Batman and Robin #8 continues the book’s upward trend, a return to form for the critically respected pop action book. Told largely out of order, it switches between a couple different timelines. The first takes place before #7, suggesting how Batwoman came to find herself in a coffin and who set Eddie up with a bomb on the subway, while the other continues after Batman slips, uh, Batman (that is, Dick slips Bruce) into a Lazarus Pit, intending on reviving the fallen hero. It also fills in small blanks from Final Crisis, Blackest Night and more in the space of about two panels, has some solid action, introduces new characters and excellent new problems.
Cameron Stewart provides excellent art, a welcome change of pace after Tan. The fight scenes are crisp and quick, the characters all have relatively distinct physical personalities – something that’s difficult to do, often overlooked, and was done excellently in B&R’s first arc. The fight between the two Batmen is particularly well-handled.
Though there are one or two slip-ups – this is the second time in two issues Batwoman has been imperiled and helpless, to name one of the bigger ones – Morrison nonetheless does a good job characterizing her, Dick, Damian and more. The final cliffhanger is exciting without being exploitive, and the writing and art are sharp and coherent. Batman and Robin may have had a shaky sophomore arc, but “Darkest Knight” has been rock solid so far.
- Cal Cleary