Batman #18 Review

The recent events of Batman Incorporated #8 have inevitably spilled into the rest of the Batman universe. This week we got to see some of the main “Bat-Family” characters reactions to the death of a much beloved member of the family. Perhaps none of these reactions are more important than Batman’s reaction. I went into the issue with high hopes, and it didn’t disappoint.

The issue is written from Harper Row’s perspective.  We see her develope since the last time we saw her. Instead of just tracking Batman with her tech, she has begun going out on a night and tracking him. She does this because she can see that something is wrong with him and wants to help. She can see him becoming madder and madder and it’s causing him to make stupid mistakes. She thinks that these stupid mistakes could lead to his death. One evening Batman gets into an encounter with a man who genetically modifies dogs. The dogs attack Batman and are getting the better of him till Harper Row steps in. She uses some of her tech and basically saves him. Her reward is a swift punch to the face from Batman as she explains how she has been training. They then get into an argument where Batman tells her she should just quit, that he is not going to fight alongside her and if she continues she will end up dead. Harper then tells Batman about her concerns for him. She tells him that he needs to face the problem he has (Damian’s death) head on. If not for himself for everyone who believes and needs him. Batman leaves and the next day Harper meets with Bruce Wayne tell him about her concerns and to ask him to write a message to Batman. Soon after we see Harper sitting on a roof top where she meets Batman. They then proceed to talk and Harper comforts Batman about his problems and I think in some way helped out.
This issue was great! We got a deeper look into the character of Harper Row and her tragic back story. I liked the character from the get go and this issue just made her even more awesome. The way she interacted with Batman was really well written by Snyder. It was cool that he was able to think of a way to have Harper help with his problems without actually knowing what was wrong. It was just nice to see a look at the situation from a different perspective. This was a very emotional issue and just seeing Batman so weak and defenceless made me realize how deeply every loss hurts Batman. The issue flows well and doesn’t stay in one place too long. All the dialogue from Harper was brilliant. She feels natural and flows well with the characters around her.  The ending was probably the best part of the entire book and leaves me thinking that we could possibly be seeing the next Robin already because she certainly has the back story for it.
Andy Kubert fills in on art duties and does a fantastic job of it. The art fits well with the story, and the panels flow well. He does a good job of conveying emotion which is obviously important with this type of issue. I am not particularly fond of his Harper Row however. I much preferred Becky Cloonan’s interpretation of the character. I don’t know what it was but something about the way he drew her just rubbed me the wrong way. He does draw a really awesome Batman though. The cover by regular artist Greg Capullo was amazing. It just really put the whole issue into perspective and once again made me wonder about Harper Row being a possible member of the “Bat-Family”
Overall this was a great issue! Snyder does a great job of not only introducing us to more of Harper Row but also showing Batman’s reactions to Damian’s death. The art was nice, it fit well with the story and I’m just excited to see what happens next. Could we have a new Robin on our hands? Who knows, but all signs point to yes and I’m pretty damn excited about it.
Story – 5/5
Art – 4/5
Overall – 4.5/5

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