by RILEY GOLDEN//Entertainment Editor
Several years ago, Batman went to someone known as Mother for something she specialized in: traumatizing children with the death of their parents to turn them into whatever she or her customer wanted them to be. In this case, a new Robin —the perfect Robin.
In the comic “Batman & Robin Eternal Vol. 2,” Dick Grayson, Tim Drake, and Jason Todd (all past Robins) are all working a case that not even the World’s Greatest Detective could finish. Following the events of “Batman & Robin Vol. 1,” Dick, Tim, and Jason are at least halfway aware of what Batman has done while trying to apprehend Mother. Now they all want to know which one of them was ripped away from their life by Batman, while being conflicted regarding whether Batman could’ve even done what Mother has accused him of.
Throughout the comic, Batman is compared to Mother. Though the comparison is there, I don’t see Batman as being the same as Mother. She has parents murdered in front of their children so that she can shape the children into what she wants them to be. Batman shows his already broken children a pathway that can help them overcome their trauma.
But, according to Grayson, he was heading down the path already. Batman just made sure he didn’t kill himself along the way.
I really enjoyed this Batman & Robin story arc for several reasons. At one point, Mother tries to shatter their ideas about Batman and the kind of man he was, and it’s really cool to see Dick stand up for Batman and tell Mother how they don’t “blindly” follow Batman. He may not have always told them everything, but they all worked closer with Batman than anyone else. They saw him at some of his worst moments, and they still believe in what he stands for and the symbol that is Batman… and Robin.
A persistent theme in this comic is how much control one’s guardian should rightly have over them. For me, this kind of hits home. Your parents can set your life up and give you structure based on their beliefs, like Batman does for his Robins. But sometimes your parents can align a little more with Mother’s beliefs about shaping a child into a more perfect version of themselves. Having had a relatively privileged upbringing and being at a time in my life when I’m starting to make a lot of my own choices and still living at home, I really identify with both sides of this comic.
The story is well written, even though the ending left me feeling like a large amount of it could’ve been avoided if a certain character would’ve came to his senses sooner. It’s also super cool seeing all of the Robins and other members of the Bat-family teaming up to finish what Batman had started.
That being said, it feels like the whole story could’ve been put into one larger graphic novel, instead of being split into two. The second story just seems like it takes the same amount of time to tell a fraction of the story.
The art is also relatively good. But there are a couple panels where the faces look like they just smelled a skunk.
“Batman & Robin Eternal Vol. 2” is an enjoyable read and a good way to round out a truly amazing Batman & Robin story. I give “Batman & Robin Eternal Vol. 2” 4 out of 5 stars.