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What does Adolph Hitler, Winston Churchill, John Lennon, and Rihanna, all have in common? [Think Here] What? You don’t know? They are all very good at paining. Heck, any single of them could paint a whole apartment in a single afternoon – two coats! Just ask Writer: David Hine; Artist: Greg Tocchini; and Publisher: DC Comics – especially in September 2011.   

Did you know that Paris, France, has its own equivalent of Arkham Asylum, called the ‘Le Jardin Noir’? And also, that they have there own version of Batman, called Night-Runner, too? However, what do you think happens, when a hand full of these Parisian inmates, break out from this Garlic smelling domicile, and then run riot all over the Louver? Simple really – Night-Runner calls Batman and Robin for help – that’s what.

Unfortunately, though, these French freaks of human nature do not want to come along quietly. As the ID perverts – the Skin Talker distorts – Ray man subverts – and Sister Crystal shatters – forcing Batman, Robin, and Night-Runner, to focus there minds, and figure out a way to overcome this lunacy that is fracturing there thoughts.

And do they manage to do this? Do they overcome these French freaks? Yes – in a manger of speaking, they do. And on top of that, they come face to face with the mad-man whom instigated this scenario as well – ‘The Man Who Laughs’ – paving the way for a confrontation – a resolution – and a work of art.

Now I am afraid to say that this is the last issue of ‘Batman & Robin’. However, there is no need to cry about it, oh no, as in a couple of month’s time – guess what? Correct – it is coming back again with a new number one.  And funnily enough, while I am on the subject of ‘number ones’, this issue reminded me of a ‘number two’ (please don’t groan, I am just trying to say that this story is sh*t in a nice way).

Well, I just found that the overall story felt a bit flat to me – as it tried to do something that has been done before in other comic book series, without any of the style or the grace. What I am referring to is Paul Cornells ‘Knight & Squire’ mini-series – where the hero / villain homage’s are concerned – as well as Seth Fisher Green Lantern Graphic Novel ‘Will World’ – where the artistic slant is concerned. Personally speaking, I feel that to be able to pull something like this off, initially, you need a much more expansive storyline – and secondly, a much more detailed artist.

Listen, I do not want to sound like an a$$-hole or anything, but Hines, Tocchini, and Bressan, don’t seem to have the clout to be able to do something like this. The art is inconsistent between the two artists – Tocchini and Bressan –  and the writer – Hines –  it trying to cram a lot in, thus inadvertently melding this tale as if it was a casserole made from cement (i.e. tough to swallow).    

Still, to juxtapose this slant, I suppose that this creative team wanted to do something different with this ‘final issue’, so that they can send off this particular volume of ‘Batman & Robin’ in style. Therefore, figuratively speaking, I can’t blame them for wanting to do too much, whilst giving it a extra special twist in the process. But why France I wonder? Do they feel that Batman and France is a good mix? And somehow that this combination is something special? Hmm?  Maybe they saw this?

So-so issue, would have liked some with more depth and finery though.


BATMAN & ROBIN #26 BATMAN & ROBIN #26 Reviewed by David Andrews on August 25, 2011 Rating: 5
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