Thursday, 10 May 2012
Review: Batman And Robin #9
Batman And Robin #9 By Tomasi / Garbett / Clarke
Taking its focus away from the series' title, this issue is effectively a solo Robin story as the son of Batman takes on one of the Court of Owls 'Talon's - a neat way of tieing into the crossover currently taking over the Bat titles. Shuffling the focus away from Batman is hardly a bad thing, and in the long run might be a wise move given how many solo series' are currently focused on the Dark Knight, although the interplay between the two is clearly missed.
The plot of the issue is fine, if a little by the numbers, as Robin attempts to rescue General Burrows from the Talon. It is all a little predictable, but makes for some fun, high octane action - if a little lacking in suspense. Tomasi does a good job of building up Robin's character here, and he manages to carry the story impressively well without Batman. What is missing is the character work that has made this series so intriguing in its opening eight issues. This feels a little like a filler issue, and only briefly touches on what makes Damian Wayne tick, not to mention the cataclysmic events of the series' opening arc.
As with the rest of the 'Night Of The Owls' crossover, perhaps the most interesting facet of this issue is the brief glimpse at the history of the Court Of Owls, presented here as a brief two pagee interlude. Although it is a fairly meagre offering, it is the high point of the issue, helped in no small part by the atmospheric artwork of Andy Clarke.
Lee Garbett's vibrant, cartoony pencils work rather less well for the main portion of the story however. His style simply does not seem suited to Batman's world, and seems a little too light hearted in tone for a story of this magnitude. The colour palette works well throughout, but the pencils are slightly too cartoony, and lend the story an atmosphere not quite befitting the dark, moody Night Of The Owls crossover.
This issue is an entertaining sidestep, and a worthy portion of the crossover, but little more. The action feels vaguely inconsequential, although the insight into the Court of Owls is welcome as ever. Fun reading, but hardly essential.