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Review: Batman and Robin #1

Batman and Robin #1
Batman and Robin #1

There is a new status quo in the Batman universe. In the aftermath of Batman RIP and Final Crisis, Bruce Wayne is dead, and Batman is no more. Following these events, the heirs of the Dark Knight battled for the cowl, and the person who reluctantly took on the mantle of the Bat was none other than the original Robin, Dick Grayson. Now with a brand new Dynamic Duo (Bruce Wayne’s son Damian in the Robin role, who’s mother is Ra’s Al Ghul’s daughter Talia), we also have an entirely new (pardon the pun) dynamic.

Batman the light hearted acrobatic thrill seeker, and Robin the brooding, brutally efficient dark avenger.

Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely, the creative team behind All Star Superman and New X-Men weave their storytelling magic again.  Everything about Batman and his supporting cast is different to be sure, and is already creating something that I really want to read more about.

Gotham under Quitely’s pencil is at once futuristic and seedy. The villians disturbing and the heroes larger than life yet each with a distinctive physical personality.

You get the feeling that this is the story that Morrison always wanted to tell and everything else over the past couple of years was a necessary evil to take him to this point.  His kick off storyline, Batman and Son obviously plays strongly into this, as Damian has become an integral character in the Bat Mythos.  His training by the League of Assassins, and his hard life up until this point has turned him into a mirror of what his father was.  He doesn’t have the confidence yet, but he has bravado to make up for it.  He also shares a familiar trait that all Robin’s seem to have.  He is better than the Dark Knight at something.  In this case Damian is a wiz with electronics (Dick has incredible acrobatic and fighting ability, Jason Todd was always more street smart than Bruce, and Tim Drake is a genius with computers).

Morrison has not had much of a chance to play with Dick Grayson, but it’s obvious from his brief interaction with him that he “gets” the character.  I find it amazing that DC President Dan Dido wanted to kill Dick Grayson a couple of years ago, and now has okayed his transformation into the Dark Knight Detective.

The new status quo transcends this book and the entire bat-verse is being redefined. Already out is the new Batman which serves as a coda to The Battle For The Cowl, and Red Robin which casts former Robin Tim Drake in the brooding avenger role formerly occupied by his mentor.

While the realities of comics are such that this change is only temporary, I have to say that I’m willing to go along for the ride, and right now I’d welcome this ride being a long one.

Corporate shill time…all of this great stuff is available right now at All New Comics, so go buy, enjoy, and leave a comment right here.

By Brian Garside

Brian is a digital experience expert, and part time internet superhero. He focuses on digital first design, digital strategies, content management, website usability, and user experience. He was part of the team behind BalanceDo, the co-founder of All New Comics, and the chief strategist at NorthIQ.

3 replies on “Review: Batman and Robin #1”

I cannot wait for the end of the month when that book arrives in my hands. This is a great direction. Remember when not to long ago Didio wanted to kill young Richard Grayson? Now he is the backbone of the Batverse. I just hope these guys are left alone to do their work in peace.

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