Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Batman and Red Robin #19

The grieving period for Damians' death hasn't been well received. I'm not talking about the fact he was killed off but rather how forced the "Requiem" plots feel for readers. The only title that actually seems like the obvious place to explore it without making it seem out of place would be this title. Since some of my problems with this series stemmed from how Tomasi wrote Damian and reduced the other Robins I hoped that this title would be easier to read. It's a mixed bag.
Bruce using Frankenstein to figure out how to bring Damian back. I expected that after seeing the character in scans that were released earlier. Yes Bruce has gone through this before but there are some things to consider. 1.) Damian was part Al Ghul which would likely make it harder to accept that he wasn't coming back. Since the pit isn't mentioned I think it's safe to assume they can't be used anymore. (Which should make Ras more interesting.) 2.) Bruce was tempted to bring Jason back although not through this process. He admitted to plotting to revive him via the pit and was tempted by a demon. I forget why the first fell through but the second was long after the death. This is admittedly pretty extreme though not surprising for me although it's odd that Tim had to ask Alfred why Bruce was acting off.

I mean this is TIM DRAKE. No matter how canon changed his origin this is still the kid that became his partner because he saw Batman grieving and wanted to help. Not only should he realize this (especially since he was there when Damian died) he should have seen it coming. It makes sense that Alfred would call him of all the bat kids because of that but it's never mentioned. In fact it becomes weirder still when Tim says he sometimes wonder if Batman needs anyone at all. Coming from the kid that believed Batman needed a Robin. Still I get it, he's mad that Bruce kept secrets (disregarding all the other times he did) but still I think Tim takes it pretty well. Much better than Dick or Babs. He comes when Alfred calls to help Bruce out, calmly explains why he's upset, and tries to get him to see reason before he makes a choice that ends up getting Bruce pissed at him.

I'm not sure why Alfred got annoyed with the supposed lack of respect Tim showed when all he did was make a offhanded comment. Really this is just behind Jasons' reaction in RHATO #17 in terms of cool and collected. I'm disappointed that we didn't get to see more of Tim or get a better understanding of his thought process. Except for his sad expression to Bruces' anger and refusal to let him turn Damian into the same creature Frankenstein is there's nothing to give us a clue into his own feelings over their loss.

Carrie Kelley was just sort of here and I have nothing much to really say about her. But she doesn't seem to know that Damian died (or judging by her costume Robin) despite the fact it was released to the press in INC.? I mean that happened right? This also gives me more proof that no one ever watched Damian close enough. I mean you'd think they would since Bruce broods at the case all the time. Yes his kids should have a life of their own but he really gave Damian that much freedom? The guy that we've seen keep tabs of his other kids including tracking devices in their uniforms? I'd say that Bruce gave him too much space since he never seemed to know where his ten year old was.

Bruces' screaming speech hurt to read at times, it was that bad. It didn't feel natural at all and trust me, I've read plenty of his grieving issues. Then again nothing about the handling of this has felt right since it began. The DOTF tension just rings so false and as a result makes the death lose impact. It makes them petty people that should know better than anyone how he'll act but are too concerned with their own hurt feelings to care. Like I said I think Tim was mostly written well in this but the fact he has to ask what's wrong is mind boggling. Then we get more "Damian was the perfect son" crap since Bruce thinks he's the only one of them that deserved better because he trusted him unconditionally. The only time I recall that happening was when Damian said he was the only one to be on his fathers' side in DOTF in B & R #15. In the actual DOTF he never said one word to suggest he believed Batman and at the end even spent the night away from him looking upset.

I did like the humor in the fact Tim has to clean up Batmans' mess and sew Frank back together. Still this makes me worry about the upcoming issues. The choices for these stages of grief are a little on the nose in terms of character perceptions but don't make sense in with where the are right now. Jason is rage and Dick is acceptance. Jason and Bruce currently made up while Dick seems to be the most pissed off with him (despite being okay in DOTF.) Even Denial would have made sense for Jason since he died and came back so maybe Damian would too. So hopefully Brue won't do the crap I've been dreading by comparing the deaths to make Jason feel like crap or for Jason to be a jerk despite not being that way in his own comic.

Say What?: Talia didn't kill Damian. Yes she was created the monster that killed him but why not say that? Or is it too weird to say "he was murdered by his aged super powered clone"?

Superman still died? What?

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