no_name_'s Batman and Robin #21 - Dark Knight vs. White Knight, Part 2 of 3: Tree of Blood review

Who Is The White Knight?

Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason continue telling the story of Batman and Robin in the 'Tree of Blood' story arc.  
 

The Good  

There's one thing about Peter Tomasi you can't overlook- he knows how to write Dick Grayson. In fact, Tomasi was responsible for many of Dick's most interesting stories; and he seems to make ample use of that skill in the second part of this story arc.  
 
I am a firm believer in the idea that the hero is only as good and interesting as his or her adversary- and even though we have Dick Grayson in the Batman costume, doesn't mean DC should recycle the same Batman villains in a series focused on the former boy-wonder, right? In the second part of this three issue arc we get to know the White Knight a little bit better, and become more familiar with his motivations, tactics, and overall goals. The good news is that this "White Knight" isn't any less crazy than the rest of the Batman rogues gallery, which makes him even more interesting.  While I wasn't crazy about the characterization of Damian in this issue, there were some parts I felt Tomasi did a great job with the character. There is one scene in particular, when Dick, Damian and Alfred do a bit of detective work and analyze the method to the White Knight's madness where I felt the interaction between the three characters was very well presented. One thing I absolutely loved about this scene was the fact that Dick is teaching Damian indirectly. Tomasi acknowledges that Damian is a tough cookie, and probably really difficult to talk to, teach or lecture, so he allows Damian to essentially teach himself. Rather than immediately solving the puzzle, Dick Grayson lets Damian do some of the work (even if he's figured some of it out already). Grayson let's Damian do some of the work, and it's nice to see this interaction play out.   
 The storytelling in this issue is really good, and the story flows really well. Tomasi's script is very well organized and is very well paired with Patrick Gleason's art. In fact, after seeing so much of Gleason's art in outer-space, Green Lantern stories; it was nice to see some of his more "grounded" work.  
 

The Bad  

I'm convinced that aside from Grant Morrison, the only person that can write a really good Damian Wayne is Joshua Williamson. I wasn't crazy with Tomasi's characterization of Damian as a whole, but I did think he still managed to write a really fantastic story. 
 

The Verdict  

A really fantastic issue with a closer look at what is gearing up to be a formidable adversary for this Batman and Robin team. Definitely well written with some lovely art and layout. 
4 Comments
Posted by longbowhunter

I'm really digging this. Even though I'm excited to see what Judd Winick's Red Hood story will be like come issue #23, part of me wishes this creative team would stick around for the long haul instead.
Posted by B'Town

Hey I'm digging this too!  heheh.  Batman and Robin are one of my favortie books right now, I can't believe how much fun I can have reading a book that is well... so darn twisted. 
 
I'm looking forward to getting my issue in the mail, any day now.  Yay.  Thanks for the review Babs, I'm so looking forward to this.

Posted by JonesDeini

The best way to write Damian is out of continuity :P 
 
But seriously I like the way that Nicieza and Tomasi handle him. I hate the kid (though not as much as some). And they manage to make him at least bearable for me. 

Posted by Sydpart2

Aw come on, no one liked the twitter line? He's been using a lot of internet slang lately (well maybe not a whole lot but enough for a good laugh) I cracked up in Batman #697(?) when he was looking at...not gonna type that, when he was looking down at Richard and said "fail"

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