COMIC BOOK REVIEW - Batman and Robin: Death Of The Family
By The Masked Medic
I’m flying through these novels now. Okay not really, but I’ve been on a roll recently and just wanted to read a lot more. So I thought it was about time that I returned to the very first series that I ever reviewed; the New 52 run of Batman and Robin! Following the reboot, this series saw Bruce Wayne as Batman and his son Damian as Robin, often being at odds with each other due to their ideological differences. However, their relationship in the last novel has definitely started to thaw!
‘Death of the Family’ starts with a story that sees Damian making an attempt to engage his father after their relationship troubles. He sends Bruce and Alfred on a wild goose chase across the world, pretending to be one step ahead. Many of the clues he’s left have strong sentimental value, although Bruce doesn’t know it. Whilst this is all going on, Damian is dressing up as Batman and fighting crime in Gotham. The remainder of the novel then deals with the massive crossover event ‘Death of the Family’ in which the Joker is back to terrorise the entire Bat-family. In this novel, the first issue of the crossover has Robin decide that he won’t wait in the Bat-cave as per Batman’s orders. He goes after the Joker and finds clues leading him to the zoo. However, the Joker is ever prepared and captures Robin. He gives him a whole speech about how he believes that Robin and the other members of the Bat-Family are responsible for weakening Batman and that in order to break the cycle of Batman and Robin one must kill the other. Cue a “jokerized” Batman attacking Damian. The two duke it out, only for Damian to concede and Joker to reveal it was just an ordinary man who was driven crazy by Joker gas. The next issue cuts to the finale of the entire crossover and sees the Bat-family all tied to chairs at a dinner table with Batman being the only conscious one. The final issue of the novel sees Batman, Robin and Alfred all dealing with the aftermath of the whole episode and gives an insight into each of their respective nightmares. Can these integral members of the Bat-family deal with their PTSD?
In my opinion, each novel has continued to develop the Batman and Robin relationship in an extremely rewarding way. Not only does it deal with the fact that these two are partners in crime-fighting but also that they are father and son. Granted that they didn’t start on the best of terms, but you can really see how much Bruce has begun to trust Damian. An added layer on top, which I absolutely love, is that Alfred is an integral part of this novel and this series. And so he should be, you cannot speak about the family without mentioning the man that raised Bruce. In terms of the actual story, much of it was derived from the ‘Death of the Family' storyline, but I liked that the repercussions of that were seen in this novel. My only qualm with the novel, and it is minor, was that we didn’t see much Batman and Robin action. We saw Batman action and Robin action, but never quite together!
The artwork was fairly decent, although there are times where I feel like Patrick Gleason’s art isn’t the best. I mean I can’t draw as well as him, so who am I to say? Hahaha! The covers were good but this one above is a little iconic. Overall, a good novel and a good progression of story! Will it continue in this way?
Is this what all butlers dream about?
It has to be Robin. He showed real growth in this novel and Bat-Dad was a tad too moody in my opinion
Story Arc: ★★★½
Character Development: ★★★★