Batman vs. Robin #1
Let’s do this one spoiler free. For many longtime Batman fans, this will be the comic you’ll want to rush out to the comic store to get ASAP before the big reveal is outed on social media or some news outlet that has an exclusive interview and could care less about spoiling anything.
It’s something Batman fans have wanted to see for years and it’s been long overdue. But that’s not the only reason to pick up this issue. Mark Waid branches out from his stellar Batman Superman World’s Finest series for this look at Bruce Wayne and his son, Damian.
Typically, the first issue of a new series doesn’t need a refresher, but it’s worth reading World’s Finest as a significant plot point carries over to this series. And also, World’s Finest is just a terrific book and easily one of DC’s best so it definitely won’t feel like a waste of time homework assignment.
A force has corrupted Damian pitting him against Batman, but he’s not alone. Damian has brought some allies, who are adept at using magic. That’s not in Batman’s wheelhouse making this fight more of a challenge for The Dark Knight than usual. Waid has avoided making Batman SuperBats on World’s Finest making him far more vulnerable and capable of actually losing a fight. This greatly aids in building palatable suspense.
With the focus on magic, Waid makes sure the story incorporates the obvious heroic magic users Batman would turn to in this scenario only to find he’s nearly on his own.
Mahmud Asrar hasn’t been very active with mainstream publishers lately, but his pages serve as a quick reminder why he worked on titles like Justice League of America, Supergirl and more. Asrar’s clean style allows for easy comprehension of what’s playing out on the page even with possessed costumes and dinosaurs are in play. His characters are also very expressive, which is key in this story.
If a DC book has superior coloring, the odds are good that Jordie Bellaire provided it. Bellaire uses a color palette that spotlights the tone of the artist she’s working with, and the hues complement Asarar’s style with ease.
Batman vs. Robin might not be the big conflict DC readers wanted to see play out in 2022, but under Waid and Asrar’s hands, this is a brisk read that offers plenty of intriguing directions for the future of the Batman titles and beyond.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
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