Thursday, October 25, 2018

Throwback Thursday: Robin: Son of Batman #1 Review (2015)

Bat Whistle 

Written By: Patrick Gleason
Art By: Patrick Gleason, Mick Gray, John Kalisz
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: June 17, 2015

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

Don't get me wrong here, I love Robin and I'm really happy to have Damian back from the dead and getting back to his super-heroics, it's just....... I love Batman and Robin.  Yeah, that's not the best way to start off with a title like this because it seems like I'm already dismissing it, which I'm not.  It's just that I was so happy to have the Batman and Robin title get back on track, only to have it immediately canceled was like a punch to the gut.  Batman isn't dead yet, but still, I guess Damian is going off on his own......which says wonders about Bruce's parental abilities.  So don't go expecting any cries from a boy over his father's passing.  No, just straight up Robin, doing his thing.  Let's get into this issue and see what that thing is.  Let's check it out.

Explain It!:

Our story begins in the present day, where Damian has already gone off into the world in search of Goliath, but here we find that his bat steed has been captured by a Biayian Warlord, who demands compensation for this monster eating his sacred cattle.  Apparently compensation means Damian being adopted by this man and forced to fight his other son, but Damian doesn't have time for that nonsense and simply proves that even though he's young, he's no one to trifle with and this is made incredibly clear when he kicks the warlord's teeth out and blows on a "bat whistle"....... (it's actually a whistle made out of a bat's skull, so it's not really what you initially imagined when hearing the words "Bat whistle") and Goliath breaks himself free of his restraints and the two fly off until Goliath goes a little too high and causes Damian to pass out.  It's during this sleepy time that we get a little back story about how we got to such an odd place from where we left off in Batman and Robin.  After training in the bat cave and falling down a hole, similar to what happened to Bruce, Damian realizes that Batman went out on patrol without him and Damian uses this free time to simply go to bed, but he won't end up staying there.  No, he gets a call from his former caretaker, that Goliath has gotten out and Damian rushes to Al Ghul Island to sort the mess out.

On the island, Damian looks for his "bat whistle", which he's told is in the submarine, along with everything else from his mysterious "Year of Blood".  This event must have been something pretty terrible because Damian's still dealing with the psychological scars today, as we see from his dream when he passes out in Goliath's arms......  He's standing in front of his mother's and his former graves, when Dick Grayson shows up and asks what it was like to die and then everything becomes a terrible nightmare about him being punished for all the terrible things that he's done in the past and even though this is only a dream, it seems like his past will catch up to him because back in Gotham, Nobody's daughter has just discovered the body of her father down in the Gotham Harbor and after recovering the video from her father's mask, it seems like this new Nobody is looking for a little payback from her father's killer.

In the end, Damian comes to and he finds himself back on Al Ghul Island, because Goliath apparently doesn't understand that "home" means Gotham to Damian, but it could also be that this creature knew that Damian had things that he needed to face here and wanted to begin a little adventure with our Boy Wonder........... Hey, I don't know that Goliath can't read minds.  At this point anything is possible.  Anyway, Damian goes down into the sub and confronts what's down there and we see that it's just full of people that he once killed during his "Year of Blood" that Talia and Ra's put him through as a way to strengthen the boy so that he could one day conquer the world.  That's not Damian anymore though and our young hero decides that he has to deal with his past acts and somehow make them right.......which leads to Goliath holding up a tablet which somehow means "Guardian" and with that, our duo are off to right whatever wrong Damian inflicted on him.  It doesn't look like it will be easy though because as this issue ends, we see a Talia Al Ghul in the wild, being confronted by someone bearing the symbol of "The Guardian" and she doesn't seem too pleased about it.

That's it for this issue of Robin: Son of Batman and even though at first read I was a little confused about the timeline of events, it became immediately clearer to me when I took a second peek.  I really enjoyed this book and look forward to seeing Damian atone for his past and become the true hero that he was beginning to be before he died.  Yeah, I would have probably liked to simply see Damian in Gotham, but Patrick Gleason slapped me for being stuck in my ways and presented me with an entire world for Damian to explore with his enigmatic bat monster companion.  So yeah, I expect this to be a good time.  Gleason did a great job writing this issue and I've always loved his art on Batman and Robin, so this first issue is really solid.  My only complaints if you want to call them that are, I'd like to know where we're at in the timeline and I'd like to get a little background on Goliath.......Yeah, it will probably just be an Al Ghul Man-Bat experiment and we'll probably find out in the next couple of issues, I just would have liked to know Damian and it's connection during this story where they seem like bosom buddies.

Bits and Pieces:

I love Damian Wayne, but this title initially put me off because of Batman's death and where this would take place and Damian looking like he was prancing around the world with a bat monster.  Yeah, he's still prancing around the world with a bat monster and I'm not sure of where this would fit into continuity-wise, but Patrick Gleason has put my mind at ease.  In this book we find ourselves continuing where we left off before Damian's death in redeeming the character of his past actions.  I can't wait to see where Gleason takes us on this quest because it looks like it will be a fun time.


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