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Review: Batman and Robin #30

The main thing that stood out to me this issue is how fitting Patrick Gleason's art is for the Amazons. Wonder Woman and her sisters have been drawn with varying levels of musculature, but the most common depiction is to have them look more like swimsuit models than the actual warriors they are. Aleka in particular is a good design since Gleason makes no attempt to make her anything but a hulking brute, without giving in to the demands of fanservice so many other books seem to be laboring under. Unless of course one happens to have that particular fetish that is.


Speaking of fetishes, I have to deduct several points from Gleason just for how every fighting pose Diana is drawn in look like a prime candidate for the Hawkeye Initiate. Hips thrust to the side, while one's generous bosom is thrust at the reader does not appear in any manual of swordsmanship in the history of ever. Again, except for those that serve a particular fetish, but afficionados of the blade tend to ignore those flat out. The only thing keeping her two fisted blow to Aleka's jaw from being counted among the exploitative poses is the fact that Gleason does not take the opportunity to accentuate her cleavage. For which I say he gets most of his points back, because resisting that temptation must have taken every ounce of professional integrity he posseses. Unless, of course, one has a fetish for well muscled shoulders, in which case subtract any number of points you feel is fair.


Out of all the "Batman And …" crossovers, this issue is the least new reader friendly. By which I do not mean brand new readers, but rather existing readers who are new to the New 52 version of Wonder Woman. Unless you've read her book you will most likely be under the impression that her backstory remains unchanged, so the statement that she is the daughter of Zeus will confuse new readers more than a little.


I have to say that the Oracle is the most easily impressed prophetic being I have ever seen. Sure I would absolutely lose my s**t if Batman gave me one of his batarangs, but when you can see everything, or close to everything, not sure how that works for her, then I don't think that a bat shaped throwing knife is all that exciting. Also, so far she doesn't have a great track record, her prediction that they will be afraid of the dark falls pretty flat when you consider how easily Batman and Wonder Woman subdue the Neekta.


On that note, I would normally complain about Batman being upstaged in his own book, which is what the climax ultimately comes to as Wonder Woman is the one to completely subdue the Neekta. But when you get down to it Wonder Woman has been so poorly represented that she deserves to upstage Batman in just one of his many books. It's not like he doesn't get enough opportunities to show off.


Ultimately there is nothing really bad in this issue, but there are some minor issues that stand out here and there. This book is good at having one off stories that connect to a larger plot, which makes for a good monthly read, but at the same time it means that not every issue will knock it out of the park. Batman and Wonder Woman make an entertaining enough team, and if one can pretend that these are their Bruce Timm Justice League incarncations then one could possibly read this as a romantic fanfiction of some kind. Despite the lack of any romantic subtext, unless you count the cover, which seems to be trying to channel the deepest, darkest recesses of what fetishism can possibly bring to the table.


This is a decent book, but nothing amazing.


Batman and Robin #30:


3 out of 5 Batarangs


Reviewed by Derek Bown

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