Between Batman and Robin, Batwoman, and simply Batman, it’s a good time to be a fan of amazing art and story-telling in Gotham City. I wasn’t originally sold on B&R, but thanks to Patrick Gleason’s incredibly clean, crisp art and John Kalisz’s sharp (and surprisingly bright) coloring, I decided I had to come back for number two. By the end of this issue, I’m so very happy I did.
Tomasi has taken the peripherals of the world of Batman and really shined a light on them. In particular, I feel like this is the Batman book that really gets Alfred. B&R is generational in nature given that it focuses as much on the “grandfather” generation of Alfred as it does the “father” of Bruce and the “son” of Damian. By this issue, the father and son relationship between the two titular characters is really shining.
Behind it all though, is Alfred’s subtle, quiet guiding hand as Bruce has to learn all over again how to be a father. Bruce never had it so hard before with kids he could hand-pick to be Robin. B&R exemplifies the old saying that you can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your family. He’s stuck with Damian, and honestly, the ten year-old has the potential to be the greatest challenge Batman will ever face.
But, back to issue #3. The biggest achievement of this issue is that Tomasi pulls off the impossible and makes you really feel like both Bruce and Damian may be in legitimate danger. He also shines a light on the fact that Damian, arguably the deadliest Robin yet, can still be just as big a liability as Bruce’s adopted sons – if not more so.
While I love Batman by Snyder, B&R offers a simpler, more personal tale focusing on Batman’s two closest relationships, and it’s a nice change of pace from the epic, city-spanning adventure found in Batman.