What do you do when your new villain has a hole in her head? If you are Batman and Robin, you let her try and drill a hole in their heads.

BATMAN AND ROBIN #19
Writer: Paul Cornell
Artist: Scott McDaniel
Inker: Rob Hunter
Colorist: Alex Sinclair
Letterer: Patrick Brousseau
Cover Artist: Patrick Gleason
Editor: Mike Marts
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99

Previously in Batman and Robin: A new villainess is on the scene, and she literally has a hole in her head. She’s bent on taking down someone for something, all because Bruce Wayne dissed her because he didn’t give her some… thing. If there is a crime in Gotham City, you can bet Batman and Robin are on the case!

ONE DIMENSIONAL CHARACTER, DEEP PROBLEMS

Right off the top, I will say that Una Nemo is one of the lamest characters ever dreamt up. She ranks right up there with Arm-Fall-Off Boy. I’m half waiting for some league of something or other to have a fit over Uno’s portrayal in this arc, but I know that won’t happen… Instead Uno’s eventual escape will lead to her return at some point in the near future. The whole “Bruce Wayne never gave me enough attention!” schtick is not worth paying attention to, nor is the gimmick behind her survival after being shot point blank in the head that was revealed in the first issue.

The thing that does make this issue bearable, and more than likely the whole point of the issue, is the psychological discussion that arises when Batman and Robin (played this issue by Dick and Damian) have the opportunity to either sacrifice one to save the other, both go down fighting, or work something out in order to free themselves from Uno’s exceptionally well thought out trap. (Yes, that last bit is sarcasm). The implication is they’ve been so well trained by Batman, and have been so mentally manipulated all their lives that they are willing to be expendable units for the cause.

I like that portion of the story, but the rest is really not interesting. Cornell is a fine writer, and he does give the reader things to read, but for the most part, this issue is mediocre.

McDANIEL

I’ve said before that Scott McDaniel works in small doses as his style takes a lot of getting used to, and I think I’ve reached that point where I need a break from his style. Not that I hate it, in fact I’ve praised it before, but between all the Bat-titles currently out there, I’ve looked at his stuff for around nine months now. His style is instantly recognizable, and while it does stand out, it also tends to suffer too much from generic pose syndrome by the time any arc reaches the end.

BOTTOM LINE: SKIP IT

From the moment she first appeared, I simply have no interest in Uno Nemo or what her petty problems are that drove her to become a psychopath. I HOPE we don’t see her return, but I half expect her to, if for no other reason than to spite me for this review. Cornell can write, and McDaniel can draw, but for this arc, the combo falls completely flat. I say skip Batman and Robin #19, and see if it gets better next time.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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8 Comments

  1. January 17, 2011 at 2:22 pm — Reply

    So basically Spider-Man is better than Batman and Robin? :)

  2. January 17, 2011 at 2:27 pm — Reply

    I totally agree. The only thing from Cornell that I will continue to pick up is ACTION and I’m not enjoying that nearly as much anymore either!! The guy could go back to MARVEL for all I care. I don’t care what happens over there because I don’t read any of their stuff. Not even Spidey since BND wrapped up.

  3. Brett
    January 17, 2011 at 4:13 pm — Reply

    The Gleason cover is the only reason to buy this. Note the sweet signature when you flipbit upside down

  4. Slappy
    January 17, 2011 at 4:56 pm — Reply

    Is Spider-Man the new Batman?

  5. Rome
    January 17, 2011 at 7:26 pm — Reply

    I’m in mostly in agreement with your assessment, though I’ve found Damian’s characterization to be a far cry from that presented in the Morrison stretch. It was that failure of writing that caused me to drop the book, rather than the lame villain.

    Though as a long time reader, you get pretty used to lame villains showing up from time to time. Its the main characters being portrayed lamely that is the real turn off.

  6. Katzedecimal
    January 18, 2011 at 7:54 am — Reply

    The only reason I picked up the issue was for the panel of B&R tied up together. Since Dick originated the whole “Robins as bondage birds” thing, the sight made me laugh out loud right there in the comic store. I wouldn’t say it was worth the price of admission but it made it less of a waste.

    Yanno, somebody needs to write a fanfic where Una Nemo is transported to the 31st Century and menaces Arm-Fall-Off Boy. “Oh noes! It’s my dreaded arch nemesis, Hole-In-Head Girl!”

  7. January 19, 2011 at 5:25 pm — Reply

    In honor of the late Richard Holbrook, I’m proposing an accord. Cornell never touches Batman and/or Robin for the rest of his career, and in exchange he owns Knight and Squire in perpetuity. He gets final cut on K& S until his deathbed, and he never shows his face in Gotham again. He can do campy villains and heroes that don’t give a shit in London.

    It’s not really his fault, he’s more of a humorist. His style worked better with Lex. You can do a real badass Lex but you can also play Lex for laughs, because underneath all of his intelligence there is something very foolish about Lex Luthor.

    Cornell’s humor is based on the idea that everything is for show, there are no real threats, and secretly nobody really cares. But that just doesn’t work for Batman, and It doesn’t work for post Jason Todd Robin either.

    He’ll do something else and it’ll be better.

    And as far as Uma Nemo, I just don’t want to see her in any slash fic.

  8. Damascus
    March 28, 2011 at 1:15 am — Reply

    So it’s Una Nemo, not Uno Nemo?

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