Batman and Robin #16 Review

And just like that Grant Morrison’s run on Batman and Robin comes to a close, and despite telling a story that at times might confuse even the greatest detective on earth he somehow managed to wrap everything up quite nicely, leaving the story in great position to be picked up by Peter J. Tomasi in #17 and himself in Batman Inc. #1. This also concludes the Black Glove story, which for those with good memory will recall started as far back as Batman #655, Morrison’s first issue in September 2006, as Batman held Joker’s [seemingly] dead corpse and the words “Zur En Arr” crept into the background. So this conclusion has been a long time coming, a treasure hunt to all Bat-readers, and within this issue are the gold and jewels we’ve been searching for all this time.

Bruce Wayne is back.

Doctor Hurt is Thomas Wayne, the devil worshiping black sheep in the Wayne family who indeed has had contact with/worships Barbatos, who is not Bruce but the Hyper-Adapter released by Darkseid to haunt Bruce. He’s very real and Hurt’s devotion and sacrifice to him could explain his ability to stay alive for so long.

One of Doctor Hurt’s final plays was to lock Bruce up in isolation quoting, “Batman R.I.P. Rot In Purgatory.”

We learn that Bruce’s father tried to help Thomas Wayne, but failed.

The Joker gets the last laugh as he poisons Hurt with Joker venom and buries him alive.

Damian asks, “What happens to Batman and Robin? Bruce replies, “Batman and Robin will never die, Damian.”

Bruce Wayne approaches Gotham, apologies for his absence, admits to funding Batman through the years and announces “Wayne Enterprises newest venture”…Batman Incorporated.

…whew…

Needless to say, this was one heck of an ending to one heck of a run that has me one heck of an excited Batman fan. Batman and Robin #16 wasn’t necessarily my favorite stand alone issue of the run (When is the last part of anything the best part?) but can hardly be handled as such; this is the final climactic scene before curtain call. What else is there to say or do other than exhale, sit back, think for a moment and then run to my longbox to shift through all my older issues and re-live parts of this whole thing. This is one of those moments where everything has come full circle and you just have to revel in it.

From beginning to end I loved this and am more than satisfied on how it all ended. And despite the final issue of Return of Bruce Wayne having yet to come out Bruce Wayne officially returned the moment he said his first words, “Is that Damian in a Robin costume?” Nothing passes this guy even when he just magically returned through a fireplace from time traveling.

This is unlike other issues; I can’t give it a traditional run down, so instead I’ll take the cheap way out – list some of my favorite parts, some predictions, and then please…share yours.

- Not the biggest fan of several artists for one issue but am used to Morrison’s musical chair game he plays with artists, plus it was all beautiful. So no complaints. And Doctor Hurt being buried alive after being poisoned by Joker, creepiest thing I may have ever seen in a Batman book. Holy Crap.

- The Joker getting Doctor Hurt with a banana, priceless.

- Forgot all about Damian’s bow skills, awesome.

- Professor Pyg is the sickest villain in Batman’s rogue gallery right now, actually creeps me out.

- Commissioner Gordon needs to shave his legs if he’s going to keep that skirt.

- Damian has come a long way from his first days in Wayne Manor, glad to see Bruce notices.

- Not crazy about Bruce going public (kinda) and Batman Incorporated but so far Batman has been just fine in Morrison’s hands, so count me in.

Morrison isn’t finished with Batman yet but this issue will mark the end of a run that is sure to be discussed and built on for years. Doctor Hurt being buried alive, Bruce fighting side-by-side with Dick as Batman, Damian fighting next to Bruce as Robin for the first time, all of these will be returned to for years to come and as always, it’s fun to witness Batman history in the making. And someday I’ll re-read Morrison’s run and when I get to this issue I’ll hardly be able to handle the excitement.

As with our Return of Bruce Wayne reviews I suggest reading Comics Alliance’s annotations, going over every page and breaking it down in details that are an incredible help. Here’s the link: Batman and Robin #16 annotations

A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING

Pros Cons
As a fan of Morrison’s run this was more than rewarding, and for Morrison haters, this was his last issue of B&R. Everyone wins. If switching artists mid-issue bugs you read this with a stress ball handy
Rating
98%

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3 Comments

  1. Jamie says:

    I can’t help but wonder if ed brubaker and grant morrision are the same guy… or if marvel and dc are the same company. this batman arc that is coming to an end is identical (in outline form) to the captain america arc from last year. how did this happen? Bat and Cap both preform a very similar function in their respective universe, and they both went through similar story arcs at the same time. and like captain america reborn, the return of bruce wayne has not concluded but bruce is back in all of his mags. now in terms of batman and robin, this could have been a scheduling error (cap reborn was supposed to be 4 issues – see front cover of issue 1 – but ended up being 5, so cap returned all over the place before the series concluded), but why release all of those ‘the rode home’ one shots BEFORE the last issue of RoBW? merely to annoy me? perhaps. oh well. still, i enjoyed the story.

    oh, and i’m pretty sure bruce wouldn’t write, ‘from the pages of the white casebook’ on the top of every entry in his white case books

  2. Jamie says:

    I can’t help but wonder if ed brubaker and grant morrision are the same guy… or if marvel and dc are the same company. this batman arc that is coming to an end is identical (in outline form) to the captain america arc from last year. how did this happen? Bat and Cap both preform a very similar function in their respective universe, and they both went through similar story arcs at the same time. and like captain america reborn, the return of bruce wayne has not concluded but bruce is back in all of his mags. now in terms of batman and robin, this could have been a scheduling error (cap reborn was supposed to be 4 issues – see front cover of issue 1 – but ended up being 5, so cap returned all over the place before the series concluded), but why release all of those ‘the rode home’ one shots BEFORE the last issue of RoBW? merely to annoy me? perhaps. oh well. still, i enjoyed the story.

    oh, and i’m pretty sure bruce wouldn’t write, ‘from the pages of the white casebook’ on the top of every entry in his white case books

    PS – i get an error every time i submit a comment. it takes me a million tries to get it submitted.

  3. Tommy says:

    Really disliked this issue, “Not the biggest fan of several artists for one issue…” no one is. Cameron Stewart is great for books like Seaguy, but no so much w/Batman. This is issue was as confusing and ridiculous as the cover; come on.

    I’m signing off after this issue – good riddance; had it’s moments but the whole “Batman Incorporated” seems like excrement to me. The only book I will be checking out is Detective Comics because I want to see Jock’s art.

    Not really a fan of Morrison’s work on Batman in general.

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