Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Batman vs. Robin #2 Review



Written by: Mark Waid
Art by: Mahmud Asrar
Colors by: Jordie Bellaire
Letters by: Steve Wands
Cover art by: Mahmud Asrar, Nathan Fairbairn
Cover price: $5.99
Release date: October 11, 2022

Batman vs. Robin #2 takes Batman and Alfred on a walk down memory lane inside the infamous House of Mystery, where the spirits fully reveal what happened to Damian on Lazarus Island and how we became Batman's greatest threat.

Is It Good?

Starting with World's Finest #1 and continuing up to this point, Mark Waid's line of comics is practically the best coming out of DC Comics. With Batman vs. Robin #2, the shine may be fading a little in an issue that's more exposition than plot development, culminating in the last page reveal guaranteed to be a source of irritation for Batman fans.

Waid's issue is mostly an A plot with a little B plot mixed in. The B plot centers around Nezha's collection of magical villains raiding points of interest on Earth to gather magical items. The goal is to siphon off magical energy from said items into a single conduit, namely the Helmet of Fate. The robberies are impactful, leaving a few casualties in their wake, and readers are treated to a cavalcade of magical villains we haven't seen in a long while.

The B plot works well and establishes a sense of momentum that Nezha is working on something big. As a plus, more magical villain cameos are always a welcome sight.

The A plot, which takes up the lion's share of the issue, focuses on Batman and Alfred working their way through the House of Mystery. An assortment of mystical entities leads them through different rooms to show them replays of Robin's past, unveiling what happened to Damian to bring him to his current state. The A plot is fine as an exposition dump if you haven't read World's Finest or the recent Robin series, but for everyone who is up to speed, this issue feels like an uneventful rehash of information we already know. In short, if you've read those other series, you may find this issue boring.

What isn't boring is a reveal on the last page that will either confirm suspicions or annoy the hopeful. I won't spoil it here, but the last page reveals the only surprising thing about this issue. Some readers, however, may not view it as a welcome surprise.

The art by Asrar is a tad disappointing in this issue. Characters look lumpy and misshapen, Batman looks downright portly in a few panels, and the book's overall look lacks sharpness and appeal. We've seen much better work from Asrar (e.g. King Conan), so this step down in visual appeal is the second surprise of the book. Hopefully, these unwelcome surprises are a one-off.


About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.

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Bits and Pieces:

Batman vs. Robin #2 gives readers a little insight into the next phase of Nezha's plan and spends most of the book replaying flashbacks to a known plot point from other titles. While the information is useful for new readers, fans of World's Finest and the recent Robin series may find themselves tuning out. Coupled with a step down in art quality and a last-page twist that may irritate more than a few readers, this entry in the series is a mixed bag.


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