By Matt Martin
You will rarely see a lighter week, as far as regular books go, than this one. With only two monthly titles shipping (and only one actually “in continuity”), pickings are looking mighty slim.
Batman & Robin #16
In just a week, all the griping about the tardiness of Return of Bruce Wayne will be over. However, for now, we get the next best thing: Grant Morrison’s final issue of Batman & Robin, a book that’s effectively been the companion piece to that Bat-Universe’s big event of 2010.
Batman & Robin #15 ended on a note that was so…effing…cool. Justifying this column’s previous claim that no one is better than Morrison on his A-game, the penultimate issue (in both the arc and Morrison’s run) ended in an action movie-style moment (with big grins from Dick and Damian as Bruce, back in costume and looking to kick ass, lurks unseen until the final splash panel of the issue) that would have felt cheesy and cliched from a lesser writer.
So this month, we get the natural conclusion: the showdown. With three generations of Bats fighting together in the Wayne family crypt against an impostor that sought to ruin the family’s standing in Gotham forever, we’re bound to have some bombastic action. At the same time, the Road Home mini ended with Dick and Damian unaware that their father-figure/father had returned, so here’s hoping Morrison makes time for that as well (there are 40 pages this time, so there’s a good chance of that).
Even in a bigger ship week, this would be THE book. This light week makes it even more so.
Batman Confidential #50
As anniversary issues go, this one is somewhat lacking. While it’s sort of a given at this point that Batman Confidential is the red-headed stepchild of the Bat-books, you’d think DC might have given a little bit more love to this book.
Instead, we get a $5, 56-page issue…that’s padded out with a reprint.
Frankly, the preview text makes absolutely nothing clear, other than a) it’s still out of continuity, b) an old school artist is coming back (Jerry Bingham, who did Son of the Demon, a classic), and c) Batman is fighting some forgotten villain (the reprint mentions a space vampire, which is not promising).
Take from this what you will…and keep in mind that for the same price, you can get our third issue of the week instead…
Batman/Catwoman: Follow the Money
Normally, when it comes to one-shots, your best bet is to wait and see (unless it’s an event tie-in…and even then, you should mostly wait and see). However, Follow the Money just might buck the trend.
The plot sounds cute enough: the Cavalier, a D-list Batman villain (currently moonlighting as Leslie Thompkins’ security guard at the free clinic, in continuity) at best, frames Catwoman and Bruce Wayne for some thefts and finds himself on the run from Batman and said cat burglar. Again, cute…but worth five bucks? Justified in five words:
Wall to wall Howard Chaykin.
Story, art, cover: all Howard Chaykin, for fifty-six pages.
It’s go time.
Batman & Robin Vol. 2: Batman vs. Robin (which was a fan-frigging-tastic story arc that lead directly into Return of Bruce Wayne) is out in hardcover and Batman: Battle for the Cowl is out in paperback. Additionally, the Red Hood: The Lost Days mini-series wraps up this week.
In contrast to the past couple of weeks, next week looks downright overloaded (even though it’s basically a normal slate of books), with Return of Bruce Wayne finally coming to a close, as well as Batgirl, Birds of Prey, Knight & Squire, and Red Robin.