Wednesday, March 13, 2013

SPOILERS: Batman and Robin #18

So, as you may have heard, this is an entirely silent issue, thus a very visual issue. There's not a whole lot of stuff to actually write in terms of summary, because this is definitely an issue that you should read... well, look at, to get the full impact. So, I'll keep it brief, and focus more on the review.

Damian is dead.

We all know that, and you can bet sure as hell that both Bruce and Alfred know it too. Bruce sits silently in Damian's room with Titus, looking through all of Damian's note and sketchbooks, which are no longer filled with violent depictions of death and killing. Before heading to the cave, Bruce finds a teary-eyed Alfred staring at the unfinished portrait of the Wayne men, before Bruce covers it and removes it from the hall.

As Bruce suits up and heads out into Gotham, he keeps looking over his shoulder to where Damian would usually be, down the polls to the cave, swinging by his side, and sitting next to him in the Batmobile. When Bruce comes across the street light that shined over them the night he brought Damian into the sewers to discuss his parents, something snaps in Bruce, as he smashes through the light post with the batmobile.

Bruce then goes on a nonstop crime fighting rampage, which ends up with near countless criminals and thugs all tied up on the roof of the GCPD.

As Bruce returns to the cave, he rinses off the blood from his suit, and eventually finds a note that Damian had left. The note tells his father that he refuses to let him fight Leviathan alone. Damian concluded the letter telling his father that his mother may of gave him life, but Bruce was the one who taught him how to live. Bruce is pushed over the edge, as he starts to smash everything in sight with a rage. That rage eventually turns into sadness, as Bruce is left alone, on his knees, embracing his son's old costume.


The Good:

This issue is a fucking gut punch. It's really sad to begin with, but those last four pages nearly wrecked me, and I was reading it in public. This issue easily takes the prize for most emotional single issue I've read in good long while, easily beating out the post Battle for the Cowl "Am I all right... No sir, I am not. My son has died" scene between Alfred, Superman and Wonder Woman. Finally, the choice to make this issue completely silent? Flawless.

The Bad:

Uh, yeah, this was a fucking gut punch. But quality wise, nothing.

The Bottom Line:

Peter Tomasi and company completely out did themselves this time around. This is hands down the best issue of Batman and Robin that they have produced. No exaggeration. So much so, that I'd say Grant Morrison himself has a real challenge to just hit the bar Tomasi has set. If you care at all about the Batman franchise, and this issue doesn't get you the least bit choked up, then you're doing it wrong.



  1. What did the initials C.K. stand for?

  2. It's got to be Clark Kent. It was a list of books for Damian to read that C.K thought he'd enjoy. To Kill a Mockingbird is on there and that's Superman's favorite book (assuming that fact wasn't wiped out by the New 52).

  3. It's movies, not books. Rebel Without A Cause isn't a book, for example.