First off, I’d like to give a virtual round of applause to the creative team (Tomasi, Gleason, Gray, and Kalisz) for reaching the end of their run on this title. It’s been an emotional, thrilling ride with some very stunning visuals and memorable moments that really helped define the status quo of the current Dynamic Duo. If you haven’t had the pleasure of following this story for its entire run, do yourself a favor and check out some of the trades.
Batman and Robin #40 delivers the action early with Shazam, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Robin with Batman following in the Batwing flying in to handle a threat overseas. The Justice League members and Robin encounter a raging monster off the shores of Japan that looks like something straight from a Power Rangers episode. What ensues is a very colorful battle full of ZRRAKKs, KRAKKs, TRAAZZZAKKKs, and KRAKAKOOMs. Robin fully unleashes his strength during the fight, no longer having to hold back as he’s had to do in Gotham while adjusting to his newfound capabilities. Heat vision even manifested itself during the battle to the surprise of Robin. I found that bit very cool, especially having Superman offer guidance in using the heat vision. Shazam and Robin finished the beast off with a spectacular 1,2 combo that could definitely pass as a brutal move in the Injustice video game.
The teamwork amongst the super-heroes was the highlight for me in this opening battle. I usually enjoy seeing different characters bring their unique skill set to the fight to get the job done. With a list of heavy hitters, this fight was over quicker than you could say “Jumping Jupiter, Batman”.
The rest of the issue takes place back at the Batcave/Wayne Manor. I personally believe that Tomasi’s work shines when dealing with emotional content and the personal relationships between the characters. The other aspect of Tomasi’s writing that I really enjoy is how he handles Damian Wayne. I love the moments that we get of Damian (not Robin). With all of the globetrotting, assassin killing, crimefighting, an army of deformed clones, super powers, and parading around Gotham in a custom Batsuit, that Damian is still a child. He has to be eleven by now though, right? Maybe we’ll get a birthday issue for Damian sometime soon. Like a child who’s had a fantastic day at school, Damian comes home bursting at the seams with excitement. Moments later, he’s quickly heading towards REM sleep. We get a very heartfelt moment in these pages and finally get to see the completed version of the family portrait of Bruce and the boys (sans Jason Todd).
As far as the art goes, Gleason nailed it as usual. His characters’ facial expressions are always something that I’ve admired. You can see the childish demeanor in Shazam’s face when he and Damian delivered the final blows on the cybernetic monster. The proud looks on the faces of the Justice League when Robin offered his gratitude in being able to assist them in battle. Or Damian trying to reactivate his heat vision while back home. Those expressions help convey the feeling of a scene even if words weren’t used. That explains why that silent issue early in the B&R run worked so perfectly. As I mentioned before, the issue was very colorful. Looking back at it, you could divide it into three parts. The first part is the large scale battle. Large amounts of blues, pinks, red, and green were very brave and bold choices that made the fight stand out. The second part or act if you will is when they’re back at Gotham. These pages have a very warm feel to them, using a lot of reds and yellows to the overall tone. Lastly, the third act in the final pages of the book is the usual dark setting of Gotham. Shadows and a sort of green tint reminiscent of scenes from The Matrix. Patrick Gleason, Mick Gray, and John Kalisz handle the art duties well in this finale. Here’s to hoping that Gleason (along with Gray if I’m not mistaken) keeps up the great work when he ventures out on his own in Robin: Son of Batman.
- You want to see the conclusion to what’s been a terrific run
- You love cameos from the Justice League and Batcow and Alfred the cat!
- You love the father/son moments between Bruce & Damian
This issue was fantastic. Visually, it looked amazing and it was a very fitting end to the title as a whole. I personally enjoyed issue #38 a tad bit more and would’ve been fine if that had been the finale, but I was delighted to get an extra treat and see Damian tag along with the Justice League. My only complaint about this title doesn’t even really have to do with this issue at all. It was the loose end of Carrie Kelly’s involvement. That was something that I really wanted to see be fleshed out, but other than that, I was completely satisfied with Tomasi and Gleason’s work. There’s only the annual and two Convergence issues, and then it’s bye bye Batman and Robin. Be sure to treat yourself to what turned out to be a fantastic era for the Dynamic Duo