Bat Casebook by Jared Kardos

Welcome to another addition of The Bat Casebook. I’m sure you know the score by now—I read whatever new bat-related comic came out during the week and I review them. Why should you read my opinions? ‘Cause I’m that bloody awesome, is why! Anyway, this was a really light week, so let’s just blaze through these books.

BATMAN & ROBIN #8
Written by Grant Morrison
Drawn by Cameron Stewart
Colored by Tony Avina
Lettered by Jared K. Fletcher
Covers by Cameron Stewart and Frank Quitely

Is there any way to make it so that Batman & Robin always ships bi-weekly? I mean seriously, this has been a pretty sweet deal so far. It’d probably completely destroy the chance of Quitely ever doing another arc, but still!

Anyway, question—well, one, at least—were answered in this that we’ve been wondering since the end of Final Crisis—the body of Bruce that they’ve had here in the present? One of Darkseid’s clones from when they had Bruce imprisoned and were siphoning his memories to create the perfect minions. That makes a lot of sense—and is far more explainable then the “Bruce’s body died, but his mind was transported in a new body” theory that I had—and it really puts into place why this is a “spiritual” cross-over with Blackest Night—like Nekron, Darkseid downloaded the memories of Bruce into this body and it was resurrected, but twisted and nothing like the Bruce we all know and love.

But none of our intrepid heroes know about this—it isn’t until “Bruce” tries to kill one of them that Dick realizes this and they try to take him down. Unfortunately, that only really works to bring down part of the cave and seemingly kills Batwoman in the process—though that’s part of her plan. Meanwhile, Clone-Bruce hijacks their plane, heads back to Wayne Tower, and is out to get Alfred and Damian, who’s still confined to a wheelchair.

Overall I dug this issue—it answered a big question, had some amazingly rendered fight scenes, and it makes you want to see how Dick, Kate, Knight and Squire are going to get back to Gotham in time to save Alfred and Damian, which is what a great serialized superhero series should do. However, if we don’t see Alfred lay into Clone-Batman with his trusty shotgun, I will be a touch disappointed.

BATGIRL #7
Written by Bryan Q. Miller
Penciled by Lee Garbett
Inked by Trevor Scott
Colored by Guy Major
Lettered by John J. Hill
Cover by Phil Noto

Speaking of great cliffhangers, the previous issue of this book ended with a pretty good one: Batman’s out of commission, with the super-villains Riot, Doctor Phosphorous and Roxy Rocket going after him, with the whole world watching thanks to the villainous Roulette—will the two young superheroes we love as much as they hate each other, Batgirl and Robin save him in time? Find out, true believers—right now!

Overall this was a great issue—very exciting, full of funny little moments, and really cements Stephanie as a full-fledged, down-right competent super-hero. She definitely gets the “Big Damn Hero” moment for using Roxy’s rocket to take out Doctor Phosphorous. Even “Batman” had to admit that was a pretty clever way to take out two villains in one swoop, even if it was the kinder, gentler Batman—but I’m sure even Bruce would have gruffly nodded in approval. I also loved the further establishing the sibling rivalry between Stephanie and Damian.

Overall it was a great issue and a solid end to a cool arc. If this was any other week when Batman & Robin wasn’t on in the same week, this probably would have been my favorite bat-book of the week. I eagerly await this upcoming cross-over between this and Red Robin.

Like I said, this was a light week, but packed to the brim with some awesome stuff. Next week is definitely not going to be light, with Batman #696, Batman: Streets of Gotham #9, and Azarel #5.