Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Batman & Robin #1
Morrison & Quitely
The new Batman and Robin comic with the all new superhero team rolls out hitting all the right opening notes. There were a couple of important characteristics that this comic needed to touch on to get off on the right foot and it did so very well. It’s the opening of the arc so it is mostly setting things up. One thing that was interesting was the fact that it largely ignores the Battle for the Cowl event, which seemed a little strange. This is a solid and well done opening issue for this series.
The comic begins with a simple chase of the villain named Mr. Toad. The scene is fairly short but it provides a good look at the central characters. As is what you would expect, Dick Grayson as Batman is not at all like Bruce Wayne as Batman. He’s got a sense of humor and we see it in this opening sequence. He’s also testing his new partner, Damian aka Robin.
Dick and Damian have no reason to work together other than their link to Bruce Wayne. Yet, they seem to hold a professional attitude while they work. However, there are elements of giving each other a hard time. It works very well as we see in a couple of scenes that each is at ease with working with the other, but only to a point. It will be interesting to see if that point moves more towards trust or friendship or if it heads in the opposite direction.
Mr. Toad appears to be working with Pyg. Pyg’s motives aren’t fully defined in this issue but his tactics and the moments he gets help to build him up to a decent new villain. As was the case with the Batman title prior to the RIP arc, the bad guys show more of a twisted and deranged nature than many of the previous incarnations of the Batman villains. I wouldn’t expect anything but from Morrison.
The artwork is good. It has a very old time, almost Silver Age feel to it. The cars, the clothes and even Batman and Robin’s costumes look like they have walked out of the 1960s TV show era. However, the art brings the comic into the 21st century with the new hideout and the flying Batmobile. It’s a good mix of old and new as it tries to not get caught dating itself it would seem.
The comic is only the beginning so there isn’t a ton of meat here. We get the introduction to the characters, the villains and some of the new gadgets. However, if you are looking for any kind of post mortem on Battle for the Cowl you will not find it in here. Tim Drake is only mentioned in passing. Curious as to why he isn’t Robin? Well, you won’t find that in here at all. I found that to be a little disappointing as it props this comic up as something off to the side of the regular Batman continuity. We’ll see how that plays out. I do recommend this comic even if you were under whelmed with the RIP arc. This seems to be more grass roots Batman instead of closing the door on him.
3 out of 5 geek goggles