Review: Batman and Robin #2

The newest Dynamic Duo races off in this second issue by Peter Tomasi!

SPOILER WARNING!

We begin back in the cave with Bruce and Alfred watching Damian train.  If last issue wasn’t a strong enough hint that Bruce doesn’t fully trust Damian, their conversation should tell you so right now.  Bruce considers Damian “broken” and that it is up to him to “fix” the kid.  Kind of makes me feel sad about Damian in the last volume under Dick’s Batman, for though he had problems I would not have considered Damian a “killing machine” or “broken” like Bruce is.  At least Alfred is kind enough to remind Bruce that he’s a father and not something else.  And at least this scene does fully point that Damian is still Talia’s son and was still raised in the League of Assassins.  It even reuses a couple images from pre-relaunch stories that feature Damian.  Still, we see Bruce also doubting what will become of Damian without him around?  Again Tomasi, you’re making me feel like you don’t care about anything Dick did for Damian here!  I really hope you just meant this start of Bruce just over-worrying and not fully sure how to be a parent than actually undermining Dick’s work as Batman and Damian’s growth as a character.

Anyways, after a quick note that Alfred is home schooling Damian, the duo head out in an older (the non-flying) Batmobile and quickly stop a gun shipment.  Man, it is still odd seeing Bruce being the one to say you shouldn’t use too much force!  Right after the two leave with the guys tied up, up shows Nobody from last issue but not sure) and murders the criminals Batman and Robin just took out.

Back in the cave Bruce gets more scolding by Alfred on how he’s basically failing to be a father, and that is followed shortly by a rather odd scene.  As Alfred watches Damian (after Bruce leaves), the kid grabs a bat and crushes it in his hand.  Then after looking at it tosses it away.  I really don’t get this scene.  Yes Damian has always been a bit violent and at times took it out on training dummies or criminals, but I really don’t recall him ever killing animals like that before.  Seems Tomasi is suddenly writing Damian into much more of a psychopath than he ever was.

With a jump to a farm, we see Bruce getting a Great Dane (Ace?) when someone named Morgan shows up to chat with Bruce.  We soon find out Morgan was the mysterious guy in this issue and that Bruce already knew about him and what he did.   I’m not familiar with Morgan, but he mentions Ducard (Henri Ducard I’m assuming) and that the man would not be happy with Bruce’s “Batman Inc” or even how public Bruce has been as Batman.  Still, Morgan claims this nearly as an “intervention” but its clear he’ll really go after Bruce and his Batman Inc. soon if Batman Inc at least isn’t shut down.

So I’m a bit torn on this issue.  I enjoyed the meeting between Bruce and Morgan at the end (a nice hanger to lead into next issue), plus Alfred giving Bruce parenting advice and even Bruce and Damian’s short fight against the gun runners.  I really was not happy though with how Damian got treated in this issue, or for that matter how it inadvertently treats some of Dick’s run as Batman.  I mostly stated why on those parts though, so will just state I’m a bit conflicted in how I want to feel on this issue, though am somewhat put off by Tomasi here.

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13 Responses to Review: Batman and Robin #2

  1. Jason Gladu says:

    Great review – I’ve just gotten back into comics because of the new D.C. launch, so I don’t have any connection with Damian and Dick (as Batman…didn’t even know that happened!)

    So keeping that in mind, I really like how they are developing the Damian character and I hope they delve more into his past. It seems like Bruce/Batman has never really dealt with this kind of Robin and it will be an interesting back story that will always effect he overall series.

    Love your site, I will be visiting more often!

    • xxadverbxx says:

      Yeah, Bruce never really spent much time with Damian in the past. Before Damian became a regular he was in a couple stories both collected in trades if you are interested: Batman & Son and The Resurrection of Ra’s Al Ghul. Then he “died” in Final Crisis and after he came back he basically left Damian to keep working with Dick until just recently.

      I can understand though that people without knowledge of him (or maybe those who didn’t care much for him) could enjoy this, but as I think I said I feel this is a huge step back for Damian.

      Glad you enjoyed the review though.

  2. Seems pretty logical Damian’s been trained from birth to be the best he could be and eventually replace Batman heck one of the panels eve shows him walking on burning coal when’s he’s practically a toddler.

    He’s been trained to kill and when your out there fighting with Batman you have to show restraint. I also saw the whole killing bat thing as a scene that he’s trying to suppress that “killing instinct” that coupled with his feeling that Bruce doesn’t trust him which I”m sure frustrates him especially since that’s his father and he just came from working with Dick who as he said trusted him not that he was a psychopath.

    • xxadverbxx says:

      Yeah, I loved the first issue and can understand Damian being frustrated there. But this one I felt he was treated/shown too much back on that killer instinct that I at least felt was mostly worked out in the first volume of Batman & Robin with him working with Grayson for so long. Unless Dick’s bright and cheerful mood is so catchy that it even lightened Damian’s mood.

  3. I was not a huge fan of issue #1, I liked it, but I wasn’t sold. This issue was a much more complete book in my opinion. I will drop my review in a few.

  4. lebeau says:

    I actually loved this issue. Spoke to me as a dad. I could totally relate.

    Next to Batman #1, this is my favorite issue of a Batbook yet.

    The meeting at the end was actually my least-favorite part of the book. I could read about Bat-Dad’s parenting trials every issue.

    • xxadverbxx says:

      I enjoyed the talks Alfred gave Bruce about parenting. And if Bruce’s words on Damian was meant not how Damian really is but just Bruce being worried about where he came from (as he didn’t spend much time with Damian until now) then I can understand too. I still wouldn’t fully like it if that was how it was meant, but I figure though that Bruce would be smart enough to have seen how Damian already has grown working with Dick. The bat killing thing is still too much for me.

      The meeting at the end was pretty good in my book though.

      • lebeau says:

        Yeah, the meeting was fine. It was just a sudden change in geers from the parenting stuff I was grooving on for 2/3 of the book. Overall, I thought the issue was very solid.

  5. ikeebear says:

    I found the meeting intriguing, just because I was surprised that Bruce knew so much about Nobody already. It makes for a nice change of pace, actually.

    Also, I assume it might have something to do with the upcoming Leviathan stuff. Maybe Duccard is directly involved in Leviathan.

    Also, did you guys see that Stephanie Brown is going to appear in that storyline (albeit as Spoiler)?

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