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Batman and Robin #27 - The Big Burn: Ablaze

4

Batman's stuck in the middle of a vicious conflict between Erin McKillen and Two-Face. Can he stop them from killing each other?

The Good

I wasn't the biggest fan of the first two chapters in The Big Burn, but the last issue was a solid step in the right direction, and I'm beyond happy to say this issue keeps up the quality as well. First and foremost, Peter J. Tomasi certainly knows how to make a Batman fan happy. There's some serious fan service with the Dark Knight as he unleashes two different gadgets and simply put, it's just cool. There's much more to this issue than badass Batman moments, though. Tomasi takes huge steps to flesh out the plot, too. We jump into the past yet again and it's finally revealed what was going on between Two-Face and the McKillens' before he turned on them. Telling the story in reverse made the story suffer at first, but now things are really spicing up and it further sells us on the sheer hatred these two have for one another.

Patrick Gleason, Mick Gray and John Kalisz dropped my jaw multiple times in this issue. Firstly, their close-ups of Two-Face are ridiculously good. The amount of detail put into his distorted face is absolutely twisted and looks incredible. Then there's at least three panels of Batman that just ooze awesomeness and really impress. There's one moment where Wayne gets to unleash and they decide to frame the panels with moments from the five stages of grief storyline. It was a nice little way to remind us that he's sort of moved on, but when push comes to shove, these memories still linger and can create a slightly more intense version of Batman. I know some people thought he was acting out of character or taking too long to recover, but come on, his son was killed. This should stay with him.

The Bad

As much as I loved some pages, the artwork with characters was inconsistent at times. For example, there's a handful of moments where there's heavy shading instead of giving characters eyes. It's distracting because it gives these individuals a somewhat lifeless look.

I'm a little surprised Batman relied on luck with Harvey's coin flip. Maybe if it didn't go as planned, he would have knocked Dent out and carried him? And speaking of Dent, there's yet another change to the character's origin. It takes away from the "good guy turned bad" angle, so if you're a huge Dent fan, odds are you won't be too pleased.

The Verdict

It took The Big Burn a couple of issues to get rolling, but now the story is definitely winning me over. Tomasi's crafting a legitimately interesting bond between this trio and he's filling the script with some seriously satisfying Batman moments for Gleason to create. BATMAN & ROBIN is most certainly back on track.