Issue #3 is upon us and unfortunately all is not well in the world of Batman and Robin. This book is floundering and wasting the potential it has. Coming into this issue our heroes are still trying to save White Rabbit from the Terrible Trio. Past that, it’s mostly action. Well, let’s not delay any longer and right get into it.
The biggest problem this month is that nothing happens. Most of this issue is spent chasing people around. Either it’s Shush or White Rabbit and, by the end, all they’ve learned is that Shush is not working with Hush. Which… is really dumb. I’ve already made it clear in previous reviews that I don’t think she’s a very good villain but this makes it even worse. Why would she be using the Hush gimmick if she’s not even connected to him? I guess she could be using it to make a name for herself but that would only make her a lamer character than she already is. Now I’m not saying she should be Tommy Elliot’s daughter or relation of any kind. That’s an entirely overused trope that rarely makes any sense when the original character has previously had no known relations. She should be tied to him in some way though. All the heroes have sidekicks. Why can’t the villains? It would make perfect sense for Hush to have a sidekick. His motivation is to be Bruce Wayne. Batman has sidekicks who form a themed family, so Hush copying him might actually be interesting. If she is just ripping off his look, as she seems to be, I’m not interested.
There is some dialogue between Damian and Bruce about school in this issue. Bruce wants him to go back but Damian refuses and gets his way until Bruce can give him a “good reason” to do so. To me, Damian going to school is the most interesting element of this comic. That’s all I want to read about to be honest. This is probably the best moment in this issue.
The school scene last issue did feel rather cliche and out of touch to me at the time but it plays into this moment well and I actually chuckled at Damian’s claim that he’s had the full high school experience. The bright side is this interaction makes me wonder if the cliche nature of that scene was on purpose so that when Damian eventually goes back and experiences something beyond the cliche his preconceptions will be challenged.
If we could just focus on his home and school life and mostly leave the costumes out of this series, you would not find me complaining. Obviously, this is a superhero comic so that’s not going to happen, but a half-and-half balance would be enough. I’m sure Damian will eventually go back to school but so far, the reluctance to commit to the idea is draining this book of interest. I don’t care about this aimless White Rabbit/Shush/hidden mastermind plot and as of now, I don’t see that changing.
So the writing is in the process of losing my interest but the art has already lost it. I do not enjoy Simone Di Meo’s art on this title in the slightest and I can’t say that any more diplomatically without failing to get across how strongly my feelings are. As I’ve said before, Di Meo has technical ability but his composition and sequential storytelling are on the verge of incompetence. The art is eye-achingly cluttered and busy-looking. It is such a struggle to follow what is happening on these pages (the coloring also doesn’t help) that I actively don’t want to try. Interiors are not Di Meo’s forte and until something changes he needs to stick to drawing covers.
- You like mindless action
- Batman remains a nice guy, at least
This issue left me with very little to talk about because so little happened in the story. I still want to enjoy this book because it has the potential to be something much better and Williamson is great at writing Damian, but as of right now, it is working out to be a pretty big disappointment. With a different artist and more focus on character and less on action maybe things can turn around.
DISCLAIMER: DC Comics provided Batman News with a copy of this comic for the purpose of this review.