Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Batman and Robin #38 Review and *SPOILERS*

Written By: Peter J. Tomasi
Art By: Patrick Gleason, Mick Gray, John Kalisz
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: January 21, 2015


When we last walked through the pages of Batman and Robin and Robin Rises: Alpha, we saw that our little pumpkin headed boy was back among the land of the living; not only that, he was sporting himself some new superpowers as well.  Yes, Damian is alive and now Batman will have to wrangle his son in as they try to get back into the business of fighting crime and slipping into their old routines.  Let's check out what adventures await our Dynamic Duo from here on out. 

Explain It!:

Our issue begins like nothing ever happened to our young Robin, as we see him waking his father up in the middle of the night because he's antsy to get back patrolling.  It's during the patrolling though where we see that the dynamic between these two has shifted a bit when Damian uses his body as a shield against a machine gun toting thug......... Not to mention the brutal beating he gave him after he Superman strutted up to the bad guy.  As you'd imagine Damian's grounded and besides for the superpowers, it feels like old times.

Even though Damian is now invulnerable it still seems that he's suffering the psychological scars of being killed....... which is understandable and for all his new found power, we see that he's still just a little boy when he is faced with what happened to him in his dreams.  While I don't exactly agree with some of the imagery we see in Damian's dream, like everything that happened when he died and after, I can chalk it up to Bruce telling him for some reason or he read it for himself in Bruce's logs.  So just hellish nightmares about the Heretic killing him and demonic versions of his mother and grandfather.  Damian is so shaken by these dreams that he literally jumps right out of his bed and up to Alfred's room above.  This is a great scene where Alfred barely acknowledges that a young boy just came up through his floor.  Now that he's awake, Damian feels he has to confront his dreams and he suits up and goes to work.  

First thing on the agenda is carving his mother's name on the stone in front of her former grave signifying that for everything that she tried to do to kill him, he still survived and if talking to yourself while carving a name in stone with your finger isn't odd enough, this is where things get weird.  For whatever reason Bruce told Damian that all of his clones that turned out wrong were moved to Atlantis under Aquaman's care and now Damian pays the King of Atlantis a visit to reclaim what he calls "his family".  Aquaman sees nothing wrong with this request for some reason....... Maybe it's because he just saw the boy swim down to Atlantis and doesn't want to test Damian's power because how can someone be King after his subjects see him get his ass kicked by a child?

In the end, Damian takes all the stasis bubbles to a uninhabited least I hope it's uninhabited and releases all his disfigured monster brothers so they can see their new home.  Now I know this is a long shot but does anyone remember the horror series It's Alive?  It's basically about mutant killer babies but in the third movie the plot was that the government placed these mutant killer babies on a uninhabited island and they grew up to be giant mutant killer babies............. Yeah, it's a terrible film series but this ending reminds me of It's Alive 3: Island of the Alive.  Yeah, awful titles too.

That's it for this issue of Batman and Robin and let me tell you that I loved the feel of this book.  Besides for Aquaman coming off too stiff for me and the Island of the Alive at the end, the issue just felt right and felt like exactly what we were missing.  Like Damian is in this issue, we're acclimating ourselves to this new status quo of the series and going on the adventure with Damian as he tries to rid himself of his psychological demons.  Yeah, the issue got a little weird at the end but this issue is exactly what I needed and I can't wait to see what happens next.  As strong as the personal stuff with Damian and Bruce is, it would be nothing without the great art of Patrick Gleason.  I just love the way he draws our Dynamic Duo and now that we've got our team back I hope this creative team continues for a long time and we can get more of those strong issues that we were used to before Damian's death.  See you next month as............... You know what?  I don't think I can wait until next month.  We have Damian back and I'm as excited as Jesse Spano in Saved By The Bell.  

Bits and Pieces:

This issue got a little weird towards the end for me, but besides for that this was a great issue of Batman and Robin.  I had forgotten how much I loved Tomasi writing Damian and we begin a journey where Robin tries to leave his demons behind him so that he can truly be back and not constantly think about his death.  I'm so happy to have my little pumpkin headed boy back that I really didn't notice his superpowers at all.  It was a very personal story and I really appreciated that tone of the book.  All Batman and Robin fans should be reading this.

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