With only two chapters left, the series has reached its endgame, so it’s not surprising that “Batman and Robin Eternal” #24 doesn’t pull any crazy left turns. That said, there’s more than enough here to keep readers’ attention as James Tynion IV, Scott Snyder, Steve Orlando, Alvaro Martinez and Raul Fernandez serve up a global fight as well as Harper Row’s long-awaited choice.
The sequence with Harper Row has been telegraphed from day one of this series, doubly so once Cassandra’s specific role in Harper’s origin was revealed. Tynion, Snyder and Orlando still give it some punch, though. They don’t fake the reader out with false statements from Harper to try and get a rise out of you; instead, we see her quietly taking in everything Mother is serving up to her. By the time we get to the final page and Harper is given her turning point, they’ve done a good job of both pulling out the tension and also giving us the moment to launch the next chapter. At this point, I don’t think any reader will be expecting Harper to actually kill Cassandra, so Tynion, Snyder and Orlando focus instead on the eventual rejection of Mother as being entertaining rather than up for debate.
It’s also fun to see the extended Bat family fighting off Mother’s army on a global scale. The number of people associated with Batman has grown over the last year or two, and it’s nice to see all of these faces jumping in courtesy of Midnighter’s doors, with some forgotten faces like Talon and Batwoman joining the fray. What helps make this work so well is the fact that all parties involved keep it from just being punches thrown. There are lots of little fun moments, like how Red Robin uses the doors to accentuate his fighting or Red Hook’s bar-brawl moves. Martinez and Fernandez take these ideas and really bring them to life; there’s a lot of energy on the pages and I appreciate how well Orlando’s script matches the actual visuals. This is a good art team to bring us closer towards the finale, with every character looking distinct and efficient. I especially like their depictions of Harper, who again looks thoughtful and pensive but never traitorous or murderous. It’s a fine line to cross, but they’re playing fair with the reader.
“Batman and Robin Eternal” #24 is in many ways reflective of the series as a whole; it’s been a bit more straightforward and without all of the intertwined plot threads of “Batman Eternal,” and it also feels focused and to the point. It’s been a fun series, and I’m glad it wasn’t stretched out over a full year this time around.