WTF (Why the Frankenstein?)
I wanted to give this 4 stars. I really did. Initial skepticism regarding Carrie's introduction into the Batverse was immediately put to rest. I liked her a lot here, she felt like she belonged and I ended this comic feeling as if she had always been there. Tomasi made me believe that this person didn't just drop in out of the blue. And there were some flashes of genius on Gleason's part. Some of the panels were bright and vibrant, with a fun factor that rivaled the Kubert art in the flag ship book.
What cost this comic it's coveted fourth star? Frankenstein. I have ZERO previous knowledge of DC's Frankenstein or S.H.A.D.E., but that shouldn't be held against me. This is my first new 52 issue of Batman and Robin that I've read and I encountered no difficulty as a result of that, but Frankenstein? It felt out of place and awkward. It did little to advance the plot, and any heartfelt advice or interaction with Batman could have come from a character with a more meaningful connection to Bruce. I honestly wanted to see more of Carrie and was eager to see a dynamic develop between her and the Bat Family. Yet, instead I found myself listlessly reading a macabre encounter in the middle of nowhere between Batman and a character I cared nothing about. I'm not saying there's no place for Frankie in the Bat stories, but my interest needs to be piqued. It needs to feel organic, and I need to be made to care about the character or at least find him interesting. It may seem silly to hold one part of the comic's story against it so vehemently, but it really broke the flow of the story and deprived us of some alternative plot points or stories that could have been told here. Tomasi's writing is solid and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Gleason/Gray's art (considering I wasn't familiar with them). Don't let my criticisms dissuade you from buying this. If Carrie Kelly continues to be an interesting character, this will be something you'll want to have in your collection for sure. And I for one must say that I'm very excited to see where this series will go. My verdict is to pick this up, and treat as a stepping stone instead of a standalone tale that you'll want to revisit.