Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Simone Di Meo
Cover Artist: Simone Di Meo
Publisher: DC Comics
Batman’s life has been in a tumultuous state lately, but that’s not keeping him down. Not when he has his son Damian Wayne as Robin with him. Together the dynamic duo are back once again to fight crime in the city of Gotham. Read Batman and Robin #1 to see the heroes face off against new and familiar villains.
If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, then simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon as you read the Batman and Robin #1 Review.
I’m not gonna lie, I’m not a big fan of the current Gotham War event that DC Comics has going on right now. Don’t like the concept, nor the execution and where it’s going, but thankfully someone at DC felt we should have a Batman and Robin comic series that’s not connected to any of that yet still in continuity. So, if you’re like me and you want an honest-to-goodness Batman and Robin series where they’re not trying to kill each other, deconstruct what it means to be a hero or Batman, or anything else. Where they’re actually a fun, likable, crimefighting duo doing good-old-fashioned super-heroics actually fighting crime and stopping supervillains with great art and writing. Then you’ll get it here. Fair warning there will be some slight SPOILERS in the review, but nothing too big.
Initially the comic has a quick intro of a mysterious villain experimenting on zoo animals before immediately giving the comic a dynamic start with Batman and Robin, Damian Wayne Robin, bursting out of the page and onto the scene as they’re about to stop a recent kidnapping plot by lesser known Batman villain White Rabbit. Simone Di Meo makes a great first impression with his art as you get very stylized designs of the titular heroes as well as a Gotham City and all of its denizens. The comic works when the characters are in motion, fighting, or even just talking with each other.
Yes, the comic is in continuity and it does explain some things away, like where it takes place in the timeline of the Gotham War event, who from the Batfamily is going to be in this series for now and who won’t be, and what we can expect from Bruce and Damian together. While I haven’t been following Joshua Williamson’s recent time writing Damian Wayne related titles, I am aware he has been making good stories and developing Damian in a way most of his fans enjoy. Williamson does a solid job of characterizing both Bruce and Damian so that they stand apart from each other and giving them their own distinct voices. He also builds their dynamic as a father and son who have clearly spent time apart, had their own journeys, and are now woking on being together again in each other’s lives as family as well as superheroes.
Speaking of which, the creative team does a good job making the main heroes feel like actual heroes who are serious in fighting crime but find ways to have fun with it too. You see some of this with the initial fight Batman and Robin have with the opening villain White Rabbit and her goons. They’re clearly focused on saving lives and stopping the villains, but the pair find a way to have their own fun with it too. It’s a side of the two characters who are normally portrayed to be too serious and practically killjoys in the hands of most other writers, but it’s a little different here and for the better.
Also, I have to say Simone Di Meo does an excellent job in illustrating this comic and these characters. Some may be familiar with his work in the Sci-Fi series We Only Find Them When They’re Dead, as well as couple of other titles. With the bright colors, the way the paneling allows for various perspectives of the action and environments, the comic really does come alive. I only hope they stick around for more than just the first story arc.
The only thing that’s keeping this comic from being a complete 10/10 is one idea that’s introduced in the storyline for Damian. Turns out, Bruce wants to send Damian to high school, a high profile school, but a high school nonetheless. Williamson has Bruce acknowledge that Damian has had his own share of interactions with kids his age in other Robin titles, and he wants his son to experience the teenage life in school too. This just feels a little weird to me since Damian is both too smart for most schools and seeing him interact with regular kids could be very boring compared to him interacting with the other teen heroes and anti-heroes he does know. I would love to be surprised by this, but I have my doubts it will truly pan out.
Batman and Robin #1 by Joshua Williamson and Simone Di Meo comes out swinging in the first issue. You get amazing art from Simone Di Meo who makes the action look amazing and dynamic, the characters look good especially the main heroes in and out of costume. The comic sets the stage for classic superhero crimefighting with some twists and turns in motion. If you’re looking for a solid Batman book not involved with the current Gotham War event, then Batman and Robin is the comic book to get.