly suggests that, but I for one think it’s just a cameo to allow for the WTF cover spread. Fair enough, if a bit silly. And while Carri’es role in this story could have been filled by anyone, I suppose it’s a fun little bit of fanservice.

And, because someone has to say it, Lill’ Carrie done gone and growed up.

Now for the undead elephant in the room. Wow. Just. Wow. They got to bringing Damian back from the dead faster than I expected. I for one was thinking maybe the Lazarus Pit, but I guess unholy science works too. While he doesn’t succeed, I won’t be surprised to see Damian return eventually.

I love how while Bruce comes across as going insane in this book, the fact that at the same time, or shortly before or after, he’s acting relatively normal in his other books just makes him come across as even less sane. The man’s having the most severe mood swings I’ve seen in my life.

As far as the Red Robin part of this title is concerned, this isn’t exactly what I had in mind. Tim really has been getting the rough of it in the New 52, and I guess I shouldn’t be surprised to see that continue in this book. I was hoping for a proper team up between the two, but considering Batman’s mental state I suppose that isn’t really an option. Though I am worried that the other books are all just going to be, “Batman yells at his partner for the issue.” Though, I suppose the planned Batman and Catwoman issue could contain that scene Catwoman was remembering back in Justice League of America 002. Joy.

Without considering possible future events, or paying too much attention to the Tim Abuse (Can we please have him and Batman team up properly?), this issue was a goofy bit of fun. I know it’s supposed to be meaningful and heavy, but Batman’s first reaction to his son’s death is to delve into unholy science is all kinds of silly. He even gets a, “FOR SCIENCE!” moment.

Though, this issue did make me at least a little bit curious about checking out Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E. So, job well done I suppose? Overall, I liked this issue, a lot, I’m just having a hard time taking it seriously.

The Grade

4/5

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