Author: Bobby Barrett (Follow @BATBOBBY)
July 17, 2014

SYNOPSIS: The hunt for Robin is over, and the battle joined! But Batman’s family feud with Ra’s al Ghul is about to erupt into something bigger when it’s interrupted by the forces of Apokolips! This epic story continues in this month’s BATMAN AND ROBIN #33!

DC has been firing on all cylinders for Batman's 75th anniversary. From the super-sized and star-studded DETECTIVE COMICS (v2) #27, to The Dark Knight's larger-than-life new origin unfolding in "ZERO YEAR", and finally BATMAN ETERNAL - DC's first weekly series to focus entirely on Batman and his supporting cast - any fan would think they already had plenty of fun Summer reading, no?

Well, if epic superhero sagas are your thing (or you just have a soft spot for a certain offspring of Bruce Wayne's), you'll proably be happy to make room for "Robin Rises," the climactic new event from team BATMAN AND ROBIN (picking up right on the heels of that book's most recent issue), and kicking off with this one-shot from writer Peter J. Tomasi and the always stellar Andy Kubert on pencils.

The first thing you'll notice about this book is how well it makes use of its extended page count, as it opens with a nicely paced recap of Damian Wayne's tragic story, including several highlighted moments lovingly reconstructed by Kubert (appropriately, the first artist to ever draw Damian).

The tone shifts drastically toward the urgent as we make our way to the present moment, where a brawl between (seriously) Batman, Frankenstein, Ra's al Gul, ninja Man-Bats - and even Batman's Great Dane, Titus - has just been interrupted by a legion from Apokolips, led by Glorious Godfrey.

Action, action, and more action! Once again, this issue's extended length has been utilized to deliver a cinematic, thrilling battle - all surrounding the casketed remains of both Robin and his mother. With a cast that grows as the book progresses, Tomasi and Kubert play off each other's strengths to deliver a Dark Knight in top form: motivated like never before, but with his wits at their sharpest. One would be hard pressed not to recall Kubert's outstanding Man-Bat assassin fight scene in BATMAN AND SON's second chapter…and that's probably intentional. Kubert, an artist of various styles and techniques, channels his early work in that Grant Morrison saga, giving a clear sense of a story that's coming full circle.

Oh yeah…holy unexpected payoff! Remember that BATMAN/SUPERMAN series that launched last year and really just seemed to kind of be its own thing? Turns out that the first arc from that book (issues #1-4, which were covered on BOF) appears to possibly play a significant role in the "Robin Rises" saga. Definitely didn't see that one coming, but makes me glad to have picked it up.

It all serves, of course, to set the stage for next week's BATMAN AND ROBIN #33 (which will actually be called “BATMAN AND ROBIN!”), and a Batman75 event that puts The Caped Crusader at the head of the Justice League, on the most personal mission of his life in one of DC Comics' most outrageously fantastic locations. This might not be everyone's ideal type of Batman story (from the outset, I'm not even sure it was mine), but let's face it: like it or not, Batman is in the Justice League. The Bat-books, however, are usually content with leaving those adventures contained to those team books. It's a bold move of Tomasi to embrace that more "superheroic" side of Bruce Wayne, and run with it the way he is. There was no doubt going in that ROBIN RISES – OMEGA would be the start of an important Batman story, but now it feels like an important Justice League story as well.

(By the way, anyone pissed about Lex Luthor's JL membership following FOREVER EVIL are sure to enjoy a certain panel here!)

This is merely the kick off for the "Robin Rises" event that will take us through the rest of 2014, but has promised to end with *someone* standing by Batman's side in yellow and red by the end. There is obviously much more to see moving forward, but finishing this book I'm compelled to feel a genuine sense of gratitude toward DC's "Batman" team (led by group editor Mark Doyle) for putting this much effort in creating Batman stories for EVERY type of fan. - Bobby Barrett


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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