Batman & Robin, VOLUME 1: BATMAN REBORN

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My rating is 3 out of 5 stars.

Bruce Wayne is dead! So get ready folks, ‘cause there is a new Batman and Robin in town and things are about to heat up!

Now, since we all know Bruce Wayne won’t stay in the hereafter for long, we can sit back without any angst or sorrow and enjoy the brief tenure of the new Batman: Dick Grayson (a.k.a. Nightwing and the first Robin) who has donned the caped crusaders’ cowl. Joining him as Robin is none other than Bruce Wayne’s own ten year old son, Damian Wayne (son of Talia and grandson of Ra’s al ghul). It’s a new team with new vibes and new problems to work through. So pop some popcorn and get ready for some fun.

Right off the bat (Yeah, I went there) our Dynamic Duo has issues. Damian is an arrogant brat, who has been raised with an attitude of entitlement – not to mention the fact his care givers ran a a league of killers, and honestly, he is pissed that he has been relegated to being Grayson’s sidekick when it is obvious that he could do a much better job as Batman. As for Dick, he feels a bit overwhelmed by the responsibility thrust upon him and struggles to live up to Bruce’s legacy while still being true to his own self. So naturally, the two go through some growing pain together.

But they just don’t have time to find their grove, because right out of the gate they are confronted by some bloodthirsty new villains, which gives the book a fresh feel. On one side of the spectrum, we have a new Red Hood and his sidekick Scarlet, who are enforcing their own brand of justice in Gotham and tweeting that the Dynamic Duo are yesterdays news, while on the other, Mr. Toad, Professor Pyg and the monstrous Flamingo are spreading death and disfigurement across Gotham City indiscriminately.

Needless to say, there is solid writing and artwork in this series. Grant Morrison does his usual good work, giving us a bit of characterization while infusing the tale with loads of mayhem and gore. While the artwork by Frank Quitely (artist) and Philip Tan (artist) is edgier than usual Batman fare, loaded with lots of colors, modernist in tone and very action oriented. All in all, the two compliment each other well.

The only criticism I have of this book is that it is needlessly violent. Criminals cut of people’s faces and eat them, while others use saws to “create” a new body for people. It all seems a bit over the top to me and not really superhero-ish to me, but I am no longer a comic aficionado, as I was a decade or so ago. With that in mind, I suppose it is an entertaining enough Batman book, but for me, nothing more than and not worthy of a re-read.

Purchase the novel at Amazon.

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