Writer: Ron Marz
Pencils: Denys Cowan
Inks: Klaus Janson
Colors: Chris Sotomayor

So Convergence is already underway, and readers are getting their first glimpses at how the event is shaking up the DC Universe. If you’re anything like me, you’re approaching this storyline with high hopes and weary anticipation. This could easily be something spectacular or fall flat on its face. The beauty of large crossover events. While DC moved their offices from New York to California, Convergence was birthed to explore and celebrate the history of storylines past and present.

For me, the biggest draw is returning to the worlds of pre-New52 lore. Specifically for this Batman and Robin issue, readers are given a story that includes Batman & Robin, Red Hood, and his partner Scarlet. For those who aren’t too familiar with Red Hood’s partner, she was a victim of Professor Pyg’s experimentation. Damian initially rescued her, but forgot to return for her when things got hairy. Red Hood took her in as his partner shortly after. I particularly love this version of Jason Todd. His white/black/red outfit looks so awesome in my opinion. Not to mention, I was really interested in what was going on with him during this time when he was teamed up with Scarlet and had frequent encounters with the Dynamic Duo (also before Lobdell penned his adventures).

Braniac is up to his usual shenanigans of being a “collector” and placing cities from different timelines into large domes. Gotham has been placed in one of these domes, cutting the city off from neighboring cities or outside assistance. Poison Ivy has taken it upon herself to provide the city with food that she’s grown in her garden. Never one to miss out on an opportunity to flex his criminal muscle, Oswald Cobblepot arrives on the scene to make a profit off of Ivy’s generous charity. With a team of lackeys that include Killer Croc, Mr. Freeze, Black Mask, and Man-Bat, it’s obvious that Penguin means business. Batman and Robin enter the fray to offer protection to Ivy, but end up needing assistance themselves. Enter Red Hood and Scarlet. This was to the surprise of Batman & Robin who haven’t seen the two in a while. Batman is welcoming all the help he can get with the given circumstances. Damian, on the other hand, is not too amused.

Is that jealousy I sense, Master Damian?
Is that jealousy I sense, Master Damian?

The set up for this issue is pretty interesting, however, i felt the execution was a little underwhelming. Jason and Damian are two favorites of mine, being the hotheaded Robins. I love how Bruce has these four sons (with Jason being the redheaded stepchild). We get a brief scuffle between the two, but I was expecting a bit more out of the exchange. Mind you, the issue had to move quickly to showcase the imminent threat affecting the city, but with only two issues for this tie-in, I kind of needed this one to be hard hitting.

I’m not familiar with the creative team this time around, and Denys Cowan handled the pencils for the issue. It wasn’t particularly my favorite, but I actually favored it compared to the art in the Batman and Robin Annual from earlier this month. Cowan’s style has a sort of quickly drawn feel to it. I would’ve preferred a more detailed depiction for this story, but this style lended to a retrospective/dreamy kind of look. One minor detail that bothered me was Scarlet’s face. I’m guessing due to the fact that there was less detail, you couldn’t really tell that her Scarlet’s face was disfigured. In some panels, she just appears to have a funny expression. In fact, most of the characters faces seem to change design depending on what they’re doing. It’s nothing too distracting, however, and can be chalked up to the quick draw style of Cowan.

Standing in formation is Superhero 101
Standing in formation is Superhero 101
Spoiler
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This to me was the best part of the entire issue. A bit of a stroll down memory lane, the chart touched on a few key moments in Batman and Robin before the New52 began. A highlight for me that bumped up the score ever so slightly

Recommended if:

  • You’re interested in Convergence
  • You want to see pre-New52 B&R, Jason Todd, and Scarlet
  • You need new Batman and Robin material to hold you over until June

Overall:

This issue was a case of high expectations and low results. The issue is far from terrible, but seeing how this is such a large event spanning over the next two months, I was really hoping this would be an interesting tie-in. Nothing really happened in the issue besides a few scuffles, and the emotional element that I expected to be present from Batman dealing with his protégés seemed stale. There’s still time for things to kick into overdrive and there’s bound to be some fun parts with Jason and Damian working together. These tie-ins are returning to some fan favorite eras. Let’s hope they can really celebrate the history of DC and usher in the new with a bang.

SCORE: 6.5/10