Batman and Robin Annual #1

#1 Posted by k4tzm4n (39331 posts) - - Show Bio

The Good  

There's still a good chunk of today's new issues I haven't read yet, but I'm confident right now with saying this is my favorite issue this week.  Writer Peter J. Tomasi has crafted a brilliant, emotional and deep look at the father/son relationship between Bruce and Damian while still incorporating plenty of fun action and big laughs.  
If you're a fan of Damian Wayne, it's safe to say you'll probably love this issue as much as I did. His superb intellect is on display here as he tricks his father and his arrogant personality is downright adorable at times ("Stupid sun. Go down already."). The small changes in his "Batman" costume reflect him so well -- it's a darker and more brutal look (sharp cleats and spiked knuckles), yet it's still so cute. The rough lettering as he tries to duplicate his father's voice makes me laugh every time and made the scenes really come to life. I'm sure we'll all have a different impression of how he sounds while doing "the voice," but one thing's for sure, it's so entertaining to think about. Virtually every scene with the Boy Wonder is engrossing and it makes me really want an ongoing called "BAT BOY."   
The comedic timing here is top-notch. This issue had me laughing out loud frequently and there are so many hysterical moments that'll keep you chuckling (the moment with the driver's seat, for example). Alfred's closing line is almost guaranteed to crack you up as well. 
No matter how cold you are, this is an issue that'll warm your heart. Damian's desire to payback his father for everything he's given him is executed in an incredibly moving fashion. The little bits of history might not set off the waterworks, but they sure are touching and will pull at your heartstrings. It was particularly sweet when we're hit with a heavy "like father, like son" moment.  
Patrick Gleason has created a signature look for the title, and while I would have loved to see him illustrate this one, I was very satisfied with Ardian Syaf's work. Combined with John Kalisz's coloring, some of the scenes looked fantastic. One moment that really impressed me was a huge collage of Damian taking out assorted thugs during his patrol. That one is sure to keep your eyes glued to it for awhile.

The Bad 

A few of Damian's facial expressions were a little awkward and even creepy, but it's easily overlooked by the fact that the art team overall did a solid job.

The Verdict  

'Death of the Family' has placed such a dark and dreary mood over all of the Bat books. Alfred and Damian's future are definitely uncertain in that event. While this is by no means a bad thing, seeing them at a happier time and the amazingly warming tone of this issue is a very welcome change of pace. BATMAN & ROBIN ANNUAL #1 looks good, is packed with great comedic and action scenes and is by far one of the most heartwarming comics I've read in a long time. I dare to say it's Peter J. Tomasi's best issue in the series. Damian, you're now my favorite DC character.

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