Thursday, November 4, 2010

Batman and Robin #16

It really is amazing, the similarities between Batman's story and the recent storyline in Captain America.

(And no, I don't think one company or the other "ripped off" the idea - I really think it's just the way things go in comics sometimes. Great minds think alike.)

Both heroes were apparently killed, but were actually lost in time, and eventually made their way back to the present. We assume that's what happens with Batman, since the final issue of The Return of Bruce Wayne hasn't been published yet.

You'll remember that the final issue in Marvel's mini-series returning Cap to the present was delayed, so he appeared in other comics before we actually learned how it happened.

Now the same thing has happened with Bruce (Batman) Wayne, as he puts in an appearance in this issue of Batman and Robin - he's back before his time.

But that's modern-day comics publishing, I suppose. At any rate, the final issue of this title written by Grant Morrison is the big wrap-up, and all those disparate story threads are pulled together (more of less - mostly more).

We learn the secret behind the Black Mask, the Joker plays a pivotal role, Professor Pyg's scheme is revealed, Robin (Damien) shows he's a real hero, Dick (Batman) Grayson proves he's incredibly tough, and we get a glimpse of the future path for the bat-books.

Whew! That's a lot of ground for a regular-sized comic.

The art is something of a mixed bag. Three artists handled the duties (I smell scheduling problems), and while some of the changes between styles are a bit jarring, overall the art is quite enjoyable.

I have to say, I've enjoyed Morrison's run on this comic, and I'm sorry to see him go. His stories have been challenging, often convoluted, but well worth the effort to unravel. I'm looking forward to his next project, whatever that might be.

Grade: A-


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