Thursday, May 18, 2006

All-Star Batman & Robin #4

Well, they finally reached the Batcave in this issue. And that's about all that happened. All Star Batman & Robin the Boy Wonder is one padded-out series, but it's damn good nonetheless. And anyway, the creators make fun of how padded out the series is (that or how late the book is) when Robin says, in reference to being in the batmobile, "When are you going to let me out of this thing? It feels like it's been days!" That and the whole six-page fold-out that displays the Batcave that "goes on forever" and "just doesn't end." Hell, maybe the entire series will be one excruciatingly long story arc. That would be a neat idea. But there were other cool things in this issue besides the Batcave. When Robin's crouched down with the rats and bats, his shadow falls over the cave floor in the form of his mask. Nice foreshadow. Literally. And then there's the whole flashback that Batman had of his parents' deaths. He thinks "I touched my mother's breast. It bled on me." and then "There wasn't any heartbeat. No hope at all. Just her blood on my hand. It'll never wash off. Never." Then in the next panel, Bruce has his hand on Dick's shoulder and Robin thinks "His hand lands on my shoulder, weightless as a falling leaf. Those bigass fingers of his squeeze like a gentle caress." Now, could that be Frank Miller and Jim Lee playing up the "gay thing" here? Batman's all traumatized by his mother's death. The first touch of a woman's breast is bloody. It distances him from women, so here he is watching a twelve-year-old boy in tights for months...caressing his shoulder gently... It could be just reading into it a bit, but there it is. All in the subtext.

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