We’re on a roll here people! Tomasi’s hot! Hot!
Batman and Robin #17 is yet another terrific issue that’s brimming with delightful character moments. Who needs another super villain plot when you can get something you never see in the other bat-titles (especially right now): The characters acting happy!
READ THIS COMIC AFTER BATMAN #17
Not just happy either, but doing the mundane things that fanboys like myself end up questioning like Does Batman pack snacks and bottled water in the utility belt? What does Damian dream about? What’s it like at the end of the night when Bruce and Alfred close-up shop?
The story here is a simple one because it’s really no story at all. It’s 3 shorts, each one a dream sequence. It starts out with Bruce, Damian, and Alfred calling it a day and then they hit the hay. Then we see what each character dreams about that night. It’ll put a smile on your face! At least it did for me. Alfred’s dream was easily my favorite, but I don’t even want to put it in spoiler tags because I know some of you will peak. Just go check it out.
And if the idea of buying a done-in-one comic about Batman and Robin in their off hours sounds boring then shame on you! I said “dream sequence”, remember? Patrick Gleason draws more of the Batman rogues gallery in this comic than in any Batman and Robin issue before it plus countless other disturbing visuals that could only happen in a dream. Plus there are great little details that bring the characters to life. My favorite being a panel in which Damian, being a kid, puts one hand in his boot and the other in his father boot and then presses the soles together and compares them. I would’ve liked more details to the eyes in some panels though or perhaps thinner inks. There are some shots where it’s unclear whether someone has their eyes closed or if they are just supposed to be as black as coals.
Dream stories have a knack for sucking, but that’s because those usually play it straight the whole time and then end with a big middle finger to the audience in the form of the “It was all a dream! None of that actually happened!” finale. But this is different. You know right from the get-go that this is going to all be make-believe. You’re on board for it. You’re not going to be betrayed on the final page or feel punished for having enjoyed yourself. Now that I think about it, the only instance I can think of in which the “It was all a dream” ending worked successfully was another Batman story
Anyway, Batman and Robin #17 is a must-read. It’s dark, disturbing, funny, lighthearted, triumphant, trippy, and although it’s a very quick read it’s a pretty satisfying one. Coming up with an ending for a comic that’s just 3 dream sequences can’t be easy, but I think Tomasi pulled it off okay by going the heart-warming route. In fact, I’d be totally on board for Batman and Robin becoming the feel-good title, but if the rumors hold true about upcoming Batman events…I don’t see that happening. I sincerely hope that this series can continue the same level of quality in future issues. The Annual and this had so much heart! Focusing on characters over plot clearly seems to be the way to go for this series. There’s so much love for the characters on every page, it’s really wonderful.