Looks like Tomasi might have found his groove because this is probably the best Batman & Robin issue we’ve had since Grant Morrison left the title. I enjoyed the first one a lot, but in the last issue the characterization felt a bit off and there really wasn’t a whole lot of content. We met Morgan AKA Nobody (pictured below)
And that was fun. His goal is to take down Batman Incorporated (which is commendable), his invisibility suit with sonic wave emitters like Batman Beyond’s Shriek, and his knowledge of Batman’s true identity makes him a definite threat and the most interesting villain across all Bat-titles right now. Well, at least until we hear more about those Owls and Talon in Snyder’s “Batman” but for right now, Nobody is the best villain Batman is currently facing. And boy, does he bring it in this issue.
Like The past two installments of Batman & Robin, Tomasi produces some excellent quiet moments between our characters, that’s right, plural! He’s good at giving the rest of the cast face time and if anything this is more of a Robin & Batman book than it is a Batman & Robin book, which is a great thing. Especially nice are the moments we get between Alfred and Damian. I can’t stress enough how delightful it is to see Alfred being proactive. In the bat titles so far he’s mostly been the guy who is tidying up in the background, which is a real shame. In Batman & Robin #3, however, you get to see a couple of great Alfred moments.
I don’t want to give away how the rest of the book goes, I’ll just say that it’s definitely worth the price of admission and it shows Detective Comics how you’re supposed to do a cliffhanger ending. My only nitpicks about this are pretty weak, but for seasoned fans of Damian, it’s going to give you a little twinge: Damian doesn’t refer to Alfred as “Pennyworth” which was always amusing. And something else that might irk you is that the dog Bruce bought in the last issue still doesn’t have a name. I know it should be Ace. You know it should be Ace. They just need to name it Ace and save us Batfans some anguish.
And lastly, in the opening pages we see that Batman is busy upgrading the defenses around Wayne Manor now that he knows Nobody is coming for them. That’s all fine and dandy, but why is he dressed as Batman when he’s securing the perimeter around his own house? I guess you could say that he’s just armored up in case Nobody shows up while he’s sprucing up the place, but really it felt kind of odd. And even if that excuse does explain why Bruce felt the need to gear up to do some DIY, it doesn’t explain why he felt the need to stand atop that gargoyle/tombstone all menacingly in the moonlight for god knows how long. But look at me, cracking wise about things that didn’t really matter. It’s the best Batman & Robin issue so far. It looks great, it’s brutal, it’s got lots of character development and one heck of a villain. Pick this one up.
And NAME THE DOG!!!