batwatch's Batman and Robin #15 - Little Big Man review

Batman and Robin #15

Little Big Man

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The last two issues of Batman and Robin have been vastly disappointing and nonsensical. Anybody who read Tomasi’s original Batman and Robin story for the DCNU knows that he can write, but his recent material has seemed rather soulless. Nonetheless, I am very excited for this issue simply because I suspect Damian might be the one to die in Death of the Family, and if that is the case, it would stand to reason that this month’s tie in to Death of the Family will be a very important chapter. Does Tomasi step up once more to deliver an excellent story, or is he going through the motions once more?

In this issue, Damian disobeys Batman’s orders to sit out this conflict and chases down a lead to the Gotham zoo. After doing battle with some hyenas, Damian comes face to face with the Clown Prince of Crime.

Joker’s Comedy Club

I think this might be my favorite presentation of the Joker so far in Death of the Family. All of the other tie ins to Death of the Family focus on the protagonist, and Joker only shows up occasionally to move the plot along, but here, Robin shares the spotlight with Joker, and the two sing a beautiful duet together. In a very real sense, this issue is nothing but a conversation between the Boy Wonder and the Clown Prince of Crime. It is almost as if Joker put a pin in the conversation the two held back in the police station in the first volume of Batman and Robin wherein Damian tried to beat Joker’s brains out, and Joker now pulls the pin back out and says, “Now what were we saying?”

Throughout the entire conversation, Joker’s movements and words resound perfectly. Joker finds new ways to use his face to disturbing effect. In fact, you might not want to read this issue if you are particularly easy to make queasy because you will see maggots crawling all over Joker’s face which is apparently beginning to rot. As Joker moves about unpredictably, he continues to make his case that Batman does not need a Robin, and despite Robin’s best efforts, Joker finds ways of getting underneath Damian’s skin. The whole conversation, which takes up most of the issue, is very well done.

Sigh

Despite how much I enjoyed the core of this story, the surface had some things I did not much appreciate. The conversation between Joker and Damian is all that really mattered in this issue, yet we take six pages to get to that point. I might be nitpicking, but it seemed to me that is could have been done much faster. Then, there is the fact that there is a giant egg in this issue, and I do mean giant. Like…a dinosaur egg or something, and there is no explanation whatsoever for it. What the heck? There is also one panel (page 13, panel 1) where Robin’s cape is defying gravity. Again, it’s a small thing, but it bugged me. Finally, this issue appears to have been guest edited by Fear Factor because there are big, gross, creepy crawlies over everything. I get that it somewhat makes sense in the context and that Joker and the creative team were playing up the aspect of Damian being a robin, but it got to the point that I felt like the creative team was just trying to gross out readers.

In This Corner…

The next issue sets up for an apparently epic fight, and though it a simply premise, I am very intrigued.

(Spoiler) At the end of the issue, it appears that Robin will have to fight Batman under the influence of Joker poison. This raises a lot of questions. How did Batma get caught and drugged, and where does this tie in to the rest of the Death of the Family? Is this really Batman, or could it be just someone dressed in a Batman costume? (which is my personal guess) If it is Batman, will he be able to fight the effects giving Damian a fair chance? If this is Batman in his prime, we know Damian would have no chance of winning, but would he be capable of escaping from a Batman intent on killing him?

To answer all of those questions, I have no idea, but it should be fun to find out next issue.

Conclusion 8/10

(Spoiler) At the end of the issue, it appears that Robin will have to fight Batman under the influence of Joker poison. This raises a lot of questions. How did Batma get caught and drugged, and where does this tie in to the rest of the Death of the Family? Is this really Batman, or could it be just someone dressed in a Batman costume? (which is my personal guess) If it is Batman, will he be able to fight the effects giving Damian a fair chance? If this is Batman in his prime, we know Damian would have no chance of winning, but would he be capable of escaping from a Batman intent on killing him?

To answer all of those questions, I have no idea, but it

This issue is way better than the last, but it still has some hiccups which made what could have been an excellent issue simply good. Still, it is a safe purchase for and Damian Wayne or Death of the Family fans.

2 Comments
Posted by batnight

I really dont think that is the real batman, its gotta have something to do with the jokers toxin. In other words, i agree with your personal guess.

Posted by BatWatch

Yeah, we will have to see what's what in the next issue, but I suspect it is not Bats.

Nice profile pic. (grins)

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