Batman and Robin #6 Review

Though Morrison initially started this Red Hood arc strong the last issue was very disappointing. From the first two issues I felt as though this is a very thin story that Morrison is really stretching on to make look like a real story. And it is a bit shocking considering how much I enjoyed the initial arc Morrison did on Batman and Robin. So let see if Morrison can turn things around with Batman and Robin #6 that finishes up this Red Hood arc.

Creative Team
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Philip Tan
Inker: Jonathan Glapion
Colorist: Alex Sinclair

Story Rating: 3 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 4 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: The issue begins with Dick and Damian tied up naked to two chairs sitting in front of a laptop hearing Red Hood’s message that is being broadcasted on the internet. Red Hood says that if people want to see who Batman and Robin really are to dial the number of his location. Dick and Damian can’t believe it but they then hear some gunshots coming from the outside.

Outside Flamingo is standing over Jason who is unconscious on the floor. He is attacked by Scarlett who Flamingo easily takes care off with his whip. Flamingo tries to take her face of but she stops him with a knife to his knee and Flamingo knees her in the face. Jason finally gets up and shots Flamingo in the shoulder which earns him a beating at the hands of Flamingo.

Back to Dick and Damian’s location they both are able to untie themselves while an old lady votes to see who Batman and Robin are. Dick and Damian get their Batman and Robin gear on in time for their identities not to be revealed and they tell the audience “The Red Hood promises way more than he can deliver. Batman and Robin say….get a life!”

Batman and Robin look through the room they are in and notice that they are in some sort of RV. Batman figures that because Jason’s HQ was always moving it made it hard to find Jason’s HQ. Batman then radios Alfred asking him about Flamingo. Alfred says Flamingo should be handled

Back outside Jason and Flamingo are fighting with Flamingo shooting Jason in the cheek and in his knee. Both Jason and Scarlett are on the ground all bloody with Flamingo ready to finish them off when a rocket flies right by Flamingo.

Flamingo turns around and is attacked by Batman. Batman and Flamingo start fighting. As they fight Flamingo is able to side step Batman’s strike and makes him fall off a ledge.

This leaves only Robin and Scarletts the only ones to fight Flamingo and they are both easily taken care of. He then shoots Robin in the back a few times. Scarlett uses this time to attack Flamingo from behind and stands him in the eye. After that Jason comes in with some construction equipment to sweep Flamingo up and dump him over a ledge with a bunch of rocks falling on top of him.

Batman finally makes it back to the top were he checks on Robin who is unable to move or feel anything below his waist. Jason tries to goad Batman into a fight but Batman does not do anything but tell Jason that he is a mess. Jason then says that he was able to do what Batman couldn’t and that is destroy his arch-enemy and the cops come to take him away.

Batman and Commissioner Gordon talk about what happens and Batman tells Gordon Robin will be okay as the “paramedics” (League of Assassins) have come to pick Robin up. We see Jason being dragged away screaming that Batman could revive him (Bruce Wayne) using the Lazarus Pit and that Batman is fool for not doing that. Batman just says Jason is a fool and walks away from the scene to let Gordon and the cops clean the rest up.

We then see Scarlett driving away with her face messed up leaving Gotham.

In some hotel room Oberon Sexton answers a phone call from El Penitente who tells Oberon that he has unfinished business in Gotham.

In the morning Dick, still wearing the Batman costume sans cowl, is walking through a hall and walks up to a key pad and enters the code Zur-En-Arrh. A door opens and we see a case with Batman costume with what looks to be Bruce’s body wearing the costume. End of issue.

Commentary
The Good: Batman and Robin #6 was a horrible read. Morrison provided what is his worst issue on Batman and Robin so far with this issue. And for a run that has been good so far it is disappointing to see that Morrison turned in such a poor effort on the ending to the second story arc of this young series.

Still to abide by the Revolution’s Rule of Positivity there was one good thing in this issue and that was the one and done villain Flamingo. Though the way Flamingo went out was a bitch move Morrison did do a good job making Flamingo into a credible threat as he was able to takedown Robin, Jason, and Scarlett by himself. It makes me wish he would have stuck around then have been killed off as he was a good original villain.

The Bad: Batman and Robin #6 lacked any real substance. And from beginning to end I felt like this issue was a chore to read and I did not get the same enjoyment out this issue that I got from the first four issues of this young series that Morrison provided. A lot of the dialogue that Morrison wrote felt really forced, and the few times were he tried to be funny he was not.

One of the things I really came away with from this issue is that Morrison just cannot write comedy. There were a couple jokes he tried to write in this issue and none of them worked. And Robin’s line about expecting scary not gay was just horrible writing and I really don’t see the need for that type of line to be said as it is a complete eye roller.

Aside from that I also don’t like how he wrote Jason Todd throughout this three issue story arc. The version he presents us of Jason is just basically your generic psycho with father issues. Nothing about him is interesting, which is a shame as this just gives us even more proof that DC has allowed all the potential of Jason’s return to be thrown out the window and just give us another psycho character that is not at all interesting. I really have lost all interest in the character and I the way I feel for Jason is the same way I feel about Superboy-Prime: If I never see them again I will be happy.

Also I thought Jason’s plan was completely stupid. I do not see how he thought some regular rope would hold Dick and Damian. He should know better since he was trained by Bruce and should know Dick would escape from something as simple as that. I really don’t see the reasoning for doing such a stupid plan just because Jason wants to humiliate Dick and Damian. Just bad writing.

And if I remember right, the Lazarus Pit isn’t what brought back Jason it was actually Superboy-Prime punching that wall or whatever it was back in Infinite Crisis. This was explained back in the Batman Annual after the arc that reintroduced Jason as the Red Hood, which I do not remember the number to. And as I remember it Jason was able to make it to a hospital and basically he as dumb as a raison until Ra’s picked him up and put him in Lazarus Pit in order for him to regain full mental capacity. So Jason wasn’t actually never brought back by the Lazarus Pit but only healed from the injuries he suffered from being buried all that time after going to the hospital.

And even if that is not in continuity anymore and DC has decided to go with this version of how Jason was brought back then this is the first time I am hearing this. For something like this I would like more than just the cheap explanation of Jason being brought back by the Lazarus Pit. Because really the way Morrison presents it just makes his return sound cheap, basically.

Also I did not like how Morrison decided to just kill off Flamingo after spending two and a half issues. I honestly thought that Dick would be the one to take down Flamingo since Morrison hasn’t really given Dick a credible victory as Batman so far other than fighting a guy in a pig costume. And with how Flamingo was shown to takedown Jason, Damian, and Scarlett it would have given Dick a good victory to give him more credibility as Batman but that did not happen as we get a cheap death for Flamingo.

As someone who has actually like seeing Dick Grayson in the role of Batman it feels as though Morrison is just rushing towards bringing Bruce back as he showed that Dick does know Bruce is alive. And though that last page is a bit vague in what it means it kind of looks that way and if it does it basically makes Dick look like an asshole for how he has treated Tim. I don’t think it is in character for Dick to keep something like this from Tim since they are brothers and Dick knows that Tim is a bit on the neurotic side with feeling abandoned by his friends. And this just opens a whole bunch of can of worms that don’t look good.

Also, if that is supposed to be Bruce’s body than my question is why is it there. Last I checked Bruce’s body was buried next to his parents and Bruce’s skull is actually in the possession of Black Hand. And from all accounts this issue I is suppose to take place before Blackest Night since the next issue of Batman and Robin, which we don’t get until January, ties into Blackest Night somehow. So again it feels as though Morrison is doing his own thing and not following continuity that has been set since I am sure as the main architect of Bruce’s death and return Morrison knew what Johns was going to do with the character’s corpse in Blackest Night. So that is no excuse not to follow some continuity.

Another thing I did not like is how it seems that Morrison is going to quickly do away with the whole Damian being paralyzed angle. When I first saw Robin get show a few times in the back that was definitely a “Oh Shit!” moment in this issue which was done away with at the end when the League of Assassin’s doctors came into the scene. Morrison could have milked this angle of Damien being paralyzed but it is just now going to be done away with through the use of the Lazarus Pit or some other super comic book science we will not see.

And just as a small thing the scene with the League of Assassin’s appearing reminds me: Where the hell is Talia. It has been a while since I have seen her around. I don’t think we have actually seen her since the very end of Batman: RIP where she took out Jezebel Jet. With Dick taking care of her son I would think she would be around more and not be non-existent. Which I just find weird no writer has incorporated her in to a story especially Morrison.

Philip Tan provided some very unimpressive artwork. Though some of it was good overall it was all way to inconsistent and at times it was hard to tell what was going on with the heavy inking that was going on. And actually towards the last third of the issue I felt as though there was an artist change because the art look very different which I do not know if it was because of the inking or the coloring. But it all just looked rushed and sloppy.

Overall: Batman and Robin #6 was a very disappointing issue. As someone who has also found Morrison to be a hit-or-miss type writer with his stories this is a very passable storyline that I recommend just skipping. The only reason you may pick it up is if you’re a hardcore Morrison fan or a completist, like me, and you already had the previous two issues of this arc. Other than that I don’t recommend picking up this issue as there really isn’t anything that was well written and the art was subpar at best.
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Kevin

3 Comments

  1. With regards to the call to Oberon Sexton, that looked to me like it was in fact Dr. Hurt — see the remnants of Bruce Wayne's dads mask — and teh scars on his back which, might be, where his wings were taken away if he really is Satan/Lucifer.

    I thought the bit at the end was in fact Scarlet's "false face" 😉 coming off which therefore meant she was now free to go and live a new life.

  2. What makes you think Morrison wants Dick Grayson to have any credibility as Batman? Grayson's only real purpose here is to serve Damian's story.

    It seems like very few people at DC understand the value of Dick Grayson as a character instead of a tool.
    I just hope that when Morrison is done, someone else will get to take him out of the cowl and back to starring in stories written to be about him.

  3. A brief bit of google led me to

    " El Penitente is a dance of the Penitentes of the Southwest, a sect which believes in the purification from sin through severe penance. Even today, the sect practices its ancient rites, though they are banned by the Catholic Church as unholy acts. (…) El Penitente is presented in the manner of the old traveling shows. Isamu Noguchi designed the original set, including a screen, which covered over the girl- Virgin, Magdalen, Mother- when she had committed the crime, the seduction of the penitent.
    In the original production, Erick was the Penitent, and Merce Cunningham, the Christ figure.
    (Martha Graham, Blood Memory)"

    ..purification of sin through penance eh ? Hmm… like maybe spending your whole life battling crime and the whole level of pain and suffering that goes with that eh ?

    We know Dr. Hurt is coming back from the preview in the early issue as well….

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