Batman and Robin #1
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Frank Quitely
Colorist: Alex Sinclair
Letterer: Patrick BrosseauPreview here Want the quick review? This book rules. Really.
Want the longer version? Keep reading. And, of course, atomic spoilers on.
Batman and Robin launches, firing on all cylinders. If you didn’t like R.I.P. or Battle for the Cowl, frankly, that doesn’t matter. In fact, you can march right into this entirely accessible first issue and get to it. Everything is laid out for you rather quickly (Bruce is gone, Dick is Batman, Damian is Robin) and it’s amazingly straight-forward.
That’s probably refreshing to many quarters after Morrison’s labyrinthine R.I.P. and the rumination on information and story that was Final Crisis. Here. Morrison seems to have put on his “tell ripping yarn” hat and dove right in. The issue is fast, funny, and, with the debut on an unsettling new antagonist at the end, occasionally frightening. If you’re new to comics after absorbing and re-absorbing The Dark Knight, THIS is probably the right book for you.
And what of long-time readers? I think that most of us have probably had Richard Grayson penciled in in our heads as the default Batman heir for a long, long time. In many ways, he’s the ONLY choice, and it’s good to see him embrace the mantle even as he mourns Bruce. For his part, Damian is a thoroughly modern take on Robin. For all this braggadocio and rampant smart-assery, it’s little moments like when he tells Alfred “Thank you” that make you realize that there could be a likeable kid in here yet. The dynamic of a lighter Batman and darker Robin is an interesting one, and I look forward to seeing Morrison explore it.
As for Quitely, he’s Quitely. He’s here in top-level All-Star Superman form. His new Batmobile is a study in blazing Buck-Rogers cool. Quitely’s always been great with expressions, and his smug Damian and bemused Batman will likely only get better as this rolls along.
I also enjoyed the teaser at the issue’s end, raising at it does many questions and honestly ratcheting up the excitement level for the rest of the year. The new Batman and Robin are pretty damn cool and, to tell you the truth, I hope they stick around for a while.