BATMAN AND ROBIN #38
Author: Bobby Barrett (Follow @BATBOBBY)
December 23, 2014

SYNOPSIS: The team of Batman and Robin are together again! But what is the new dynamic for this crimefighting duo now that Damian has super powers of his own?

In recent months, Batman went to hell and back, but his quest was fruitful: his young son Damian has been resurrected and is once again fighting crime as Robin! There's a twist though…the chaos shard used to bring Damian back also seems to have given him super powers. Enter Batman and Super Robin, the new (and improved?) Dynamic Duo!

It seems fair that there be some kind of twist to young Damian's return to the fold. To bring Robin back and put things exactly the way they were would invalidate nearly two years' worth of stories. This in mind, Peter Tomasi's new direction makes more sense than many would probably like to admit. Think about it: Bruce had essentially benched Damian right before he died, realizing the extent of the danger he was putting his son in. The boy disobeyed orders, came out swinging, and ultimately got himself killed. Under what circumstances, would Bruce Wayne allow his son to patrol the streets of Gotham once more? Nothing short of Damian becoming indestructible could likely change a father's mind on this matter…lucky for Damian, he now appears to be so.

Understandably, this seems like quite the pill to swallow for Batman readers. The Superman-homage covers to this and the next few issues might come across as gimmicky, but the content itself is anything but. This first issue of the book's new status quo wastes no time reminding us that this is the same creative team writing the same characters we have grown to love since the New 52 launch. Tomasi utilizes his trademark subtlety to create truly human moments for these legendary characters, while making sure to deliver on the action front as well.


BATMAN AND ROBIN #38 Cover

The young Wayne is thrilled to be back among the living with all new limits to test, but his recent brush with mortality has certainly left a mark on him. Tomasi and his art team have had fun creating nightmare sequences for Damian in the past, and they readily flex those muscles again here. Having died essentially at the hands of his own mother is clearly something that Damian is haunted by, and Patrick Gleason utilizes his specialty horror style to get inside the boy's head and give the reader some images that will likely linger in their minds long after the book is closed.

Some plot threads from recent storylines are revisited as Damian seeks closure. A recent series guest makes a welcome cameo and aids in Robin's quest to bring some finality to the horrific Leviathan saga. The last page is just one of several that showcase just how much Damian has grown and how selfless he is capable of being. Batman and Robin might still have to work on their team dynamic, but as long as this creative team is on board, it'll be worth sticking around. - Bobby Barrett

GRADE: A

Bobby Barrett is a lifelong Batman enthusiast living in Fresno, California, with his wife and several cats.
He enjoys reading, writing, acting, and playing very loud rock music.


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