October 16 2011
Batman & Robin #1
A little history: in the past couple years, there have been a few Batman series that have had occasionally-overlapping storylines. Those were “Batman & Robin” and “Batman Inc.”, which follow directly from “The Return of Bruce Wayne” and “Final Crisis”. And there’s a lot I’m leaving out. B&R featured Dick Grayson (the first Robin, formerly Nightwing) taking on the Batman mantle while Bruce is missing, and Damian Wayne (Bruce and Talia Al Ghul’s son) becoming the fifth Robin when Tim Drake (the third Robin) leaves to find Bruce.
They made a great team, because the usual dynamic of grim Batman and playful Robin was flipped on its head, with a more playful Batman and a grim Robin. But this issue shows that Bruce is back as Gotham’s Batman after establishing his “Batman Inc.”. So now it’s grim, calculating Batman and grim, impulsive Robin.
As always, Damian is an ornery little bastard. He would be annoying if he weren’t written so well, if he didn’t have the skills to back up his tough talk, and if he didn’t occasionally get the shit kicked out of him (I think he’s on his second or third spine).
Bruce is Bruce. This is the Batman we all know and love, but now he has to deal with being the parent of an angry youth raised in the art of assassination. They don’t really work as a team yet, which should lead to some very interesting situations in future issues.
This book seems to bring together the B&R and B:Inc storylines, with a cool new villain going around killing some of the international members of Batman Inc. No doubt Batman & Robin will eventually have to find a way to stop him/her.
I really enjoyed Grant Morrison’s run on Batman, but his stories were kinda hard to follow at times. Tomasi does a great job taking over, and it looks like we’ve got a great storyline to look forward to.
Verdict: It’s Batman. What more do you need to know?