Writer: Mark Waid
Art: Mahmud Asrar, Jordie Bellaire, Steve Wands, and Nathan Fairbairn
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: September 13th, 2022
Deep in the gut of Lazarus Island, the sinister legacy of the al Ghul family line has finally been liberated. And to reclaim his sovereignty over Earth, this new demonic force has supercharged his supporters with diabolical iniquity as well as perilous, erratic desires and deadly weaponry! However, is Damian ensnared by this new evil? And if so, what do they want with Batman? Let’s dive into Batman vs. Robin #1 by legendary writer Mark Waid as this twisted tale kicks off and changes the course of DC Comics forever!
It seems like Mark Waid has a newfound interest in a certain devil that may very well connect to the Lazarus Pits. This also means that inadvertently, the story that Waid is beginning to unfold seems to be a bit more than a showdown between Batman and Damian. Sure, it may look that way on the surface. However, before Batman vs. Robin #1 wraps, I think readers will discover a story that will unravel much deeper roots between the al Ghuls, Wayne’s, and the Lazarus Pits. Heck, look no further than the immediate, jaw-dropping reveal to see the deeper connection under the surface.
So, to those upset with spoilers… if you checked out the preview for Batman vs. Robin #1, then you’ve already seen a mini spoiler. Alfred is alive! Well, at least a quick glimpse generates that idea. The point is: Alfred is back and somehow the Lazarus Pits and the al Ghuls currently appear to be the first conjecture. Yet, the wrinkles appear to be that Damian has no clue AND the biggest wrinkle of all… Alfred was cremated. So, how was he resurrected? I thought a body was needed for the Pits… As of right now, readers will have their opinions BUT that doesn’t matter because the reveals and questions that Waid lays out offer some wildly interesting stories that make Batman vs. Robin #1 seem to be more than a battle between father and son.
Additionally, I love continuity as well as a strategically ironed-outed story. It shows planning, preparation, and hard work from the aspect of the writer. And for anyone who’s been following along with the Batman/ Superman: World’s Finest by Mark Waid, he’s been setting up the villain for quite some time. Plus, he’s doing it in a pretty genius way by slyly intertwining a new story into Batman’s past and coupling it into the future. Again, the concept takes some dastardly planning to orchestrate but readers will see as Batman vs. Robin #1 concludes that it all builds into a pretty exciting story.
I feel like it’s been a long time since I’ve really read a comic with Mahmud Asrar leading the charge. I was extremely happy to see him lined up under the creative team, especially because he has a very distinct style I’ve grown to love. The first thing readers will notice in Batman vs. Robin #1 is Asrar’s work with the character’s faces. There is this smoothness to them that makes the character’s faces look almost similar… as if everyone is related… yet still a bit different. Moreover, their facial expressions, mixed with the thick line work outlining the character’s figure, provide a more enigmatic feeling towards the issue which comes across as almost eerie and supernatural in nature.
However, what I love the most about Asrar’s storytelling is his placement of important splash pages as well as the overpowering detail on each page. The big reveal of Alfred’s return mixed with lightning strikes in the background was incredible, as well as the Bat Cave showdown with Damian and the reveal of the gargantuan villain pulling all the strings cascading over his throne. Readers, I can’t hammer home the placement of the splash pages enough. Asrar normally interjects them exactly where they are needed to infuse the perfect amount of energy into the narrative at the exact moment they’re needed in order to grab the reader’s attention.
Can anyone stay dead long? Not really. And frankly, I’m surprised Alfred did this long which is why I love Waid ripping off that bandaid immediately and focusing the story entirely in a different direction. The new focus becomes how and why he was resurrected. Moreover, I love the idea of taking a new-ish villain, reintegrating him into the past as if he’s been around the block for quite some time, and using him as the crux for the creation and foundation of the Lazarus Pits.
Plus, this new villain is straight-up scary. It’s like a low-key Trigon meets the Superman villain Doomsday. Readers, the story is creative, filled with action, and leaves so many dangling plot threads and intriguing questions that will keep fans excited for what’s to come. Furthermore, it appears to be a different type of Batman story that now looks a bit different than what was anticipated. I highly recommend giving Batman vs. Robin #1 a shot. It’s got action, suspense, and mystery with Batman at the epicenter. What more could you ask for? Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!