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Batman and Robin #1 - Born to Kill

3

Putting his past and the death of his parents behind him, Batman takes his new outlook on crime fighting to the streets in the first issue of 'Batman and Robin.'

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.

The Good

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.

The Bad

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.

The Verdict

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.

32 Comments

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doordoor123

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Edited By doordoor123

Agreed. It was "interesting". I not jumping out of my seat to go get the next issue by any means though. Im only picking this up for Damian. And I'm assuming this takes place a while after Bruce returning. Maybe Damain has gotten tired of Bruce. This is how they acted before Bruce died. Hence that line that Damian said about wanting Bruce dead again or something like that. And maybe Damian just misses Dick.

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KainScion

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Edited By KainScion

it sucked!!! batman didnt feel like batman, the ride steeling stuff, needing help from alfred, taking shit from damian. plus remembering their anniversary ? is batman going to turn into a happy hero? hope not. he's slipping badly in this issue.

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Icarusflies

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Edited By Icarusflies  Moderator

I just felt like all of Damian's character development was wiped out in this issue. Yeah, it's a reboot, but still. This series SEEMS to follow closely on the heels of Batman and Robin and Batman, and in both those series Damian was really becoming more than a little overconfident brat. Yes, he still had some of that in him (which is what makes him so charming), but it was less than in this issue.

Also, I was sad that

I would have liked to have seen more of him. :(

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kennybaese

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Edited By kennybaese

Damian did kind of act like a little *ahem* in Batman and Son. Bruce demanded his respect, but that doesn't mean Damian would be instantly subservient to him. We see him go off and do his own thing when working with Bruce in Batman: The Return, so it isn't really out of character.

I think, overall, Batman has been heading in a new direction with Grant Morrison's run on the character that Sara Lima isn't a huge fan of. I get that, and she's not alone, but I'm a big fan of the direction Batman is going in, mostly because I'm a big fan of Morrison, so I'm glad this keeps going in that direction.

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Jonny_Anonymous

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Edited By Jonny_Anonymous

It was ok but the real let down in this book is a regression in character by Damain IMO. Damain made real progress while under the wing of Dick but in this book he is being written as a rank amateur again. I loved Bruce retaking the mantel again but his chemistry with Damian is not great and it really makes me wish for a Nightwing & Robin book.

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Jonny_Anonymous

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Edited By Jonny_Anonymous
@Icarusflies said:

I just felt like all of Damian's character development was wiped out in this issue. Yeah, it's a reboot, but still. This series SEEMS to follow closely on the heels of Batman and Robin and Batman, and in both those series Damian was really becoming more than a little overconfident brat. Yes, he still had some of that in him (which is what makes him so charming), but it was less than in this issue.

Also, I was sad that

I would have liked to have seen more of him. :(

Totally with you on every thing and yea :( he could have been cool
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johnny_spam

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Edited By johnny_spam

As shown in Batman and Son and Batman The Return Bruce and Damian do have a confrontational relationship. If a few issues go by and they are still this way or not given more depth to their relationship then I think it is bad but for now it matches what was previously shown. Damian was softened by Dick Grayson and Alfred's influence but not to the degree some fans claim he also mellowed out around Grayson because he was around him all the time so it does make sense he still is closed off with others even his father.

But really the moment Batman Leviathan comes out I''ll drop this book for that one since it is Morrison's story and Bruce and Damian.

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Roldan

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Edited By Roldan

I think IGN's review summed up Damian's situation pretty well.

Damian is more annoying, more patronizing, and more disobedient to Bruce than he ever was to Dick because Damian feels that he has already played this game and won. He has already earned the respect, friendship, and love of one Batman, so shouldn't he get to skip ahead to the end for this one? Bruce doesn't think so.

And that's exactly how it should be. He's still a kid, and a kid would defiantly act like this. But yeah, Tomasi isn't my top pick when it comes to writing Damian but he still does better then like 90% of the writers that have also written Damian.

And this is pretty much how it was last time they teamed up (I think it was the Batman Return one-shot).

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JPJordan

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Edited By JPJordan

so I'm new to the DC universe, this #1 thing has me trying out books. Has Damian always been a twerpy little shit? If so I may not continue reading this particular Batbook. Couldn't stand him.

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johnny_spam

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Edited By johnny_spam

@JPJordan: He's not really twerpy he is raised by killers to kill but under the right influence from Dick Grayson he slowly softened a little bit he does have more layers the real highlight for the character was Morrison's Batman and Robin run which an upcoming series Batman Leviathan by Morrison is suppose to be about Bruce and Damian. He actually is under most hands a bit of a outrageous character and not really taken seriously but some people mess up and make him to stoic.

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fenixREVOLUTION

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Edited By fenixREVOLUTION

After seeing the great divide on this issue, I read it. I like it. It does feel just like starting over with the characters, maybe because Bruce was gone so long or Damian is just upset that Dick is gone from Batman, but Damian's dialogue made me smirk, he's still a little bastard and that's alright with me. I do think it's interesting that Bruce is going to be remembering his parents wedding anniversary, but after Bruce came back from his time romp, he has lightened up a bit, so it makes sense, not necessarily him going soft. I'm also glad to see as promised, it looks like Batman Inc is definitely still intact and will play a role in this arc, if not this whole book.

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JonesDeini

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Edited By JonesDeini

@JPJordan said:

so I'm new to the DC universe, this #1 thing has me trying out books. Has Damian always been a twerpy little shit? If so I may not continue reading this particular Batbook. Couldn't stand him.

Generally speaking, Damian's a little bastard, but there are truly intriguing reasons for it. I used to absolutely HATE the kid, now I've grown to appreciate the wildcard dynamic he brings to the books.

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longbowhunter

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Edited By longbowhunter

I didnt so much have a problem with the level of disrespect towards Bruce as I did his thoughtless actions that apprently got the thieves killed. Damian is smarter than that.

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RareCheshire

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Edited By RareCheshire

I hate Damian, and still do. I can't stand the little brat!

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Daveyo520

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Edited By Daveyo520

This was one of my favorite series before the reboot.

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Trodorne

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Edited By Trodorne

Okay I would just like to say to everyone who bought this book.

WHY HAS NO ONE MENTIONED THE BAT-POLES YET?!

like seriously. Its batman and robin and they take a page from the 1960's show by sliding down the bat-pole from the mansion to the batcave. Am I the only one who notices this? I feel like im taking crazy pills. opp its 10 pm time for my meds.... >_>

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TheBlackHood

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Edited By TheBlackHood

Damien continues to be my LEAST favorite Robin EVER, including ones that only appear in Else Worlds. The most difficult thing for me is that I am a HUGE Tim Drake fan so to see Batman go from partnering with Tim to this little @$$hat is really jarring. I only with we could send Damien over to see All Star Batman for a few weeks, this kid needs to get his @$$ kicked all over the Batcave.

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B'Town

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Edited By B'Town

@Daveyo520 said:

This was one of my favorite series before the reboot.

yep, Me too. This was in my top five. I read it almost instantly, two or three times before placing it on the comic rack.

I love Damian, I hope he continues to be a crazy little arse. And, I hope I won't miss Dick as Batman too much.

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Daveyo520

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Edited By Daveyo520

@B'Town: God that kid is a prick. I just want to smack him. Well, Bruce is Batman so I am sure it will be fine. However I did like Dick in the role, trying to fill the shoes and all that. It was an interesting idea.

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MrUnknown

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Edited By MrUnknown

Dick and Damian were a better duo but this issue was pretty good. You just expect too much of Bruce :>

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entropy_aegis

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Edited By entropy_aegis

Damian was rather unlikeable here.Okay issue,much better than Winicks crap arc.

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TheManhunter

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Edited By TheManhunter

Gleason I feel messed up huge on a few things. The "New 52" was supposed to be an updated and fresh revamp. 1. Batman and Robins costumes are not the new character designs we've seen from Lee or the advertisements of "The New 52." Robins cape wasn't feather cut, and bruce looked to have basic kevlar on instead of his armor. It made it hard for me to see this as current time, if the JL #1 looked to be 10 years in the future compared to the pencils from Gleason.

Bruce taking shiz from Damian is so unbelievable. Bruce has never been that lenient, and it doesn't matter that Damian is his biological child, he sees all his boys the same. Bruce's decisions are never questioned without consequences. The bat family hasn't aloud Damian to use his "I'm supposed to be a psycho cut me some slack" bit for a while now.

I was way excited for the revamp but I'm losing hope for Batman books if this is the direction they're going to take it. Bruce is not an upbeat, we'll talk it out why your disobeying kind of guy. Tomasi you are the weakest link! Goodbye!

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Croi

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Edited By Croi

I was disappointed the whole way through. Reference to the ol' Batman, Inc. thing? I let it slide. Damian's change of attitude toward Bruce, I was like 'okay, that's in his character to be disrespectful', so I let it slide. The anniversary thing and the vehicle hijacking? All of 'em together? I didn't like it at all.

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gmanfromheck

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Edited By gmanfromheck

I felt Damian was way too disrespectful. Didn't he call Bruce 'sir' before? It was just too much in this issue. But Bruce did start handing it back. Tough to be a dad, I guess?

My big problem was 10:48. As some may know, that's just not right. Either it's a typo or the time got slightly retconned as a result of Flashpoint.

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shrmntnk62

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Edited By shrmntnk62

Not as cool as I had hoped for. I know Damien is a little cocky to say the least, but I was looking for something resembling respect from him towards Bruce. I thought the bad guy was cool (the shadowy one). This was also my first exposure to Russian Batman. I liked his costume. We'll have to see how good the other 2 Batman #1's are before I decide if I'm sticking w/ this one or not.

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hitechlolife

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Edited By hitechlolife

Damien just sounds wrong from anyone but Morrison's pen. Kid characters are hard to pull off without becoming completely annoying. Tomasi stacked odds against himself by having Damien mocking Batman's origin story.

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redwingx

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Edited By redwingx

Without Dick, its just a mess. But really, haven't we been through this already with Damian? This Batman is the real Batman, i don know why Damian is so disrespectful.

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Abriel

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Edited By Abriel

You know this was probably only the second time in my life I have wished for the ability to reach through the page and smack a fictional character (the first being when Rahne interrupted Rictor and Shatterstar *cough*). What a little jerk. Sad thing is this is kind of a step back in his character development. After that issue of Batman where he was telling that story to those kids it looked like he was started to experience some growth. What happened? Although I am glad to see Bruce moving on with his life. It'll be interesting to see how this new father/son dynamic works.

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SpaceCommander

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Edited By SpaceCommander

I was really looking forward to this issue. The "White Knight" arc Tomasi and Gleason did earlier in the year really blew me away, but the creative teams after that didn't really have the same dynamic. I'm not saying they were bad, they just didn't feel as strong as Tomasi and Gleason did. Anyway, I really loved this issue because it really worked on the father/ son dynamic and how I felt they showed a bit of growth in Batman's personality where it looks like he's going to fight crime out of responsibility rather than guilt over his parents death. In regards to Damian's disrespect towards everyone, I think that's just his nature and the fact the he is still pretty young so he doesn't really have a proper idea on how he should act towards older people. I know I didn't when I was young. Plus, that is really what makes him such a good contrast to the rest of the bat-family since they are older and more mature.

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keith71_98

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Edited By keith71_98

I REALLY liked this issue.
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jrock85

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Edited By jrock85

@Icarusflies said:

I just felt like all of Damian's character development was wiped out in this issue. Yeah, it's a reboot, but still. This series SEEMS to follow closely on the heels of Batman and Robin and Batman, and in both those series Damian was really becoming more than a little overconfident brat. Yes, he still had some of that in him (which is what makes him so charming), but it was less than in this issue.

I feel the same way.

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Eyz

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Edited By Eyz

A bit confusing, not far off from what we left the Bat-clan pre-DCnU.

Good book :)