Comics / Comic Reviews / DC Comics

Batman and Robin #12

By Dan Horn
May 7, 2010 - 20:51


In last month's review of Batman & Robin #11, I stated that Grant Morrison and Andy Clarke's "Batman vs. Robin" arc was leading up to something big. Unfortunately, I was only partially correct. Whereas the climax to the three-parter kind of leaves readers high and dry, an iconic villain finally resurfaces after his ostensible death in "RIP": the Joker!

The revelation of Sexton's identity as the notorious clowned prince of crime is a nice "Oh, sh*t!" moment... That is, until you really think about it. They masked the Joker's identity so well, even changing the shape of his face while he's wearing Oberon Sexton's mask, you begin to wonder if the plan was even to unveil him as the Joker the entire time. Consider also his new martial arts prowess and you have to ask yourself, "Is this the Joker we've all grown to cherish as the archetypal comic book nemesis?" Did he crawl out of that river after "RIP" and decide it was high time to start investing in classes at the Gotham Tiger Schulman's? With the annoyingly vocal portrayal of the Joker in "RIP" and this current incarnation, Morrison is one pitch away, in my mind, from striking out when it comes to writing the infamous psychopath.

As I said earlier, the climax is rather--well--anticlimactic to say the least. The whole Batman vs. Robin gimmick never really plays out, and any really interesting plot developments are quickly resolved in a matter of several panels. Honestly, the whole story arc seems more like a way to stall (with Bruce Wayne soon returning and what not).

All of that aside, there are some moments of genuine character development and plot progression. Dustin Nguyen and Scott Hanna also lend the newcomer Andy Clarke a hand in this issue and really improve upon the past two issues' somewhat amateurish artwork. This little diversion may not have been as visionary as Morrison's previous work on the series, but it's not horrible by any stretch of the imagination. Let's hope Grant hits the next few issues of the series out of the park. I, for one, am very interested to see what comes next as Joker becomes reincorporated into the stew, Thomas Wayne, most likely the disenfranchised former leader of the Black Glove, reemerges, and the Penitente makes his ominous return to Gotham.

Rating: 8 /10

Last Updated: September 6, 2021 - 08:15

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