Well that was a quick-read. There are two stories in here that don’t quite go well together and one of them definitely doesn’t feel very “Batman” to me.
First up is what I was really interested in: Damian’s quest to one-up all former Robins. This issue opens with a surprise attack on Jason Todd that has an “Aw, snap! That’s messed up!” moment and a laugh-out-loud conclusion. Those pages are great and the #1 reason for buying this book. They’re also available for free though as the “Batman & Robin #10 PREVIEW” so honestly the only reason to buy this issue is if you like collecting comics. Otherwise everything else here isn’t so great.
The batarang violence support group turned super villains teamed up with a guy who looked like Ivan Ooze in the last issue and their plan is to use the symbol of the bat to instill terror in citizens rather than criminals. Do you remember that poster from The Dark Knight?
Who am I kidding, of course you do. It’s a jaw-dropping. Batman has apparently blown a hole in the side of a building that looks like a bat. It doesn’t make a lot of sense, but it looks bad-ass. Well you see pretty much that exact image throughout the final pages of this issue. You also see a guy that looks a lot like The Juggernaut from X-Men. And don’t get me wrong, the burning building visuals are cool and one shot of Batman’s chest on fire with a burning symbol of its own made me say “That’s cool.” out loud while I was reading it, BUT after 2 issues I still don’t get who this Termanus (Ivan Ooze) guy is, how he has all these resources, how he managed to make these idiot thugs with batarangs in their heads act so competent all of a sudden, what his power is, why he hates Batman, etc. etc. And I also don’t care. Even though the burning Bat-buildings look like they belong in an epic adventure, I just don’t care about it because the story of Damian hunting down and fighting the other Robins is way more fun, way more original, and a hell of a lot more interesting. It only recieved like 4 or 5 pages worth of attention in this book and it’s still the #1 thing everyone is going to be talking about. It’s exciting, it’s hilarious, and I want more of that. I can get Batman fighting costumed villains in “Batman”, “Batman: The Dark Knight”, “Detective Comics”, “Batman: Arkham Unhinged”, “Batman Beyond Unlimited”, “Legends of the Dark Knight”, etc. etc. etc. but this series is the only one that features Damian as a central character. THIS is the only one that can give me THAT unique story and it’s wasting my time with Ivan Ooze turning into the Juggernaut.
Keeping it simple is almost always the best way to go. There’s plenty of fun stuff to do with the Robins storyline. That should’ve been its own 2-3 part story and this other thing with Termanus could’ve came after that. Instead, we’re dragging it out so that (I assume) Batman will get incapacitated in some way and all the fighting Robins will have to set aside their differences and unite to save their mentor thus blending both plotlines into one. If that isn’t how things play out, I will be stunned I say. Stunned.
This isn’t a great issue, and it deserves a lower score than I’m giving it BUT those opening pages were so enjoyable and the some of the visuals were so cool that I would be ashamed to give it below a…