Batman and Robin #1
Writer: Grant Morrison
Art: Frank Quitely
FC, 32 pgs w/ ads
$2.99 US / Higher in Canada
I went into this one with great trepidation. For me, it had everything going against it.
Grant Morrison had two major strikeouts with his Final Crisis and Batman: RIP. I’ll give him credit though; he ALMOST redeemed RIP with the last issue revealing that Bruce was in control of the situation the whole time. Lame ending though with the helicopter crash. Final Crisis was basically a WTF? I hated this storyline when it ran as “Prodigal”. The lead-in storyline, Battle for the Cowl, was a bit weak as well– it needed two more pages at the end to set up the new status quo for all the main characters (i.e. TIM!).
The big surprise though is Damien as Robin. I hate the little creep but I’m intrigued to see where this goes- a light Batman and Dark Robin, talk about turning a book on its head!
Cards on the table time. I liked it! It wasn’t the plodding, dull, pretension I’ve come to expect from Morrison lately. It was actually fun! The flying Batmobile. A hopelessly lame villain (Toady) that the new Dynamic Duo makes short work of. Not sure what to make of the guy in the pig mask. Lots of good character bits with Dick, Alfred, and the little creep. Quitely is Quitely- ’nuff said. Too bad he’s only around for the first three.
The twist of moving back to the cave under the Wayne building came as a surprise- something else I never saw coming. (Complete with cut-away floor plan, which I missed on the first read.) Two minor quibbles- I REALLY wanted to see Gordon and Bats come face to face here. (And where was Tim! They at least mentioned him in passing.) The other quibble is a bit more intangible- knowing that Bruce is still out there waiting to come back colors my reading of this. We know he’s coming back but the characters don’t. I can’t put my finger on whether or not it’s a feeling of futility for the temporary-ness of it or dread for what happens when Bruce comes back. I guess we’ll see in 2010 in the 6-part Batman: Reborn Again…… I debated whether or not I was even going to pick this up but I’m glad I did.
I’m looking forward to the next year- after reading Morrison’s interview on CBR it looks like some cool stuff is coming. Hopefully he can continue to deliver on the promise of this first issue. This was a good, fun, Batman book. After years of unrelentingly grim Bruce this is a bit of fresh air. Looking forward to what’s coming next. (Ken Boechler)