BATMAN and ROBIN (2023- ) #7 Review

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SYNOPSIS: Batman and Robin are on the hunt for Man-Bat and Shush, but their search is interrupted by the return of Flatline, Damian’s crush from the Lazarus Tournament! But what has followed her to Gotham?!


Despite the cover proclamation, artist Simone Di Meo returns to Gotham City with this issue, continuing the Man-Bat and Shush storylines. Giovanna Niro handles the colors, returning the vibrancy to the palette that we saw in the first few issues.

Man-Bat’s cult continues to grow in strength and as Batman and Robin try and quell the discord the cult is sowing they get joined by Flatline. Williamson ties this in with his Robin series so those who missed it get caught up by the art and dialogue. I appreciate what he does here by giving Damian his own Catwoman. Batman even makes the comparison and I liked his slight smile as he cautions his son.

While this continues to be a Robin-led series, Batman doesn’t feel as subservient in this issue, increasing my enjoyment. It was nice to see him take charge and not feel like he was following Damian’s lead.

The interplay between Robin and Flatline is great. It should come as no surprise that Williamson knocks that aspect out of the park, given that he created that dynamic. The added layers to Flatline and her backstory will be familiar if you’ve read the 2021 Robin Annual, but I am enjoying the secret she is keeping from Damian. I’m far more interested in this new plot than Shush, but that may be due to the aforementioned relationship between Damian and Flatline. Well, that and the fact that Flatline is talking to the ghost of a certain someone.

I really like Di Meo’s art, but at the same time, some of his layouts are hard for me to follow. The angle choices he makes for his shots at times just seem odd and put a weird focus on the action. His Batman looks magnificent and threatening when he needs to be and two of the two-page spreads on this issue were equally strong. The colors by Niro helped with the art separation and added to my appreciation.

So, while I am not in love with this book like I am with some of the Black Label titles, this was a pretty decent entry for this series. It didn’t feel as silly or out of place as some of the recent issues and there were a few good character moments. I still cannot muster enthusiasm for Shush and what her dynamic is with Man-Bat, but at least Flatline offers an interesting plot wrinkle. Javier E. Trujillo

GRADE: B-

 

 

 

 

 

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Javier Trujillo
Javier E. Trujillo was a Batman fan long before the 1989 blockbuster opened on his 12th birthday. After following BATMAN-ON-FILM.COM -- the "Dad-Gum Original" -- since its inception, he started to write for BoF in 2019, covering Batman's 80th anniversary. He's a lover of all eras and aspects of The Dark Knight, but artist Jim Aparo will always be how he pictures him. When on the internet, odds are it's because he's talking about Batman or James Bond (or MAYBE Wally West). He resides in the "Live Music Capital of the World" (and also the genesis of Adam West's Bat-Boat), Austin, TX. You can follow him on Twitter @JaviTru or on Instagram @TheBondIsNotEnough.