This issue is part five of Robin Rises, a major story arc that’s been spoiled so much and so heavily by its very own publisher that much of the curious wind filling its sails (ironically, “sells” too) is missing. I’ve tried staying away from a lot of internet chatter about this arc but it was impossible. Today, reading through Batman/Superman, I find three pages in the back devoted to what’s happening in the future for Damian, almost in a way that doesn’t even care that this issue only came out today. I know that information’s been out there for a while, but I gotta tell you, knowing this: SHOW SPOILER ▼makes me read this issue impatiently because the majority of my curiosity is aimed at the above spoiler. Part of me read this as just another step leading to the eventual spoiled conclusion, while another part of me read it as a fun (weird) beat ’em up Batman comic. It’s like telling my six-year-old self, “Here’s all your presents, Jesse. Open these two shirts and crayons before you open this really big and awesome gift here. Oh and also, it’s that bicycle you’ve been asking for.” I’m just ready to ride. Sigh. But in honor of that “ready to ride” mentality, I realize this issue is all about the ride, the fun and absurd ride that is Batman beating up a god on Apokolips.
Bruce is in the Hellbat suit standing face to face with Darkseid who has just woken up. I’m reminded of the opening scene in Aladdin where the giant lion in the sand awakens and says, “Who disturbs my slumber?” Strangely enough, I always thought he said, “Who disturbs my sunburn?” Unlike Aladdin, Darkseid and Batman have a past and quickly began duking it out. Darkseid quickly does away with Bruce’s Mother Box (the device that can create a Boom tube and take them home) thus giving our Robin Rescue Regiment something to do: they’ve got to get Cyborg’s Boom tube operational and fight off…oh who cares, give me more brutal Bruce beat-downs. And that’s what we get. Bruce fights Darkseid until they stop and basically the comic ends. I’ve put the more nuanced plot lines in spoilers below.
The visuals here are plenty. Bruce punching Darkseid, Darkseid slamming Bruce on his head, Darkseid stomping his head –it’s very intense. Constant, even. The art is such a dominating and effective element in this particular issue, I daresay this could have been the action-style counterpart to the silent Requiem issue, albeit without nearly the heart. My eyes do tire of the constant red and black, but I mean…we’re on Apokolips, what can you expect. Some of the squinched (there’s no auto-correct for squinched…you follow me) faces are kind of weird, but we know that’s Gleason’s style.
For the obvious and spoiled plot points, I’ll place them here: SHOW SPOILER ▼
- You want to see the conclusion of Bruce’s time on Apokolips.
- You’ve ever wondered about the efficacy of a Chaos Shard life-stabbing test on a controlled population sample of one former Robin.
- You plan on picking up Robin Rises: Alpha on Christmas Eve.
Another serene issue of Batman and Robin, this issue is sure to bring out the pensive musings of the introspective heart…jk. No, this issue is for those who want to see individuals have both “the crap” and “the living daylights” beat out of them. Want to know if Damian comes back to life and you haven’t any access to social media, DC’s website, or the final ads in the back of every other comic this week? This is for you. It’s fun, though. Enjoy!