Batman and Robin
Peter J. Tomasi – Writer
Patrick Gleason – Pencils
I’ve been a general fan of the Batman titles presented in the New 52. Scott Snyder’s Batman is the best of them, but Batman and Robin definitely comes in at a close second. Damian Wayne is an interesting character, one that has depth and story potential in a circle of characters that’s been a little stale for a few years. What’s most interesting about the Dynamic Duo’s title is the relationship between the two characters, not only as crime fighters, but as father and son.
Batman and Robin #5 has Robin running away from Wayne Manor with Morgan Ducard, son of Henri Ducard, one of the men who trained Bruce as a young man before he was Batman. Morgan has persuaded Damian to forsake Bruce’s ethical lessons in favor of swift and brutal justice against criminals. And the issue starts off great, with a nod to and Infinite Crisis-era Bruce who has the entire city’s security system redirected to the Batcave. While also drawing similarities from 2008’s The Dark Knight, Batman’s use of invasive security measures is a little jarring, as is the sudden shift in narrative into an exposition dump on the Ducards.
I’m sure Peter J. Tomasi thought it would be a good idea to give readers a look into Bruce’s past. Unfortunately, the history lesson takes up most of the book and seriously hits the brakes on the main story, which is a shame because Robin’s defection is an extremely interesting story. It’s been obvious since Damin became Robin that he would, at some point, defy Bruce and leave, and that’s why it’s so satisfying to see how it’s going to happen. Morgan Ducard has had a presence in Batman and Robin since it’s ‘first’ issue back in September, and while readers were give a slight backstory a few issues back, it feels like wasted potential to not parcel out the Ducard history over the span of multiple issues instead of a data dump.
Patrick Gleason is an excellent artist for the Dark Knight, whose minimal style effortlessly conveys the darkness and tone of Gotham City. I’m a fan of artistic consistency and DC has done a great job of keeping their artists on lock.