Review: Batman and Robin #8

“Cult of Man-Bat” Part Two
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Nikola Čižmešija

Color Artist: Rex Lokus
Letterer: Steve Wands
Review by James Attias

Batman and Robin #8 delivers the first misstep in what’s been, up until now, my favorite dynamic duo series in years.

Let’s swoosh in…

Twisted Sister

Flatline and Robin, the dynamic duo we thought we wanted… but her already forgettable sister (whom I’ve just realized, as I’m writing this, was just a gimmick to bring in Flatline!) Sadly, this was a forgettable interlude in what started out as an interesting story.

Damian’s always been too young or too focused on his mission to really warrant a love interest. This isn’t to say the young lad hasn’t dabbled (his love for Djinn in Adam Glass’ stellar Teen Titans run was a great example. It showed a selfless and caring side to Dmain that we’d never seen before). Flatline, however, could be his first, hormone led teen flame. It’s fun to read for the character as you know he’s trained in everything twice over, yet still suffers in the arena of love.

Cult and Run

The cover of this book was drawn by a series mainstay, but the interiors were by… someone else. So the visuals, the story, and everything else felt a little jarring, compared to what we’ve had for the previous issues, and really did pull me out of the story. This is a shame as if the art had remained consistent, I may have overlooked the few plot holes.

The rest of the book sees the other odd couple, Batman and Shush, working together. The antagonist claims to have activated Man-Bat; side note: I demand to know what happened to Man-Bat between when he “died” and now appears as a half-rabid, half-genius cult leader. There’s too much going on for me to pretend that nothing’s happened.

Shush being behind Man-Bat’s came as something of a surprise, particularly to all of us Hush fans out there. I think we were kind of hoping that she was the string-pulling big bad behind all of this… but seeing how the issue ends, perhaps the real danger is the giant cult-leading monster Man-Bat.

Conclusion

Batman and Robin #8 is hopefully just a hiccup in an otherwise great run. Only the next issue will tell…

Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment


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