Filed under: Comic Reviews, DC Comics | Tags: Batman, DCNew52, MickGray, Nightwing, PatrickGleason, PeterJTomasi, Robin
Batman and Robin are BACK! But rather than rewriting the rules, it’s almost as if this picks up just where we left off before all of this Flashpoint business. The one big difference though is who makes up the dynamic duo, which sees the return of Bruce alongside his own Son, battling crime together as a pair for the first time.
WARNING: some spoilers.
It might not seem like it, but since Damien Wayne showed up, he’s never actually been Robin to Bruce’s Batman. Instead, following the events of Batman R.I.P where Bruce ‘died’ and Dick Grayson took up the mantel of the bat, Wayne Jr. set out with Dick in their own title together. In the here and now of the DC New 52 though, Dick’s been relegated to being Nightwing again (issue #1 coming next week) and Bruce is back to take care of Gotham. And the new team up does provide some interesting reading.
Where previously Dick and Damien were quite a young partnership, with Damien’s quick one liners normally followed up with even more witty ones from Dick, it’s all business with Bruce – the man who created the growl under the cowl. He doesn’t put up with his son’s nonsense, this is a job to Bruce, but Damien would rather think of it as playtime. He’s got a lot to prove to Bruce, and I think this title will benefit from this, making the plot much richer than just the duo fighting crime together.
The first issue establishes an interesting arc – although B&R are out stopping some irradiated fuel rod thieves, which may or not may not be important to the overall thread, the interesting parts in this issue are its bookends. We get a glimpse at the Russian Batman, presumably part of Bruce’s Batman Incorporated, and it makes me wonder why we didn’t get him instead of the African Batman (see my previous review of Batwing here) because he looks shit hot! We’re also introduced to the big bad of the story, who only introduces him self as ‘nobody’ – but certainly doesn’t look like it – he’s just as bad ass looking as the Russian Batman.
Which brings me to the artwork provided by Patrick Gleason on pencils and Mick Gray as inker. Everything is wonderfully tight and detailed, with plenty of shadows for Batman to sulk in. Robin’s costume has had a bit of an updated, now sporting a much more feathered like cape to match his name. He retains the hood that made Damien’s look so unique from the first time round. We’re also briefly treated to a new mode of transport – the Bat-Gyro – a ball like vehicle specifically designed to traverse the Gotham sewer system.
Overall, this first issue promises a good start to this title. Unlike Detective Comics, it’s not afraid to steer away from the usual Batman continuity and its villains, daring to give us something more original to read. Although it’s been nice reading books outside my usual comfort zone, or having a new take on a character, it’s also good to get back to a story I’m familiar with and enjoy so much. This might say issue #1 on the front, but it might as well have said #27, continuing on from the previous series.
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