Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Pencils by Cliff Richards
Inks by Mark Irwin & Mario Alquiza
Colors by John Kalisz
Published by DC Comics
The ‘Stages of Grief’ storyline continues as the focus seems to shift from Batman, and instead we see the scenes through the eyes of Batgirl. Barbara Gordon, who is struggling with her own life failures and self-doubt, narrates most of the issue, as she tries to get a hold of Batman to talk about the recent events. I think this was an interesting way to go, considering both the Red Robin and Red Hood issues were from Bruce’s point of view.
With that, for once, the Batman & Robin title wasn’t my favorite of the month, and that’s unheard of for me. The story just didn’t really go in the direction I was expecting, though that’s not to say it was bad. For a title that, let’s be honest, is really about Damian, regardless of his death, this issue didn’t seem to be about anything concerning him. There was nothing really about Bruce healing in this one, but rather seemed to be about Barbara’s struggle to move on from her own discretions. Though Barbara’s willingness to be a Robin if that’s what Bruce needed was pretty powerful.
As for the art, it was fine. For me Gleason’s work has become synonymous with the title, so it’s always weird to not see his stuff, but Richards carried it on nicely. It was good to have the familiarity of Kalisz’s colors, though there was one panel where the bat-symbol on Barbara’s chest was colored, when it shouldn’t have been. But I’m just being nitpicky.
I was also a little confused, as Bruce and Barbara were talking about Damian, but showing Jason’s Robin costume. I’m not sure if that was a mistake, or if done purposefully. It didn’t bother me, I could see it being done purposefully as it was pretty consistent. And it also made sense in the context of what they were saying, but only if you thought about it. But it seemed a little strange, since nothing specific was explained.
I wouldn’t say this issue is a misstep – It seems everything Tomasi puts into this title is important for something later on – but it wasn’t my favorite. That could just be my stubbornness, of course, as I’ve never been the biggest fan of Batgirl to begin with. But at this point, I think I’m more curious about the Nightwing issue of this storyline, and where the title will go from here since one of the title characters continues to no longer be with us.
3 out 5 nerds