Thursday, 10 May 2012

Review: Batman And Robin #9

Batman And Robin #9 By Tomasi / Garbett / Clarke

Taking its focus away from the series' title, this issue is effectively a solo Robin story as the son of Batman takes on one of the Court of Owls 'Talon's - a neat way of tieing into the crossover currently taking over the Bat titles. Shuffling the focus away from Batman is hardly a bad thing, and in the long run might be a wise move given how many solo series' are currently focused on the Dark Knight, although the interplay between the two is clearly missed.

The plot of the issue is fine, if a little by the numbers, as Robin attempts to rescue General Burrows from the Talon. It is all a little predictable, but makes for some fun, high octane action - if a little lacking in suspense. Tomasi does a good job of building up Robin's character here, and he manages to carry the story impressively well without Batman. What is missing is the character work that has made this series so intriguing in its opening eight issues. This feels a little like a filler issue, and only briefly touches on what makes Damian Wayne tick, not to mention the cataclysmic events of the series' opening arc.

As with the rest of the 'Night Of The Owls' crossover, perhaps the most interesting facet of this issue is the brief glimpse at the history of the Court Of Owls, presented here as a brief two pagee interlude. Although it is a fairly meagre offering, it is the high point of the issue, helped in no small part by the atmospheric artwork of  Andy Clarke.

Lee Garbett's vibrant, cartoony pencils work rather less well for the main portion of the story however. His style simply does not seem suited to Batman's world, and seems a little too light hearted in tone for a story of this magnitude. The colour palette works well throughout, but the pencils are slightly too cartoony, and lend the story an atmosphere not quite befitting the dark, moody Night Of The Owls crossover.

This issue is an entertaining sidestep, and a worthy portion of the crossover, but little more. The action feels vaguely inconsequential, although the insight into the Court of Owls is welcome as ever. Fun reading, but hardly essential.



  1. I agree that this issue wasn't to par with what Tomasi has been doing in other issues, but disagree that it didn't do Damian justice. It was ample evidence that he has not let recent events affect him, especially the way he confidently explained to a bunch of soldiers just how much better he still is, even if he's recently been compromised. An alternate version of this story could have featured an internal compromise without a single change to his actions otherwise. That's the strength of this character. If anything, the way he dispatched the Talon, with ruthless efficiency, was a nice coda to the Nobody saga.

  2. I would agree with you to a point. I felt that it was a solid reflection on his character, albeit one that told us nothing new about it or his relationship with Batman. I would also say that while it touched on the events of the previous arc and how they have affected Damian, Tomasi could have mentioned them in a more explicit way.

    Really this felt very much like an issue inbetween arcs.