REVIEW: ‘Batman VS. Robin,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Batman VS. Robin #1

Batman VS. Robin #1 is written by Mark Waid, illustrated by Mahmud Asrar, colored by Jordie Bellaire, and lettered by Steve Wands. It’s published by DC Comics. Bruce Wayne has faced many challenges in his career as Batman, but one of the biggest has been fatherhood, especially when it comes to his biological son Damian Wayne. Damian and Bruce recently had a falling out after the death of Ra’s al Ghul, but the young Robin has returned and set his sights on taking the mantle of Batman, even if he has to kill his father to do it! Batman faces his greatest challenge yet, as this isn’t just a fight against evil; it’s a fight to win his son’s soul back.

What makes Waid one of the best writers in the comic book business is that he’s able to dig deep into the core of a character in a way few writers do. That rings especially true with Batman vs. Robin, which taps into my favorite aspect of the Dark Knight. I’ve always felt deep down that the reason mantles like Robin and Batgirl matter to Batman is because, deep down, he’s rebuilding the family he lost that fateful night in Crime Alley. Waid’s script tackles that, having Batman dive headfirst into saving his son despite limited gadgets and being insanely outnumbered. And that’s not even taking into account the major twist that happens within the first five pages – Batman fans will be shocked, happy, or possibly both.

Waid, more often than not, teams with some of the best artists in the business as well. That trend continues with Asrar, who brings the same action-packed dynamics that fueled his runs on X-Men Red and All-New, All-Different Avengers (the latter of which was penned by Waid). A series of splash pages feature Batman dealing with Timothy Hunter and Jakeem Thunder, both powerful magic users within the DC Universe, as they enchant the various items in the Batcave to attack him. Asrar truly makes these images feel larger than life, as Batman not only has to dodge his giant penny but also outrun the gigantic T-rex. And the most striking image features the Dark Knight emerging from the shadows, fixing the reader with a glare. Looking at that page, I couldn’t help but think, “so this is what it’s like to be on the end of a Bat-glare.”

Rounding out the artistic team is Bellaire and Wands, the former delivering dark hues and shadows that are appropriate for a Batman title. Most of the action takes place within the Batcave or the stormy night outside Wayne Manor, setting the stage for an emotionally packed battle. Even Batman’s narrative captions are depicted in black and white. Flashes of color are present in Wands’ lettering, including bright yellow “Kabooms!” and a dark orange “Grwarr” when the T. rex attempts to eat its former master.

Batman VS. Robin #1 finds the Dark Knight fighting to save his son, as Mark Waid and Mahmud Asrar deliver a story laced with action and emotion. If you’ve been enjoying Waid’s work on Batman/Superman: World’s Finest, this comic is definitely for you, especially as it picks up from a plot point in that book. Despite its title, this series is less about the battle between the two title combatants and more of a story about family.

Batman VS. Robin #1 is available wherever comics are sold.


Batman VS. Robin #1
4.5

TL;DR

Batman VS. Robin #1 finds the Dark Knight fighting to save his son, as Mark Waid and Mahmud Asrar deliver a story laced with action and emotion. If you’ve been enjoying Waid’s work on Batman/Superman: World’s Finest, this comic is definitely for you, especially as it picks up from a plot point in that book. Despite its title, this series is less about the battle between the two title combatants and more of a story about family.

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