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Batman and Robin Eternal #19 Review

Fear Itself

Written by: Tim Seeley
Art by: Paul Pelletier, Tony Kordos, Rain Beredo, Carlos M. Mangual
Cover Price: $2.99
On Sale Date: Feb 10 2016

Okay, I wasn't a fan of last week's issue of Batman and Robin Eternal.  I'm hoping we can all put it behind us and get on with our lives and this series.  I always go into each issue with an open mind, but I have to admit, after getting everything off my chest last week, I was kind of excited to see what Tim Seeley had in store for us in his last two issues of the series.  I did enjoy his other issues so my hopes of something better weren't unfounded.  So, with the big mysteries of Eternal solved and behind us, what does Tim Seeley and Eternal have up their sleeves now?  Let's find out...

The issue opens up in an English Shop and through a crazy little scene, we are quickly reminded how last issue ended...Mother's signal (I promise I won't get hung up on the semantics this week) has turned every kid in town into a cold blooded killer.  It's brutal and pretty awesome and that continues in St. Hadrian's School for Girls.

The kind of destruction going on in St. Hadrian's would make Alice Cooper blush as students are attacking teachers in a free for all attack.  If you are a reader of Grayson, you'll recognize some of the faces, but the most important is Paris Pantoja.  She saves her teacher, Miss Gold, and as they run away asks if she can hear the voices telling them to kill the adults.

Okay, while I would have liked a little more explanation as to why Paris can fight the signal, I'll let it slide because it does set up what happens in the issue and gives certain kids a fighting chance.  Plus, I love Paris and it's a nice little shout out from one of the writers of Grayson. Don't get me wrong though, I really would have loved a little more explanation.

Meanwhile, Harper is still in the basement with Orphan and Poppy and the signal is working it's magic on her.  This is where I really would have loved to know Harper's age beforehand (and the age limit that the signal effects), but again, I'll go with it.  After Orphan quickly tells Poppy the rules of Mother's signal, Jason Todd shows up looking for Harper.  He finds her...and a taser.

We then head to the Spyral Control Center and the bulk of the characters and while Tim yells the obvious, Helena is freaking out and wants to know what is going on.  Really?  Last issue ended with everyone there getting ready for exactly what is happening.  They pretty much spelled it out completely.  

One thing I am used to in this series is the characters getting a lot of exercise...jumping to conclusions!  This time it's Tim who figures out that Mother is after Spyral's Hypnos and the Somnus Satellite.  You know, the satellite that can transmit a large scale signal to the entire world...the one we are just being told about.

That's when the signal makes it's way to Tim and Cassandra...huh???  Last issue, we were told that the room was soundproof and airtight.  What gives?  While I'm starting to get upset again, Dick ended last issue by saying him and Jason were going out to help, so why did he stay behind?  I guess he is just a lazy Dick.  Oh well, Back to our young heroes, Cassandra and Helena battle it out while Tim and Dick fight until Tim shakes it off and jumps to yet another conclusion...Scarecrow's Fear Gas can counteract the ichthys.  I actually like this.  It's a bit of reverse engineering of the process and it makes as much sense as anything else we've gotten in this series...I just wish it wasn't so forced on us.

After gassing the youngsters, Helena, Netz and Tim head off to shut down the satellite, while Dick and Cassandra go off to find Jason and Harper.  After a couple more Grayson in jokes (which I loved), Cassandra slaps a fear gas mask on Harper and while she can't hear Mother anymore, she has a reaction to the gas that really felt off from what Scarecrow told us a while back and what we saw pages before in this issue.  It really felt like a forced attempt at a thrilling cliffhanger.

I liked this issue better than last week's, but there are still so many problems with this series that make me angry with each page flip.  I realize that Tim Seeley is trying to push the story forward, but most of the major revelations in this issue seem to just happen without much explanation.  In the end, I like where this issue seems to be taking us, but I can't ignore the inconsistencies either.

I did like Paul Pelletier's art.  Besides some characters randomly losing their pupils, I had no real complaints and I think the art team did a good job with the extended action and fight scenes in this issue.

Bits and Pieces:

Tim Seeley jumps on Eternal this week and brings along the standard inconsistencies and while the big reveals felt overly forced, they push the overall story forward which I am grateful for.  Paul Pelletier's art was good and I'm not sure if this series has just made me punch drunk, but I didn't completely hate this issue.


This post first appeared on Weird Science DC Comics, please read the originial post: here

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Batman and Robin Eternal #19 Review


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