Writer: Peter Tomasi
Art: Patrick Gleason
Batman and Robin has its inevitable tie-in to Snyder’s own ” Death of the Family” arc taking place in Batman begin with issue 15. I have to admit I’m weary of tie ins but I was more than shocked at not only how good this issue is right off the bat (no pun intended) but how effortlessly this becomes one of the best single issues of any Batman book I’ve read this year.
Damian is left at the Bat Cave with Titus to keep him safe as the rest of the Bat Family is out hunting down the Joker. Damian being his usual rebellious self decides he shouldn’t waste his time just sitting around and decides to examine Alfred’s crime scene. A lead left for Robin leads him straight to Gotham Zoo and into a well designed trap by Joker. What follows next is page after page of amazing dialogue between Damian and Joker.
Tomasi’s Joker fits right in along the way Snyder has written with a good mix of Batman the Animated series to boot. He also shows that he pays attention to detail tying the events of Batman #13 nicely into this issue. I could talk about all the awful and twisted things the Joker say’s to Damian as he is at his mercy but the only thing I will say the Joker gives the phrase “Turn that frown upside down” a very literal meaning.
I also appreciate seeing Damian fight and scrape and claw to get out of the situation he’s in. I’ve grew to like the idea of Damian as Batman during Morrison’s run but I’ve absolutely fell in love with Damian as Robin under Tomasi’s guidance of the character. Damian acts like a child first and the son of a genius Superhero second. It grounds him as a character and has you worried that something terrible could happen to him at any moment.
Patrick Gleason knocks this issue out of the park. His Joker is ugly and Morbid in all the right ways and there isn’t a single panel that he doesn’t make use of Joker’s new / old face. From doing a point of view shot outside of the flesh mask he wears to having him constantly pull and stretch his face around I couldnt take my eyes off of how amazing his art was. The same effort and precision went into the layout of each page as well. Starting the issue off with harsh reds and heavy shadow one moment and harshly lit backgrounds the next the wash each character in shadow this book is nothing short of beautiful.
I’ve really liked Batman and Robin as apart of the relaunch in the New DC. If you would have told me this week that a tie in issue of Batman and Robin would have pleased me more than Batman itself I would have thought that a crazy idea but Gleason and Tomasi knock this out of the park. Even though everything is not alright in the Bat-family with the return of the Joker we have the honor to enjoy the hell out of two books this week with the title Batman in them. Go out and buy this issue and thank me later.
Overall Score: 9.5/10
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