Brandon – Going into DC’s New 52 I was nervous about a lot of the titles. What was going to change? Was history I’ve invested myself in (both emotionally and financially) going to change? All questions aside, Batman & Robin delivers. Bruce Wayne is back as The Batman of Gotham, and Robin is none other than his own son Damian. It’s established that Damian’s not his partner, he’s his son, and Batman expects a lot of him, most of all respect. As much as his son has certainly grown into the role of Robin, he’s still the little brat we’ve seen in the past. And Batman is not impressed. It’s clear he’s running a much tighter ship than Dick Grayson did with a sidekick, and there is no room for error. It’s not that Bruce doesn’t have the right to respond like this to his son, he was raised by assassins and probably should be monitored a lot more than Dick or Tim ever needed to be. The only downside to Robin’s attitude is that if something doesn’t give soon, this might turn into a Bruce Wayne/Jason Todd Batman & Robin again, and we all know how that ended last time. But I enjoy this dynamic a lot, and feel down the line we may see a different side to both of them as this book progresses.
The book opens with the new villain NoBody taking down The Batman of Russia – who looked awesome. I know he’s dead but can we still get an action figure? Or a replacement? NoBody makes his goals very clear: he’s not a fan of Batman INC, and he’s going to the source to put an end to this global crime-fighting system that Bruce Wayne has set up. I got the feeling that this was someone from Wayne’s past, and has inside knowledge of the Wayne family. I really hope we see his identity interacting with Bruce and Damian Wayne as well as throwing down with Batman & Robin on the streets of Gotham.
I see a lot of hope for this book. I’ve always enjoyed Peter Tomasi’s writing, and Patrick Gleason does an absolutely incredible job with the art. Pick this book up, or grab the 2nd printing. Or even wait for the trade paperback. No matter what you do, you should be reading this book. I’m giving it 4 out of 5 Nerdskulls.
Jim – I will state this with every review I write for the DC Relaunch, I’m a Marvel guy so I know very little of the DC world beyond the heavy hitters (Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, etc.), and even to that end I have not kept up with their latest story lines. I found the recent relaunch extremely enticing in that I might find a better connection with these characters. For Batman & Robin, I thoroughly enjoyed the idea that Batman is refocusing his energy from the death of his parents to celebrating their lives. I find that extremely gutsy and can’t wait to see how that effects him as Bruce Wayne as well as the Batman. I did, however, find the dynamic between Batman and Robin, his son Damian, extremely annoying and lacking any real depth. It seems to be a very artificial disdain that found it’s way into the book. In other words, I don’t believe it and found it extremely distracting. I hope the writing gets stronger in that respect. All in all it was a middle of the road title for me in regards to the DC books I’ve read to date. I’ll give it 2.5 out of 5 Nerdskulls.
Jazmin – Father and son are reunited and I think Bruce bit off more than he could chew trying to explain to Damian the meaning of honoring the dead; the dead in this case being his parents. This version of Batman and Robin will have far more personal aspects to it. Overall, this book was more entertaining because of the banter between the two. And the art was far more enjoyable than other bat-books out right now. I’m certainly excited to continue reading this book just to see what kind of hi-jinks Master Wayne and his mini-me get into. 3.5 out of 5 Nerdskulls.