Batman and Robin #1 introduces the dynamic duo to the new DC universe, but they’re not exactly the dynamic duo we know. We also see a new threat introduced one who’s going after Batman and all of his associates – with a vengeance.
I was looking forward to this book a lot, since we haven’t really seen Bruce and Damian really address the elephant(s) in the room, and thankfully, they get into what we’ve all wanted to see pretty fast. Thanks to this new dynamic, the issue has a new feel to it that makes it interesting and stand out to me, and should definitely get new readers interested. Damian’s outlook on Bruce was fitting given their relationship, and it definitely feels very real. The idea is that since his mother Talia built up Bruce to be this perfect man and legend, the real thing is a bit of a letdown to Damian, and it works very well, thanks to Damian’s consistent characterization from what Grant Morrison has done.
While the relationship set up in the issue is fantastic, it does lead to a bit of a problem, which is the fact that we don’t get a whole lot of development in the one of the other aspects of the story: the new villain coming after Bruce, and any of his Batman associates. Although, I’m sure the crime Batman and Robin were dealing with has something to do with that. The third plot bit we get is almost as interesting as the Bruce/ Damian dynamic, but not quite. We see here that Bruce has decided that he’s done mourning the death of his parents on the anniversary of their murder; instead he’s going to celebrate their life on their wedding anniversary. While it would have been nice to get into the villain a bit more, the pacing is still solid, and what we do get story wise is still interesting.
So, we get good writing, character dynamics and a solid plot, but how’s the art? Well, it’s also pretty damn good. Gleason and Gray are a dynamic duo of their own, and the colours by John Kalisz are a great compliment to their work. The book is visually very dark and isn’t afraid to shroud the characters in shadow, but at the same time there are some pretty vibrant panels. Batman and Robin look very iconic and larger than life, and the rest of the book just has a slick and polished look to it. Great work on the art.
Survival Rating: LIVE! I’m really looking forward to seeing where this book goes, and I doubt the dynamic duo won’t be able to sell a book.
Recommendation: BUY IT! Interesting, well written and well drawn, why wouldn’t you buy it?