Former 'Green Lantern' writer Peter Tomasi brings fans the very first issue of 'Batman and Robin' as part of the 'new 52,' but not without a whole lot of changes to the character. Spoilers below.
At long last, the moment 'Batman and Robin' fans have been waiting for: Bruce Wayne finally returns to the Batman mantle and joins his son, Damian Wayne. The father and son duo finally working together as a team. Throughout the Batman and Robin series Damian initially showed resentment towards the 'Robin's' who came before him: Dick, Tim and even Jason. His conceited nature kept them at arms length and it wasn't until the very end of the series that Damian finally felt a closeness to Dick Grayson (former Batman).
Throughout his tenure as Robin, Damian idolized Bruce (his father), so there is no question that the moment these two would team up as a duo would be an exciting one. The story opens with what appears to be a new villain with the power to become invisible who is working at dismantling the various members of Batman's Batman, Incorporated. Not only do we see these two finally team up (Bruce and Damian), but we also see a continuation and reference towards Batman, Incorporated as well as confirmation that Batman, Inc. will continue to shape parts of the DC Universe. The pacing is good. The focus moves from the villain to Batman's decision to change certain things he does. The banter between Bruce and Damian is less cordial than expected -- Damian is still taking big risks and he has yet to lose his "know it all" nature. He challenges Bruce at every corner and demonstrates very little respect for Batman.
So here's what I am not sure about. Throughout the entire Batman and Robin series Damian demonstrated this idolization of Bruce Wayne. He was in awe and star struck over Bruce; even if he did resent him a little bit for having raised (and adopted) Tim Drake and Dick Grayson. You would think that some of that idolization of Bruce would stick here, in this first issue of Batman and Robin but that is not the case. While it adds an interesting dynamic to the Batman and Robin relationship, I have to wonder if Damian would really be this disrespectful, going so far as to demand he be trusted and be considered a partner, not a sidekick.
I had a really big problem with the group of low level thieves who broke into the museum and managed to break into (and drive away in) Batman's vehicle. Doesn't he have a kill switch for his engine or something? Meanwhile, Alfred is at home watching it all go down on the Bat computer. Seems a little bit far-fetched. I thought Batman was supposed to be two steps ahead of his opponents?
One major development in this issue is the decision Bruce makes to celebrate his parents' wedding anniversary as opposed to the day of their death. The entire premise of Bruce's Batman identity is to remember his parents' murder in everything he does. To put this behind him is a huge step in a new direction, but feels contradictory and totally against his character.
This issue certainly wasn't bad. In fact, it was interesting. The pacing is good, but it's the developments that were the most intriguing. There are definitely some huge changes to Bruce's character in this series, and the decision to make Bruce more positive and to focus on his relationship with his son than to be held by the past is certainly, well, different. I can't say I agree with it, but it's still a well written issue.