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Monday, October 25, 2010

DAMN Good Comic of the Week -- BATMAN AND ROBIN #15

Trying to make sense of a Grant Morrison story is often like trying to watch the entire series of Twin Peaks backwards while delirious with a severe case of the flu.  Some times you're rewarded with sheer brilliance and other times you want to walk right up to him at a comics convention and demand your money back.  Fortunately, the third chapter of "Batman and Robin Must Die!" storyline falls closer to the former rather than the latter.

The issue starts off with a dapper Joker in a black stovepipe hat waltzing with a skeletal corpse in a wedding dress, so you certainly can't say that Morrison doesn't come up with interesting opening hooks.  From there, we're treated to all kinds of weirdness candy such as the arrogant current Robin, Damian Wayne, bound and gagged in a coffin and wearing a red clown nose for good measure; Commissioner Gordon as a drugged captive of Professor Pyg and wearing a curly wig for good measure; and perhaps the most bizarre, current Batman Dick Grayson being shot in the back of the head with a .32 pellet by Doctor Hurt in order to cause permanent neurological damage in less than twelve hours.  Yeah, I think it's safe to say that Morrison didn't phone this issue in.

Some of the credit, of course, needs to go to artist Frazer Irving who created some stunning work that complemented this storyline perfectly.  His bold, striking Joker in particular, enhanced the sense of madness that Morrison obviously wanted and Iriving gave the entire issue a very cinematic and epic feel.  I hope this won't be the last we see of him on a Morrison Batman story because the two creators work exceedingly well together.

And as we take another step closer to what seems like the neverending return of Bruce Wayne, it finally feels like Morrison is trying his long-running threads together.  The supremely confident Doctor Hurt is visibly shaken by certain things at the end of this issue, setting up what promises to be a very promising showdown...whenever it actually arrives in stores.

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