Writer: Mark Waid
Art: Mahmud Asrar, Scott Godlewski, Jordie Bellaire, Steve Wands, and Nathan Fairbairn
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: December 20th, 2022
As the final battle erupts between Batman and Robin at the heart of Lazarus Island, a strange tremor rocks the combatants to their senses in this week’s Batman vs. Robin #4 by Mark Waid. This isn’t an island at all—it’s a volcano! With the Devil Nezha pulling the strings and unbelievable transformative power about to explode out into the world, our heroes have no choice but to do the unthinkable—fall back! A battle between father and son goes global as the Earth enters into the Lazarus Planet…
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Just like Flashpoint Beyond before it, Batman Vs. Robin #4 continues to be the only true event going on right now. The event that makes sense, has a plot and progresses with sensibility and action. There is genuine structure, intrigue, and logical conclusions that make Batman Vs. Robin a viable event. As Batman Vs. Robin #4 opens, Waid uses these initial pages to highlight some more details. Readers instantly see a deeper father-son dynamic that’s been under the surface between multiple key figures in the story. Additionally, readers see the purpose of all the additional magic users and their importance to the event. Moreover, the monologuing by Batman amongst the fighting weighs in nicely to provide a firm foundation involving his plans and gives readers a strong footing within the story.
Again, Waid shines with the play-by-play and thorough explanation as to why Damian can even stand toe to toe with Bruce and where all the magic stolen from the world has gone. It’s these understandings that MUST be laid out in any comic event. It’s these details that make a plot strong. And sometimes, like in Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths, the more large-scale and convoluted an idea, the more hand-holding MUST occur not LESS. Waid very well may be holding our hands a bit too much in this issue, however, with the longwinded separation between issues three and four, the extra explanations and dialogue were needed to re-root me back into the story and was an extremely nice touch in this week’s Batman Vs. Robin #4.
Additionally, I’d also like to point out that a story can happen in four issues, hit the keynotes, make sense, and handle the pressure associated with being “an event”. All in this one issue of Batman Vs. Robin #4, Waid ties up most of the loose ends, answers the dangling questions laid out since the beginning of the series, and ushers into Lazarus Planet logically. Personally, I loved the father-son dynamic throughout the issue. Moreover, I loved the sly and cunning trickery of Batman that provided readers with the ideal crescendo at the perfect pivotal point in the issue. Overall, Waid does an excellent job balancing a strong story with just enough answers and action to keep the reader interested while simultaneously keeping the reader guessing and engaged on every page.
Mahmud Asrar and Scott Godlewski design an almost classic Batman this week and provided this stellar late 80s to 90s appeal with a darker twist that really kept my attention this week. Moreover, if readers take the time to focus more on the Damian fight with his Father you can see such fluid moments and actions sequences that elevate the issue. Every kick and punch is placed well within each frame to show this back and forth between the two that delivers this stream of nonstop action that will pull the reader deeper into the fight. Additionally, I loved the putrid Lazarus greens that echoed through each page nourishing a small sense of light within the dark caves by Jordie Bellaire. Together, this art team provided the perfect touch to Waid’s ideas which really brought this story together and drove home the narrative well.
Batman Vs. Robin #4 wraps up this event nicely, combines a sturdy amount of action with explanation, and sprinkles in some cunning characteristics that make Batman… Batman all while managing to do so logically. Batman Vs. Robin is a strong story that takes little background to hop into and can be enjoyed by many Batman fans. Nevertheless, Batman Vs. Robin would still be better understood by first following Damian in his book entitled Robin first as well as the recent Batman/ Superman Worlds Finest for a better background on Nezha.
Overall, there is a ton to be excited about in this issue and it helps readers see how a strong story can connect with the proper setup in prior issues to guide the narrative to success. Excellent job to Waid and his entire team on another stellar story. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!