On Monday, my next Comics Portal column will deal with recently announced changes in Marvel that will be reversed eventually, but today’s review has to do with one that’s been taking place at DC.
When Damian Wayne/Robin passed in the final issues of Batman Incorporated, I knew that there has almost always been a Robin for Bruce Wayne’s Batman. There have been several, for sure, but Robin appeals to the younger readers as well as those of us who have been reading comics for a long time.
I mean, hey, Batman came back after travelling through time, so why not bring Robin back?
Well, that journey begins in earnest this week.
Previously in BATMAN AND ROBIN: “The hunt for Robin is over, and the battle joined! But Batman’s family feud with Ra’s al Ghul is about to erupt into something bigger when it’s interrupted by the forces of Apokolips! This epic story continues in this month’s Batman and Robin #33!”
TOMASI’S SCRIPTING SHINES
While it was Grant Morrison who penned the end of Damian Wayne (he actually wanted to kill him years before, by the way), Peter Tomasi has been doing an excellent job of dealing with the aftermath most in the Batman and … title since his passing.
Batman hasn’t taken the loss of his son very well, and has been either coming to terms with it or trying to bring Damian back to life, which is his way of not dealing with it.
One of the great things about this book is that there’s a recap of Damian’s history at the beginning, and I’m sure that will be helpful for readers who haven’t been all that familiar with the latest Robin’s exploits or Bruce’s efforts to revive him.
Much of this issue is steeped in battle sequences, including an unusual army around Batman at this point including Frankenstein and Ra’s al Ghul. But Batman’s one who likes a back-up plan, so we do see others join the fight when things don’t seem to be going the Dark Knight’s way.
Personally, I’ve been pretty surprised by the inclusion of people from Darkseid’s reign in this story. Glorious Godfrey is at the forefront of the baddies, and he’s after something called the Chaos Shard, a stone that’s part of a fractured crystal with powers that have been considered magical. Sadly for Damian’s body, Ra’s has put it into the casket containing that body, and that brings about the conflict we see in this special issue.
Of course, things can’t go Batman’s way or the story would be over. Let’s just say that the book ends with the Dark Knight vowing to take on something that is truly way, way, way out of his league, so to speak, to recover Damian’s casket.
Do be aware, though, that the Robin who takes his or her place at Batman’s side at the end of all this still may not be Damian. That just piques my interest in reading all this even more!
ANDY KUBERT’S ART FITS THE STORY
Andy Kubert has long been a favorite artist of mine, and he does a stellar job of portraying both the history of Damian section as well as the current story.
I swear that Mr. Kubert was paying homage to Jerry Bingham’s art on the Son of the Demon graphic novel in most of that initial section, which I really enjoyed. It was that good to me!
Then the battles begin, and they start with a powerful two-page splash illustration of Batman and his group versus Glorious Godfrey and his minions. Then there’s another two-page sequence when Batman’s back-up arrives. Both are very powerful!
I would love to see several of the panels in the latter section of the issue made into posters, they “popped” that powerfully!
THIS FIRST CHAPTER OF THE RISING OF ROBIN IS A GOOD ONE
The way this story will come together will require fans to pay attention to what’s happening when. After this kick-off special, the story will go back to Batman and Robin starting with issue #33 and continuing through #37 (with series regular Patrick Gleason providing the art), then wrap up in Robin Rises: Alpha #2 with Andy Kubert back on illustration.
If you liked Damian as much as I did or even more, this issue is a must-have. If you didn’t care for him or have no idea who he is, you’ll find this issue a great jumping-on point. Hey, if you’re a Batman fan, you’ll enjoy this book because it’s got the Dark Knight and those strange and wonderful allies he often surrounds himself with, taking the villains to task as they deserve to be fought!
Can’t wait until next week, when this event continues! Don’t miss it!
You can listen to my interview with Mr. Tomasi during episode 134 of my Wayne’s Comics Podcast. Just go to this link!