100 Days, 100 Comics #71: ‘Batman and Robin’ #7

There was a distinct up-shift in story density and quality going from Batman and Robin #6 to issue #7. Watching the creative team from Seaguy reunite was a pleasure in and of itself, but the book as a whole just feels like a much better all-around product and closer to what I originally expected from this series.

The new “Blackest Knight” arc cuts to the chase about Dick Grayson’s plans to resurrect Bruce Wayne and brings a truly Morrisonian scale Batman cast into the action. The number of characters Grant Morrison can keep spinning and use assertively during large stories almost always impresses me. Looking at this issue, though, that strength spotlights my lingering problem with Batman and Robin right now, which is that the bigger tale playing out hasn’t had all that much continuity or epic of a tone as I hoped to see. Though Talia has popped up from time to time and Damian is in critical condition, the other villains and events haven’t found their places in the greater arc going on as seemed to happen during every other issue of New X-Men. And I feel bad constantly comparing Batman and Robin to New X-Men, but it’s the standard he’s proven himself capable of reaching in regards to leveraging continuity in new and interesting ways while forming a definitive new era in a series’ canon. My expectations have modulated a bit since he began writing Batman, and right now I’m anticipating a scattershot set of concepts like Damian and the Black Glove to be his legacy when all is said and done.

Without spoiling anything this time around, the ending is a great way to get things underway for “Blackest Knight.” The combination of Cameron Stewart’s artwork and Morrison’s plot implying more meaningful consequences ahead thanks to Dick’s actions made #7 feel like the book has found much steadier footing. My hope is that it can turn that success into a stride with #8.

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