Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Batman & Robin #18

I didn't take to Paul Cornell's fill-in arc last issue, but this issue reads a whole lot better. It's amazing what a good writer can accomplish when he has a little time to flesh out the motivations of a new villain. Last month, Absence and her gang seemed generic and uninteresting, but now that we see all her ties to Bruce Wayne, she's a lot more intriguing.

We rarely see the ladies that Bruce Wayne strings along to maintain his playboy persona, but Una Nemo changes all of that. We watch as Bruce has distant dinners and outings with her, maintaining his cover, but never letting her get close. Bruce is the talk of the town among the socialites as they all wait to see who is the "one" that will catch him in marriage. Throughout her origin-rant, it's clear that Una Nemo has some skewed perceptions of her importance to other people. It's sad, but it is easy to see her motivation; she jus wants SOMEONE to care that she's gone. She's decided that person should be Bruce Wayne.

It's sort of sad seeing Una play up her own importance to Bruce as she narrates her origin. I'm sure Bruce wouldn't have thought too much of it when she was shot during a robbery, but he would have solved the mystery of her death. With Tommy Elliott masquerading as Bruce, all Una got was some flowers. Tommy/Bruce didn't even come to the funeral. Now she's making all of Gotham pay as she tries to get Bruce's attention as a new super-criminal. I love that Bruce Wayne's public support of the Batmen has made them targets for Una, I would have thought it would be the other way around.

Cornell has a great grasp on the banter between NightBats and Damian. The scene where Una has a knife to Dick Grayson's crotch, but Damian won't back down was particularly amusing.
Scott McDaniel's pencils are always action packed, if lacking in some detail. Batman is the best-looking character in the book, while some of the characters are occasionally rushed-looking, Bats always looks good.


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