Working off a story from Scott Snyder and James Tynion, Tim Seeley turns in a script for Batman and Robin Eternal #3 that is simultaneously full of bouncy Bat- (or Robin) banter with some choice douchiness from Red Hood and scenes both past and present featuring the dark psychological effects of the Scarecrow’s fear toxin. This is somehow connected to the “mysterious” Mother, which our heroes are no closer to finding her identity. But there is still plenty of conflict as Dick Grayson’s Spyral colleague Poppy Ashemoore goes off the reservation, and threat level of the series increases when an important supporting character is put in the crosshairs of Mother and her creepy operatives.
After last week’s blockbuster opening, Batman and Robin Eternal #2 has a little bit of a sophomore slump as a mysterious assassin almost beats Harper Row (aka Bluebird) to death until she is saved by Dick Grayson and a silent, deadly Cassandra Cain, who runs off to do other mysterious things. After the extended action scene, most of the issue is Stephanie freaking out about Dick being alive along with a flashback of Batman and Dick Grayson as Robin fighting the Scarecrow with some twisted, horror influenced art from Paul Pelletier and Tony Kordos and a bendy, trippy color scheme from Rain Beredos. This sequence makes up for a mostly lackluster fight scene between the mystery attacker, Cass, and Dick in which Pelletier starts strong with a kinetic double page spread of a full bodied kick from Cassandra Cain before pulling back from the action and even using storytelling shortcuts that diminish potential acrobatics from Grayson.
Batman and Robin Eternal #1 is a genre spanning (superhero and possession horror), kick in the pants start to this weekly comic event. Scott Snyder and James Tynion set up a creepy, overarching storyline for the series by exploring the tragic side of being a Robin. (They don’t usually get out alive.) Artists Tony Daniel and Sandu Florea use speed lines, little circles, and every tool in the action cartoonist’s toolbox to give the comic a hyperactive feel as the various Robins swing, kick, and ride into action while wisely utilizing full page spreads for surprise reveals that burst the nostalgia bubble of “Batman and Robin forever”. By the end of Batman and Robin Eternal #1, readers will see the relationship between the Caped Crusader and his various sidekicks in a new, complicated light.