- Writers: Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV and Ed Brisson
- Art: Scot Eaton
- Inkist: Wayne Faucher
- Colourist: Allen Passalaqua
- Letters: Cory Breen
- Publisher: DC Comics
- Release Date: January 27th, 2016
In Batman and Robin Eternal #17, the story continues to be a slow burn, with this being one of those issues that seems to focus on some character bonding. Not to mention the drama of attempting to interrogate the Orphan, oh and of course some more flashbacks to what happened with Batman several years ago. Although of course nothing is quite as it seemed, which seems to be the theme of this limited title.
The writing of this issue is very up and down. On the one hand we get some great moments such as watching Harper Row tricking her way into the room were Orphan is held. She then proceeds to chew him out in a great moment that delves deeper into her character and the upbringing she had whilst also leading to the cliff hanger of the issue, and garnering more sympathy for Cassandra Cain. On the other hand we get way too much time focusing on the failed attempts to get answers from Orphan from Dick Grayson and Helena Bertinelli. Despite the fact that their arguing is always slightly humorous it comes off more like the writing team is just trying to fill time here so they can move the plot further along in a future issue. However, the flashback functions well as we get to see Batman taking on Orphan and more about just how malevolent Mother is, as she holds one of her many children at knife point in order to manipulate Batman. On the bright side it seems like he was never really ashamed of Robin at all, which although not wholly unsurprising is definitely good to know. Although Dick Grayson doesn’t know that yet.
Batman and Robin Eternal suffers from a huge problem when it comes to the art. The rotating creative team can be a problem for the writing but their’s always a sense of unity there. The art of the book however doesn’t have this. The art in this issue really suffers for it as Eaton seems to give everyone a Jekyll and Hyde quality. This meaning that sometimes the characters look exactly how you would expect but then by the very next page they look like an entirely different person. There’s also his rendition of Mother who instead of being a creepy looking old lady looks more like a streamlined glamorous woman with a lot of plastic surgery.Which limits how terrifying she is to a large extent. It isn’t all bad though, the scene where Batman and Orphan battle it out is a great one. Even the landscape has a huge amount of destruction around it, so when it comes to showing of the violence Eaton definitely knows what he’s up too. It’s not just the landscape he does well for battle, you get a real sense of the struggle between the two. Batman literally foams at the mouth slightly as he attempts to break the headlock that Orphan has him in.
The story still seems to be moving quite slow but the plot threads will all come together soon and it looks like it will be well worth it when they do! In the mean time at least the series has really been showing of the links of the robins. Hopefully the next issue has more of an action tone to it than this one gave us.
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