Batman and Nightwing 23
Author: Peter J. Tomasi
Artist: Patrick Gleason
Published by: DC Comics
One of the greatest tragedy’s in life is outliving your children, or so I have been told. This issue continues to deal with the fallout of Damien’s death. with Bruce, Dick, and even Alfred go through a computer simulation, ironically titled Resurrection, trying to determine what they could have done to save Damien. Alfred blames himself for not stopping Damien from leaving the cave. Bruce is not the paragon on mental health, he is obsessive and a perfectionist. He ran over 447 simulations without success before Dick joined for run 448. Alfred has been racked with guilt, this has been woefully under explored and I think it does give Alfred some closure by saying what he needs to say to Damien in simulation 449, even if he is only a program. More importantly Bruce, sees this agony and makes steps towards reconciliation and forgiveness with his surrogate father figure for what he previously saw as one of his personal failings.
This is a title that has outlived it useful life; literally. A permanent title change is just in order as Damien is dead, and that means that a book titled Batman and Robin is incomprehensible barring a resurrection or replacement. Carrie Kelly has been teased, but its not foreshadowing it is a red herring. I am not saying this is not a well written book, it is. Without a Robin we have a floating cast of guess stars in standalone stories, but Robin has been a major focus and looms over the title.
3.5 out of 5 Nerdskulls.
FBP: FEDERAL BUREAU OF PHYSICS #2
Author: Simon Oliver
Published by: Vertigo Comics
Time travel, paradoxes, parallel universes, bubbles in space, flashbacks, and government agents. Sound familiar? It should, these ideas were explored extensively in Fringe. Collider is something I really want to like, these are well worn concepts that have traditionally piqued my interest. At least this issue explains the title of the series. The Human Transport Collider after an injection, pushes a member of the Federal Bureau of Physics’ atoms “through the space time membrane like playdough”.
The mission at hand is rescuing 5 innocent civilians from Hoff’s Gravitiational Inversion (hereinafter referred to as H.G.I.). H.G.I. is created when “a weakness in space-time membrane allows gravity to drag a localized section of our dimension through the other side of the membrane, a duplicate of the affected area is produced on the other side, and contained in its own self contained bubble.” I had to verify that this was not real, as the description is both astonishingly complex, but utterly believable within the context. It does not force one to completely suspend their disbelief, like say punching the wall of reality and changing history. That said the unstable molecules in this bubbleverse make nothing predictable as merely colliding creates a new being of the aggregate parts, a gestalt. It is unclear if this would happen if our FBP partners would collide, but I am interested to find out.
That is pretty much a summary of the ideas, its well written if not spectacular. If it ended here, I would give this 3 out of 5 Nerdskulls. However the last 3 pages knock this to 3.75 out of 5 Nerdskulls with a pretty great cliffhanger that has me eagerly awaiting the next issue.
Spoiler alert: to review this effectively I need to delve into what constitutes major spoilers. You have been warned.
For 90 percent of this issue it played out like a procedural with hints of a deeper mythology. I hope the bigger picture or more hints towards it, besides the government corruption with private contractors subplot is cliché barring a radical revelation. I really thought this subplot would take some time to simmer, but Jay, Agent and protagonist Adam Hardy’s partner and mentor, betrays him. We knew he was dirty but the depths of corruption are ultimately revealed here. In a scant two issues I am not vested enough to care about this and am interested in what the end game is. In this HGI universe I doubt the bullet destined for Hardy’s chest finds its mark with conventional results.