Oh the Robins.
I’ve been working on a three part review to look over the various Robins and linked characters in the Batman history.
The Boy Wonder is a neat creature.
I never liked him until I got older.
Yes, I disliked Robin. No matter what Chris O’Donnell, Burt Ward or any other writer and artist tried I never liked Robin. He was a dumb idea… just like Batman was a dumb idea. Go read my older posts on the big guy dressed as a bat.
Robin was colour, honesty, naivety, innocence and a reminder of where Wayne came from. Over the years since the departure of Dick Grayson (The first Robin), to become the character known as Nightwing, Robin was simply used as a contrasting foil for Batman outside of the odd villains.
Then Jason Todd, the lost waif came about and became the second Robin. This changed the relationship between Bruce and Dick. They became strained but the building of a equal relationship started to grow. Dick even tried to offer advice to the hot headed Jason. Jason after his death would be the lesson of guilt that Batman would carry for under three decades. His costume held in reverence in the Batcave, sealed in a display case for almost 3 full decades.
By the by, close to 30 years of unchanged comic continuity or no resurection of characters (villans and heroes) is a big deal.
Jason Todd was killed by his readers. No joke, two issues were drafted and the readers were able to phone in on what they wanted. The poles decided and Robin died. The story was called Death in the Family, it's collected format rest on my shelf. Like a glass case in a cave to remind me not of guilt but of real progression and change in the comic story.
Tim Drake came next, he would be the longest Robin since Dick. His mini series were well done and fleshed out his character outside of the simple side kick. He gain his own series full time and even joined a team just like Dick. Unlike the previous two incarnations of Robin, Tim was a thinker much like Bruce. he was the anti Grayson, he was well trainned but he was the intelligent Robin that made Dick look like a jock. He made me like Robin.
A few changes, Grant Morrison and some alternate versions of the role and we are now faced with the current Robin. Damien Wayne, son of Bruce and Talia al Ghul, ,on a off love interest to Bruce. His mother was daughter of Ra’s al Ghul the leader of the League of Assassins and long time foil to Batman.
This Robin was something new and he had enough of my ADD laden attention to read the ‘new 52’ series: Batman and Robin.
Gleason is a new face to my comic world. I could look him up, but I’ve away from the shops so long I don’t think whatever I could wiki would do the man justice for his work on this book. I must say off the bat, he does a great job. His work and effect reminds me of John Cassaday of Planetary fame and common collaborator to Mr. Warren Ellis. Gleason may remind me of Cassaday but that’s all he does. He is no
Cassaday and for that I’m happy. His work stands on its own.
His use of black is impressive and adds depth to his heavy use of thin and crisp line work. The new style of the ‘new 52’ Batman is applied and falls into the background and the choice of colours used by the team brings out a level of pop that borders semi-realistic and classic comic styles.
I also love Robin’s Hood.
Nobody is a neat villan. Nothing fancy but a good inject of a new rogue for Batman and Robin to face off against in the first eight issues of the series. His back story is nothing to wild, it’s easy to insert even before the ‘new 52’ gave cart blanch to the writers. He pushes Robin and Batman, he’s tough smart and a good match. Yet that’s all he does.
The real meat of the story arc is between Bruce and Damien. The relationship is new and growing for both people. They are opposites of each other in their development. Batman had to learn the skills that Damien shows off with such ease, yet Damien never had the joy that Bruce lost in his life. I like the age at which Damien is presented, reminding me of young Bruce at the age of his great loss.
Batman and Robin issues 1 through 8 is a good thing.
The story and the characters are great; the villain is ok and done well. I feel this series is leading the reader to so new and desired challenges for the dynamic duo. The art is fresh, the direction is attractive and Robin steals the show every time he hits the page. I don’t think Robin is strong enough to work on his own yet as his own series, but this facet of the Batman is a brilliant place to put Robin.
I think it should be titled Robin and Batman, but alas I don’t work in comics I just go on about them.