Thursday, October 13, 2011

The New 52: Batman & Robin #1

Damien is a little a**hole.

I just needed to get that out of my system. There is almost no redeeming quality to this kid, unless you consider the fact that he's Bruce's kid to be redeeming. There are few things I would enjoy more than watching Dick or Tim absolutely slap the taste out of his mouth the next time his condescending, arrogant attitude emerges (which will be the next time he says anything.) Bruce can't slap him because then we'd have to address the issue of child abuse, but man would I pay good money to see Tim knock him on his butt.

Sorry, I really needed to get that out.

This book leaves me scratching my head in regards to DC's relaunch. I'm not sure I would have found this book to be particularly reader friendly if I'd been new to the DCU, and isn't that the point of the relaunch? To appeal to new customers? There was simply too much going on that demanded explanation, and nothing in the way of clarification from the author. Is that a failing on Peter's part, or a shortcoming of the entire plan to relaunch the universe without strong editorial direction on a complete revision of history to make it user friendly? As a relaunch book I'd say this fails terribly.

With that said, I'm old school DCU (I remember when Batman & Superman were 'chums') and to me this read like an extension of the Batman & Robin that I invested a great deal of time in under Grant Morrison. It doesn't explain to me why Bruce is willing to tolerate a Robin whose actions make Bruce himself less effective, but I'm hoping that's a theme that will play out as the book progresses. I like the new villain, and the inclusion of the Batman Inc. theme as fundamental to the storyline that Peter is building. The art is terrific with the right blend of fun and darkness.

I wonder how many people will overlook the plan for Crime Alley, and its significance? Tomasi is making a major statement about how he wants to impact The Bat.

All in all, Id' rate the book like this:

New to DCU Reader: 'C-'
Old Reader: 'A'

The moral of this story? Screw the NEW. If you wanna know why things are the way they are, pick up a trade and get caught up!

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