In the past, Robin and Batman invade a chemical plant in Prague to find out what Scarecrow is up to. What Batman finds out is more horrific than he could have imagined, as Scarecrow has a new fear toxin which can scar the brain, and it's all being funded by Mother. Meanwhile, in the present, Grayson, Cassandra, and Bluebird deal with Cain and everything takes a turn for the worse.
The jumping between the past and the present really helps escalate the suspense in the book. Each story is pretty great on its own, but the conversation between Scarecrow and Batman steals the show. James Tynion IV does a phenomenal job with the dialogue and actually humanizing Scarecrow, who has come off as more of a monster in past years and a lot less of a doctor, which at one point, he was. Keep in mind, this is a much earlier version of the character, so there's still that human element left inside Dr. Crane.
It's fantastic to see that this weekly series, which just reached the halfway mark last week, is still exciting and holding the interest of the reader. The last couple of weekly DC series did not do this. What B&R ETERNAL has going for it is that it builds on the relationships between the children of Gotham. Bluebird and Cassandra have an excellent, emotional moment towards the end of the issue that brings them closer together.
There are two different artists on this book. Fernando Blanco did the scenes in the past and Roger Robinson did the present day scenes, with John Rauch on colors for both scenes. There are some problematic moments with Robinson's art during the action sequences. There are a few moments where the action feels stiff and rigid and doesn't convey the sense of movement or fluidity that it should. However, Robinson does a wonderful job getting the emotion these characters are feeling onto the page. Blanco does solid work, as usual. He does a great job showing the fear in Scarecrow's eyes in one scene. The split between artists works exceptionally well. Rauch's colors really bring everything together to create some cohesiveness between the two styles.
Not every issue of this book is a revelation and it shouldn't be, but issue #14 of BATMAN & ROBIN ETERNAL does give the reader insight into Scarecrow's work and what makes him the character he is. Tynion does a nice job giving the reader a human look at the character and while there isn't anything huge revealed at the end of the issue, which is a nice change, the overall issue was a great read, minus a couple art missteps, and this weekly series continues to be a great read.