Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Batman and Robin #4
Morrison, Tan & Glapion
A new arc begins and some of the same themes are continued in this issue as a new threat roles in for the new dynamic duo. It’s a good issue because it continues to build some tension and compromise between Dick and Damian. On the other hand it continues to throw challenge after challenge towards them on multiple fronts. It’s a very good opening issue to an arc.
As Batman and Robin pursue the Lightning Bug, they get to their prey a little late as he is taken out by the Red Hood and his new sidekick, Scarlet. What’s most noticeable about the Red Hood is that he resembles the Punisher in so many ways. His dialogue about the punishment fitting the crime and the emblem on his chest are just a couple of the areas that the character seems to be cut from that cloth. In some ways it’s a good way to bring the Red Hood some instant credibility. He’s using a familiar role just in a different super hero comic. I found it befitting for a Batman villain.
The issue also utilizes Dick Grayson as the ward of Bruce Wayne. It’s not entirely clear what all of the angles are with the fund raiser that Dick attends, but at the very least he attempts to explain Bruce’s absence.
This comic also brings more interesting interaction between Dick and Damian. Dick pulls a card from the All Star Batman and Robin title as he scolds Damian as Robin, wearing a hood in action. The two take turns taking sarcastic shots at each other. It’s good because it shows Damian really doesn’t respect Dick as anything above the peer level, but it shows a level of camaraderie that makes you believe they are capable of working together.
The issue ends as some of Gotham’s underworld are surrounded by Batman and Robin, only to have Red Hood and Scarlet show up ahead of them causing a bloody scene.
The issue doesn’t hide the idea that the Red Hood’s identity is an easy one to guess. However, even Dick says the name of who he thinks the Red Hood is as a question. Does this mean he is surprised at the identity? Does it mean he assumed it was a certain person but now isn’t sure? It seems like the obvious guess here would be wrong but perhaps the main plot to follow in this arc isn’t even about the Red Hood. We’ll just have to wait and see.
The artwork serves the issue well. There is a particular scene where Batman and Robin are on the ledge spying on the villains that makes use of distance and depth very well. This type of detail is utilized throughout the issue as the artwork doesn’t shy away from the giant buildings and varying architecture of Gotham.
Batman and Robin is another solid read this month. As is the case with many opening issues to an arc things are just being moved into place in this issue. It will be interesting to see how the events in this issue look once the arc is concluded. I suspect we are being pushed in one direction while some of the story may take an unexpected turn later in the arc. It’s as good of an issue with Batman in it that you will find.
4 out of 5 geek goggles