Sunday, November 14, 2010

Batman & Robin #16

Overall: This issue begins by showing us how Dr. Hurt originally gained his immortality. Basically we learn that Hurt was possessed by Darkseid back in the past(or something reasonably close to that), but after the events of Final Crisis. In the present, Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne are attacked by an army of Hurt's goons in Wayne Manor, while Hurt makes a break for the Batcave. The three heroes take care of Hurt's goons, and Bruce tells Damian to make sure Dick gets some medical attention since Dick was shot in the back of the head by Hurt last issue. Dick and Damian leave, and Bruce heads down into the Cave to take care of Hurt once and for all. Upon arriving in the Cave, Bruce hears a two-way radio in which Alfred is telling Bruce that he was trapped someplace that was rapidly filling with water. Hidden from view, Hurt taunts Bruce, asking Bruce if he was going to save Alfred or try to apprehend him. Bruce wanders around the Cave trying to find Alfred, but ends up getting locked in an interrogation room by Hurt. Elsewhere, Dick and Damian defeat Prof. Pyg, who was inciting a riot in Gotham. Dick nearly collapses, but before he does, he tells Damian to disarm the bomb Joker had placed on a train under Gotham. Back in the Cave, Bruce has managed to escape from the interrogation room and has located Hurt. The two fight a bit, and Hurt jumps into the waters below the Cave, showing Bruce that Alfred was trapped in a capsule under the water, a capsule that was rapidly filling with water. Bruce chooses to save Alfred, which allows Hurt the opportunity to escape the Cave. Upon getting outside, Hurt runs into the Joker, who was waiting for him. Joker knocks Hurt unconscious and locks him in a big casket. From there, Joker goes to leave the grounds of Wayne Manor but is halted by Bruce and a right cross. A few days later, Bruce Wayne holds a press conference, where he tells the gathered media that he had to leave Gotham due to a big conspiracy against him(I guess that's how they're going to explain away the Thomas Wayne/Hush as Bruce Wayne things), and that he's been secretly funding Batman's operation with his fortune all these years. This issue ends with Bruce telling the media that Batman would be taking his battle against crime global, and that Wayne Enterprises would be backing and funding Batman Incorporated.

Grant Morrison is one hard to figure individual. I read Return of Bruce Wayne #6 right before I read this comic, and I HATED that comic with a passion. I then read this comic, and I thoroughly enjoyed it... Go figure. It was nice that Grant decided to explain who/what Hurt was in plain English for a change, but it was even better that he FINALLY ended the whole Bruce/Hurt storyline that seems like it's been going on forever now. So that was the good. It's the events at the end of this comic that I was kind of conflicted about... Bruce Wayne saying that he has always funded Batman is interesting to say the least. On one hand I really like the idea. It's a lot like how Tony Stark and Iron Man have always been associated over in Marvel. However, it's the Tony Stark/Iron Man thing which leaves me conflicted though. Now that Bruce has come out and connected himself to Batman, a lot of doors open up. Some villains are bound to go after Bruce Wayne to get at Batman, and some of the smarter villains/citizens of Gotham might be able to connect Bruce and Batman. So while it should make things in the Bat-books more interesting, it hurts some of the long established Bat-mythos. But I'm more than willing to see how this current direction plays out. As I said earlier, if nothing else, it should at the very least make things interesting...

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.Batman just punched the Joker's head off!!!

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