DC Comics
Batman and Robin #2
By Dan Horn
October 12, 2011 - 16:48

DC Comics
Writer(s): Peter J. Tomasi
Penciller(s): Patrick Gleason
Inker(s): Mick Gray
Colourist(s): John Kalisz
Letterer(s): Patrick Brosseau
Cover Artist(s): Gleason, Gray, and Kalisz
$2.99 US

Bruce Wayne's vigilante crusade as Gotham City's Batman has carried on for years, and he's very rarely been on his own. His accomplices usually take the forms of impressionable youths that he molds into nigh-unstoppable purveyors of justice. His son Damien, trained by his mother Talia Al Ghul to be a relentless assassin, has the opposite ideals of Bruce's usual sidekicks--or, hasn't he? Bruce begins questioning his choices in regards to indoctrinating young people as he comes to the startling realization that Damien is almost exactly the young man he would have developed into had he been cared for by his father in Talia's stead. How can Bruce ever manage to reverse the lethal force indoctrination of Damien when merely being a good father is something that eludes him? Meanwhile, NoBody, a mysterious high-tech killer, stalks Bruce Wayne, and alludes to a name that should raise a few Batman fans' eyebrows.

This issue was brilliantly scripted, and developed a dimension of both Bruce and Damien that has never been properly illustrated before. The father-son dynamic and the question of nature vs. nurture take center stage as not only Damien regresses into violent tendency and Bruce's fatherly duties escape him, but also Batman's ominous past catches up with him. There is a sickening darkness looming within these pages, an unsettling dread, as if Tomasi has handcuffed his readers to the wheel of an out-of-control Batmobile and bailed out with the key.

Again, it's difficult to gauge exactly when this series takes place within the new DC continuity (Ace makes his "first" appearance here), but I've honestly all but completely stopped caring. Tomasi's Batman and Robin #2 is a fantastic character study, and Gleason, Gray, and Kalisz's interiors are wonderfully dynamic and engaging. Batman and Robin is a great book for Batman fans looking for a twist on the Wayne family and something just slightly outside of the box.

Rating: 9.5/10

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