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Batman & Robin, Vol. 1: Batman Reborn Paperback – April 5, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
Here's what you need to know: Bruce Wayne has disappeared in time, because comics like to do that. The original Robin, Dick Grayson, has returned to Gotham to fight crime as Batman, alongside Bruce Wayne's 10-year-old son, Damian, who is essentially half supervillain and very angry about stuff. Both of these heroes are finding their legs in these iconic roles throughout the course of these six collected issues. Everything else should spell itself out without becoming too confusing.
Grant Morrison is one of my favorite writers. He can write incredibly strange, surreal, psychological fiction and just as easily slip back into writing powerful superhero tales about the X-Men or the Justice League. While it sometimes feels that Morrison is writing weird things for weirdness' sake, the historically bizarre bad guys that attack Gotham are a very good fit for his version of creepy, and there's no better artist to make sense of his strange exhortations than Frank Quitely.
Quitely's artwork, which is used for the first half of the collection, might be an acquired taste. It feels soft and squishy, but it's also ultra-detailed and focuses on a stylized realism, textures, and atmospherics.Read more ›
If you're new to Batman comics, I would suggest a few other reads before diving into this one. There is a lot of backstory that leads up to how and why Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne end up together. You'll enjoy this series for what it is if you know how they got there.
Here's my suggested list:
Batman: Death in the Family
Batman: The Black Casebook
Batman: Son of the Demon
Batman: Under the Red Hood
Batman: Batman and Son (New Edition)
Batman: Battle For the Cowl
Like I said, there's a lot of backstory involved with Batman & Robin. This isn't even the full list. If you're up for it, you should read these books first. But I'll admit that is quite the commitment.
Grant Morrison's take on the Batman mythos has been pretty inconsistent for my taste - I was not a fan of the Return of Bruce Wayne story - but this is pretty much the high point. While the previous volumes in Morrison's run were dense and difficult to approach without doing lots of other reading, his run on Batman & Robin comes across like a love letter to comics. Everything is bright, colorful, and fun without seeming childish, forced, or melodramatic. I hope this style catches on, frankly. It avoids the absurd "grittiness" of the recent era, eschewing mopy characterization and paranoia and creates a new style that is unashamed of itself, unselfconscious, but trimmed of the ham and excesses of melodrama that typified past eras.
After reading this volume and reading some of the other Batman stories of the past twenty years or so (Bruce Wayne: Fugitive, Knightfall, and a couple of others) I realized that I actually liked Morrison's characterization of Dick Grayson as Batman better than most of the takes on the Bruce Wayne Batman. That's an accomplishment. The second volume is slightly weaker than this one, partially due to the influence of the odious "Blackest Night" event, but even by itself this volume is a great introduction to a new, exciting world of comics.
Now, since we all know Bruce Wayne won't stay in the hereafter for long, we can sit back without any angst or sorrow and enjoy the brief tenure of the new Batman: Dick Grayson (a.k.a. Nightwing and the first Robin) who has donned the caped crusaders' cowl. Joining him as Robin is none other than Bruce Wayne's own ten year old son, Damian Wayne (son of Talia and grandson of Ra's al ghul). It's a new team with new vibes and new problems to work through. So pop some popcorn and get ready for some fun.
Right off the bat (Yeah, I went there) our Dynamic Duo has issues. Damian is an arrogant brat, who has been raised with an attitude of entitlement - not to mention the fact his care givers ran a a league of killers, and honestly, he is pissed that he has been relegated to being Grayson's sidekick when it is obvious that he could do a much better job as Batman. As for Dick, he feels a bit overwhelmed by the responsibility thrust upon him and struggles to live up to Bruce's legacy while still being true to his own self. So naturally, the two go through some growing pain together.
But they just don't have time to find their grove, because right out of the gate they are confronted by some bloodthirsty new villains, which gives the book a fresh feel. On one side of the spectrum, we have a new Red Hood and his sidekick Scarlet, who are enforcing their own brand of justice in Gotham and tweeting that the Dynamic Duo are yesterdays news, while on the other, Mr. Toad, Professor Pyg and the monstrous Flamingo are spreading death and disfigurement across Gotham City indiscriminately.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fantastic seeing Dick Grayson as Batman! Damien Gets Continually More Tolerable!Published 8 months ago by amanda kelly
The first half of this trade paperback is awesome and everything you'd expect from Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Lou M.
A good solid comic book. Dick Grayson's struggle to be Batman, struggle to contain Damian, all of it was great. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Josh Matheny
A great start to pre new 52's redesigned and revamped batman and robin. Dick Grayson's awesome.Published 11 months ago by jake katalay