Friday, January 12, 2024

Batman And Robin #5 Review


Written by: Joshua Williamson
Art by: Nikola Čižmešija
Colors by: Rex Lokus
Letters by: Steve Wands
Cover art by: Simone Di Meo (cover A)
Cover price: $4.99
Release date: January 9, 2024

Batman And Robin #5 gets down to the business of High School when Bruce and Damian engage in after-school extracurriculars to investigate Principal Stone.
Is Batman And Robin #5 Good?

I liked this issue. Yes, I know, I know. I'm as shocked as anyone that Joshua Williamson could craft an issue that outright entertains in Batman And Robin #5, but he did, and I'm sticking to my story.

When last we left the Dynamic Duo, they narrowly escaped the upgraded Man-Bat and his new partner, Shush. At the end of the issue, Damian casually dropped that he believed Shush was his High School Head Mistress, Principal Stone, who also happened to be one of his trainers from years ago, Mistress Harsh. Got it? Good.

Now, Bruce makes pancakes at a school fundraiser, Damian tries out for the soccer team, and the two compare investigative notes to confirm if Principal Stone is Shush and how Shush is connected to Man-Bat's undisclosed plan.

If you read between the lines, Batman And Robin #5 is replete with High School shenanigans wherein Damian tries to get inside Principal Stone's inner circle without letting his true talents and abilities slip to his fellow students. On more than one page, the comic feels like a Shonen-style Manga in the way it looks and the tone of the story. Take that for what you will.

What's great about Batman And Robin #5? Damian trying to fit in in High School is the type of amusing storytelling we need more of in DC's title lineup. Soccer moms thirsting after Bruce Wayne, much bigger bullies getting shown up by Damian at every turn, and more. The majority of DC titles lack fun, but this issue was fun.

What's not so great about Batman And Robin #5? I'll give props to Williamson for bringing the fun, but his bad habits persist. There's no reason for Damian's old instructor to show up in two different disguises. If Damian is wrong (unlikely), then he's epically wrong. If he's right, then the Shush character is unnecessarily complicated.

Further, we still have no idea what Man-Bat is up to after five issues, which is a pacing and decompression no-no. There should be some urgency around discovering Man-Bat's plan, but you only get brief bits of attention toward finding Man-Bat from the Dynamic Duo before they shift all focus to Principal Stone. Williamson's attention span to the problem at hand is all over the place.

How's the art? Nikola Čižmešija's art style isn't perfect, but it suits the story Williamson is telling better than Di Meo. Čižmešija shows some Manga influences in the character expressions, small moments, and the action. Plus, Rex Lokus's colors look great.

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

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Bits and Pieces:

Batman And Robin #5 takes an odd break from the urgent drive to find Man-Bat for an amusing issue showing Bruce and Damian infiltrating High School life to expose Principal Stone as Shush. Williamson appears to be having fun holding Damian back from unleashing his true potential on H.S. bullies, and the mildly Manga-influenced art amplifies the amusing tone of the investigation. That said, Man-Bat's plan is still a blank slate, which reflects poor pacing by Williamson.


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