So its finally come to this. Anyone who’s been keeping up with the fallout after DC’s Final Crisis wrapped up back in 2008 has seen some less than subtle changes in Gotham City. The murder of Bruce Wayne at the hands of his old pal Darkseid forced Dick Grayson (the original Robin) to step in and don the cape and cowl. Being forced to team up with a noob boy wonder with a not exactly bright and shiny past has led to more than a few disagreements between these caped crusaders. And now the tension is being taken to the next level.
Batman and Robin are about to get it on and not in the way you’re thinking.
I’m talking a straight up mano a mano, toe to toe, drag out, beat down when Batman and Robin# 10 hits store shelves this week – and personally, I couldn’t be more excited. Damian Wayne, the offspring of Bruce and Ra’s Al Ghul’s daughter Talia was first glimpsed in the 1987 one off Batman: Son of the Demon. But it wasn’t until recently that he was reintroduced into the bat books during Grant Morrison’s run on Batman’s self titled monthly. Trained from birth by the league of assassins, the young boy sought out Bruce Wayne with the hope of fighting crime alongside him. Let’s just say he was a more than a little po’d to find out that his father already had a sidekick in Tim Drake – the third to bear the title of Robin.
Anyway, fast forward to the present and Damian’s finally gotten his wish. To fight crime at the Batman’s side, even if it isn’t in quite the way he’d hoped for. This new team has created a drastically different dynamic as Dick has proved to be a much more light and less brooding Batman – while Damian provides a much darker and waaaaay more violent boy wonder. It’s a lot of fun and honestly, I’m not in any rush to see Bruce Wayne return any time soon. Seeing these two go at it constantly makes for some good reading.
This new arc also welcomes Andy Clarke as he takes on the art chores for the three issue run and man, he couldn’t have come sooner. While love is nowhere near a strong enough word to describe my feelings for Frank Quietly’s pencils that kicked off the series – it was when Philip Tan took over that I was beginning to experience a serious disconnect. Of course, Morrison’s scripts have all been fine but Tan’s storytelling abilities left a lot to be desired. His muddy at best backgrounds made it pretty tough to tell just what the hell was going on from panel to panel. But thankfully he’s now out of there and Clarke, having already proved himself with his gorgeous work on stuff like Batman: Face the Face and 2000 AD, is truly something to look forward to.