Comic Vine Review

51 Comments

Batman and Robin #18 - Undone Review

5

This silent issue deals with the aftermath of BATMAN, INCORPORATED #8 and is a must read for any Batman fan.

This review contains spoilers.

The Good

Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason have created an emotional masterpiece. Making this a silent issue was a brilliant choice and allows every panel to truly sink in. Tomasi warmed our hearts with the stunning annual issue... now he's tearing it apart. As comic fans, we all know It's far too often a death in the medium lacks true impact. The thought of them potentially coming back so soon hinders the punch, and seeing the aftermath of a death properly handled is a rare thing. It may be tough to believe, but Damian's demise wasn't the peak of his story. No, it's clearly just the beginning of an even more compelling tale that we'll see unfold in this title for the next five months. We're right there with Wayne as the events of BATMAN, INC #8 cut right to his core. It's beyond touching and, truthfully, a tough reading experience.

Naturally, this gripping read would be nothing without the stunning artwork from Gleason, John Kalisz and Mick Gray. Gleason's highly detailed pencils really hit all of the emotions home. The grinding of Wayne's teeth as he's filled with hatred, the look of shock in his eyes when he sees his son... each expression perfectly conveys these drastic feelings. These stunning images are perfectly complimented by strong use of ink and bold coloring which never takes away from the cold and depressing tone of the issue. Every page is nothing short of grand.

I know having Wayne go through the five stages of grief sounds cheesy to some, but it's only logical. If this issue is a sign of things to come, then I'm fully confident that this team will make excellent use of each stage within the limitations of one issue. That letter is really going to tug at your heartstrings and seeing Wayne lash out is -- like I previously said -- difficult to read. You can even see a change in Titus and that alone makes me want to sob like a child.

The Bad

Nothing. Insanely powerful from start to finish.

The Verdict

Whaaat? No, I'm not tearing up. There's... there's just something in my eye, that's all. Seriously though, BATMAN AND ROBIN #18 is a huge accomplishment. The impact of death in this medium has certainly been reduced, but this issue defies that belief on every single page. You'll feel Batman's excruciating pain, and that is a truly amazing feat from this creative team.

Once you're done with the issue, take a moment or two to gaze at the image from an older issue below. Try not to shed a tear. Go on, I dare you.

52 Comments
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Posted by Deadpool_Deathstroke

I cannot wait to read this issue. Brilliant idea to let the visuals SHOW us how he feels. Damian will be missed. RIP little buddy.

Posted by frandj

yes. this issue certainly the emotional one.

tomasi surely can captured how deep bruce feeling got hurt.

Posted by Dark_Guyver

Haven't picked up a single issue if B&R; since New 52 (had too many books on my pull). But I'll probably pick this up to see the outcome of Damian's death.

Online
Posted by DarthStorm
Posted by sho3s22

phenomenal issue. Definitely much better than Batman this week...

Posted by Cap10nate

I love silent issues. I think they are a lot more powerful than normal ones. My favorite is from Issue 49 of Busiek's Kang Dynasty saga in the Avengers. It shows Kang destroying DC and forcing the Wasp to surrender for humanity. Very emotional.

Posted by shackle

There is going to be a lot of polarization among Batfans in the next few months, because a lot of people never liked Damian. They don't care that he's dead; if anything, they're pleased. So the tributes and the weepy moments are going to fall on more than a few deaf ears. There may be a wake going on in Wayne Manor, but there's a street party going on in entire blocks outside.

Posted by Onemoreposter

Damn Tomasi. He just happy unless I'm utterly emotionally devastated.

Another fantastically beautiful issue.

DAMN YOU GRANT MORRISON

Posted by UltimateSMfan

This was really powerful oh man!! N after that last part I totally welled up....the creative team outdid themselves on this one!!

Posted by JamDamage

this might be the best single comic book issue of the year so far. It might stay that way for the rest of the year. When these silent issues are done right, they're done so right. This was one of them. I'm glad Damian is dead, but this issue just so powerful.

Posted by TommytheHitman

Good buy little buddy. It's been fun.

Online
Posted by KingdomCome

@Cap10nate: That panel with Thor and Wonderman :O

Edited by Sleepbutnodream15

I haven't felt sad about Damian's death over the last couple weeks. It's not because I didn't like the character, but because I knew the difference between real life and fiction. However, this issue, especially the last 2-3 pages, kinda hit me a little bit. When I saw Bruce holding the Robin's costume, I could kinda sense his emptiness and sadness. For a second, I could feel a little bit of the heaviness that comes from seeing someone lose a child. Good stuff.

What makes this issue even better was the fact that there was no Harper Row in sight.

Posted by Kesho_Ronin

Beautiful and sad issue

Edited by Russcovito

Who is the note from ? The one with C.K. signed on it ? Sorry I did not read all the issues of B&R.

Posted by Mrgreenlantern

bastards it hurts so much

Posted by SmashBrawler

This was really good. Looks like I'll have to keep reading Batman & Robin. Damn.

Posted by Dark_Vengeance_

Posted by havoc1201

@Russcovito said:

Who is the note from ? The one with C.K. signed on it ? Sorry I did not read all the issues of B&R.

Clark Kent i think

Posted by Stoneybe

It looks like a great comic but I read comics for enjoyment. The death of a 9 year old and the devastation it would bring is simply not a lot of fun to read. D was already the only comic relief in the batman U. Going to give some other titles a go for a few weeks. Have a rest from the relentless misery.

Posted by spinningbirdcake

@havoc1201 said:

@Russcovito said:

Who is the note from ? The one with C.K. signed on it ? Sorry I did not read all the issues of B&R.

Clark Kent i think

Yeah. If you see C.K. and it's a DC comic it's Clark Kent. Plus "To Kill a Mockingbird" is his favorite movie I believe.

Batman and Robin has produced my two favorite comics of the past four or five months and yet I'm still hesitant to continue reading it.

Posted by longbowhunter

Very emotionally heavy. This really hit hard for anyone following Bruce and Damian's relationship in the pages of this title. As long as I have a comic collection this issue will be a part of it.

Posted by JohnReese

The red and yellow combo means its 99 percent Clark Kent.Reminds me of Krypto solo issue where he weeps after Superboy died in infinite crisis.Very touching, where would we be without such masterfully expressed comics?

Posted by John Valentine

Woah, I think I cried a little bit.

Posted by MuyJingo

This series is consistently better than the more popular Batman. That's certainly true this month. An excellent issue.

Posted by Jake Fury

Is this the last issue?

Posted by zachkastner

Tomasi and Gleason got tears out of me.

This issue hits like a freight train.

Posted by k4tzm4n

@Jake Fury said:

Is this the last issue?

No. The title will co-star different members of the Bat-family over the next 5 issues.

Staff
Posted by akbogert

@Stoneybe: Red Hood has been fairly lighthearted. I wouldn't say Damian was the only fun thing in the Bat universe.

I guess I'll have to look into getting a physical copy of this, since it sounds like it's one for the record books.

@k4tzm4n: Is that going to be the end? Or is that all we know about the run, and then it might continue with a new Robin?

Posted by dreamfall31

Picked this one up as I'm looking to adding it to my pull list while Snyder throws his title into the past. Will probably read the first volume to catch up before looking at this one!

Posted by SUNMAN

@k4tzm4n: Sorry to be an old fart, but we've been here and done this back in 1988, not sure I see much difference here. Bruce has a lost loved one to angst over, rinse and repeat. This just came off as a predictable issue

Posted by leosol

DC shorted my local shop so not even all the subscribers got the issue. Have to wait till next month for a reprint. That's why I'm sad.

Posted by gorillazman2012

Oh my god this issue was so sad, amazing artwork, please don't hate me but I sometimes feel the artwork lacked in some issues, not all but one or two. But this issue....

Posted by MadeinBangladesh

PIECE OF ART

Posted by frankcmu

Beautiful

Posted by MacBulldog

Outstanding issue. One of the best single issues this year.

Posted by bsavelli

Simply heartbreaking, and the artwork is amazing. Every single page strikes you with a blow. The scenes where Bruce actually think he sees Damian are very powerful and really transmit how much Damian will be missed. I don't think this issue could have been any better

Posted by lostlantern13

Right in the feels.

Well done. Early favorite for issue of the year, in my humble opinion.

Posted by noj

This was just absolutely amazing. I SERIOUSLY teared up reading it. Damian was my favorite character so this issue especially hit me hard. I just hate to see him gone. I know people hate the idea of comic book deaths not being permanent but in this case I couldn't care less. I was hoping Morrison would bring him back for the end of his run but thats looking less and less likely. At this point he is obviously going to stay gone for at least 6 months but I hope he wont be gone too long, a year or two at most but just bring him back DC! If Marvel could kill Johnny Storm and bring him back within a year DC can do the same for Robin.

Posted by sideshowsob

Its raining where I live and I was going to pass on going to pick up this weeks pull today and save it for tomorrow......... Then I read this review and now I'm going to pick this up read it and walk home in the rain, atleast I can hide my man tears in the rain.

Posted by benette_rivera

@shackle said:

There is going to be a lot of polarization among Batfans in the next few months, because a lot of people never liked Damian. They don't care that he's dead; if anything, they're pleased. So the tributes and the weepy moments are going to fall on more than a few deaf ears. There may be a wake going on in Wayne Manor, but there's a street party going on in entire blocks outside.

a lot of people dislike damian but a LOT likes him too. Damian evolved a lot since his first appearance and that characterization made an impact on his death.

Posted by sinestro_GL

Not the first silent issue from Batman to be so heavily emotional.

Posted by Agent_Prince

The best issue of anything Batman related in the New 52 thus far.

Posted by KnightofSteel

Absolutely outstanding issue. I've read comics that are "supposed to be" emotional but they rarely affect me. This however had me pausing at a pivitol page and thinking: "wow, that's powerful, that's masterfull storytelling, that's genuinely emotionial and is affecting me." This issue has to win an award like right now.

Posted by ComicAddict2814

I read this issue and immediately ran to hug my 15 month old son. Such a sad sad issue, yet so well done. Wow....

Posted by RedOwl_1

I didn't want to read it because I knew I would cry... and I was right SO SAD D':

Posted by JairamGanpat

I don't think the art fit the mood of this story at all. I liked the concept though. There were a few pages that stood out very nicely.

Posted by mickeymayhew

an especially powerful issue for anyone who's lost someone, that awful void and hap in your life they leave when they are gone :-(

Posted by KnightRise

All of my feels.

No, seriously, the emotion was ridiculous. Anyone connect that Damian had went to Clark to find out Bruce's favorite movies? Aggggh, again, the feels. Bless you, Tomasi, yet damn you Tomasi. I'm a grown man; I shouldn't be this shaken up.

Edited by SebastienOS

@russcovito: My guess is that the note came from Clark Kent. It's only mere speculation though because I can't think of any issue where Clark came in contact with Damian.

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