It's been a while since we've heard from Batman and Robin, but thankfully, the new issue finally came out this week, and with Arkham Asylum making the waves in the videogame industry, fans have more bat-action to read up on and enjoy.
Batman and Robin #3
Written By: Grant Morrison
Illustrated By: Frank Quitely
Concluding the first arc of the brand new ongoing series by acclaimed writer Grant Morrison and artist Frank Quitely, the new Dynamic Duo finally crackdown on the mastermind behind the attack on the GCPD and murder of Toad. Almost two months since the last issue hit store shelves, does book three justify the long wait, or does it present a miserable conclusion fans will be sorely disappointed with? Read on and find out my thoughts on the matter.
Damian Wayne is going to find out just how tough being Robin The Boy Wonder is going to be firsthand. After diving straight into Pyg's hideout, he unwittingly gets captured and is about to be subjected to intense experimentation by the crazy criminal himself. What both of them don't know, however, is that the new Batman is on his way save his sidekick, and after last issue's falling out discussion between Dick Grayson and Damian, can the new Dynamic Duo still work together as a team?
With three issues done and more to come, I'm really beginning to love the new Batman and Robin team-up presented in this book. Like Grant Morrison promised prior to the beginning of this series, the whole dynamic between the Dark Knight and the Boy Wonder is reversed, and instead of the mentor being the dark and brooding figure, it's the sidekick who comes off as intimidating. Unlike the other Robins that came before him, Damian really shows himself to be a the kind of kid that people will immediately dismiss as a mere brat, not knowing how dangerous and scary the boy can be when he lets himself go. I never really liked the concept of his character when was introduced to him during the Batman and Son arc a couple of years ago, but I'm beginning to warm up to the lil' guy; he's tough, different, and defiant to the very end. It's also great to see Dick in action as the new Batman. Years of experience and practice have shaped this guy to be a perfect replacement for Bruce, and even if he doesn't want to admit it, he can be as scary as his mentor, as seen in the opening page of this issue when he "questions" someone on the whereabouts of Pyg. Speaking of that guy... he's quite a mental case here. I'm sure that this won't be the last time we'll be seeing this guy, and after all he's done, he already a prime candidate for incarceration in Arkham once it's rebuilt. Morrison's coming up with all of these new villains for the book, and reintroducing some old faces at the same time as well. I can't wait for the next issue now. That's when the new Red Hood makes his debut, along with a female character who made quite an impression in this concluding pages of this issue.
I'm still loving Frank Quitely's art here. His visuals are compelling as ever and tell as much of the story as Morrison's writing does. I know he's scheduled to take a break in the next few issues, but I sure hope he comes back and brings the kind of A-game seen here along with him. In terms of the book itself, overall I didn't find it as strong as the first two, but it's chalk full of enough action and story to bring this three-part tale to its epic conclusion. It also manages to bring things full circle with the epilogue presented in the final chapter of Batman R.I.P by presenting the new Batman and Robin taking down a prominent baddie from that story arc, firmly establishing the new dynamic duo's place in Gotham as its full fledged protectors. I said it before and I'll say it again - this book rocks. If you're not down with the whole Batman: Reborn concept, this should be good series to collect by itself even if you avoid the rest of the other bat titles. It stands alone, and is a good Batbook to tide you over until Bruce's eventual return (we all know he'll be back sooner or later).
Score - 8/10