How many Batman books is too many Batman books? Depending on who you ask there ain’t no such thing! We try to stay up on what’s going on at DC, but we can’t always dig deep into every issue. The solution? Our weekly round-up of titles coming out of DC Comics. Today, we’re discussing Batman and Robin Eternal 25 and Superman: Lois and Clark 6.
Batman and Robin Eternal 25
Michael: Team Robin continues its worldwide defense as Mother’s brainwashed legions attack all of the conveniently recognizable locations around the globe. We get glimpses of our familiar Bat family members as well as characters like Talon — remember when James Tynion IV tried to launch a half-baked series based off of The Court of Owls? In classic boss level fashion, Dick has to needlessly fight Azrael before he can reach Mother at the end of the game. Meanwhile Cullen Row and Midnighter are at the helm at HQ while the Bat fam is in the field, until they decide that Midnighter could do a better job fighting the “Orphans” himself.
Since this is a Steve Orlando written issue, it should come as no surprise that the best part of this issue is Midnighter. Midnighter taking down all of the Orphans on his own is such a perfect solution to this battle; which begs the question: why wasn’t he involved in the actual fight until this moment? I suppose he was placed in the control room because of his predictive tactical abilities, but after the “deus ex Midnighter” solution of Batman and Robin Eternal 25 it’s clear he should’ve been leading the ground assault.
The “final battle” portion of Batman and Robin Eternal has been dragging on for several issues now, so we take an expositional respite for our characters to explicitly state what they are fighting for. Dick tells Azrael why fighting him is just another manifestation of Mother brainwashing him; though by saying as much, Dick is kinda brainwashing him himself. And in true villain fashion, Mother doubles down on her rhetoric by saying the tried and true “the only way people can be free is if they’re controlled.” Or something.
Superman: Lois and Clark 6
Mark: I’ll say this: even though the stakes were contrived, this was the most enjoyable issue of Superman: Lois and Clark in quite some time. Yes, “Bad Ass Nation” continues to be awful, and the only way the events surrounding Blackstone and his hot-for-TV demolition of a major bridge even begin to make sense is if you completely turn off your brain. And, yes, the idea of a hero having to choose between saving the ones he loves and save innocent civilians is a harried genre trope. But at least something happened this month, and at least (most of) it made sense. That’s a huge step up for this book.
I have to admit I’m worried about Dan Jurgens taking over Action Comics come Rebirth. As much as I love pre-Flashpoint Superman, Lois and Clark has been coasting on that goodwill for its entire run. And while Rebirth clearly wants to appeal to readers who left during New 52, Jurgens’ retro style feels out of step with modern comics. Honestly, pre-Superman: Lois and Clark I probably would have been pumped. Now, it’s a bit discouraging.
The conversation doesn’t stop there, because you certainly read something that we didn’t. What do you wanna talk about from this week?