Batman and Robin #39 review

Batman Robin 39

Batman and Robin has been one of my favorite titles in DC’s stable. Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason have proved through multiple arcs that they’re a formidable team mirroring the duo that they create for each issue. With that being said, I was a bit sad when I learned of Tomasi’s upcoming departure and the cancelation of this book. However, we are getting a solo Damian book with Gleason taking the helm on both the writing and pencils. He’s one of my favorite artists currently working at DC right now, so excited to see what he has up his sleeves.

February’s issue of the Dynamic Duo plays out like a filler episode, as there’s not much in terms of action or story development. Nonetheless, what we receive is a very funny character driven plot. I’ll admit that #38 could have been a good place for Tomasi to end his run. He brought Damian back to life in grand fashion and provided some closure for the young vigilante. Although there’s probably a few threads I’d like to touch upon, namely Damian’s connection to Carrie Kelly, I felt like last month’s issue summed up the book very nicely. Still I’m excited for what looks like a fun ride that Tomasi and Gleason are cooking up.

We get some quick cameos from The Penguin, Killer Croc, and some familiar criminals from the Terminus arc of Batman & Robin. Damian scoops them all up to let them know he’s laying down the law of the land and they better fall in line. This amazing show of power gets cut short when his powers fail him for a quick second, sending the criminals plummeting to certain death only to be saved by Batman in the Batwing. Of course, Batman’s not pleased in his son’s antics. I must say though, from the bad guys’ perspective, that had to be an effective good cop, bad cop routine the Dynamic Duo just pulled off.

One thing that I always loved about this title was the relationships between each character. They’re a family, a unit. Not perfect, of course, but Tomasi explores the dynamics of each character in relation to one another. Damian is still a bit rambunctious and Bruce is still stern and frustrated as ever, but their recent events have changed how they interact with one another–at least on Bruce’s end. It’s a little hard for Robin right now to be anything less than arrogant in his abilities when he’s ten years old with the powers of Superman. Bruce on the other hand, most likely grateful to have his son back, appears to be more patient and willing to work with and trust Damian. This notion is most apparent when Robin tells his father that he can’t feel anything. Batman in a very parent like manner informs the Boy Wonder that it’s not a good thing not to feel and that they will find a solution.

I really enjoy the illustrations provided by Pat, Mick, and Kalisz. I’ve stated before that I think they’re a dream team. Hopefully, Mick Gray and John Kalisz continue to work with Gleason on Robin: Son of Batman. It’s refreshing to see Batman & Robin outside of their costumes enjoying the fresh air (although neither one of them seemed to be enjoying it). The sharp color contrast between them in their civilian attire to their hero uniforms is pleasing to the eyes. And I don’t care how many times they’ve done it, showing Robin slumped down in the Batmobile while Batman lectures him is always hilarious.

Tomasi’s actually pretty good with the humor. After Batman and Robin’s outings in Gotham, Batman is summoned to the Justice League tower. Damian takes this time alone to shine some light onto the criminal underworld of Gotham City–literally. It’s a funny moment, and Batman doesn’t even lose his cool with Damian. I swear, he must be taking yoga or something. Where this “filler” issue really shines is when Batman and Robin head to the Justice League tower together. I had the same wide-eyed enthusiastic look that Damian had once he arrived at the tower, but he quickly played down his excitement when questioned by his father. Superman was quite happy to finally meet his best friend’s son, but the best part was seeing Shazam and Robin interact. Out of all the heroes Robin has worked with, these two are the closest in age. Shazam was excited to have another youngin’ around, Damian on the other hand was…..well, Damian. That kid’s a handful

Recommended if:

  • You want to learn more about Robin’s powers
  • You just love the father/son relationship with a heroic twist
  • You want to get pumped up for a super team up with the Dynamic Duo

Overall: 

The action is low, but the talking doesn’t bog this issue down. The quick failing of Damian’s powers lead me to think that they’re not permanent and that a hard learnt lesson is on its way, but we’ll see. Bruce and Damian are still working on their relationship, but they seem to be heading in a good direction. And how can you not get pumped up for the next issue with Batman, Robin, Superman, and Shazam going on a mission together? This issue is a nice set up.

SCORE: 9/10 

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