Fathers and sons constantly have disagreements but what happens when the father is the Dark Knight and the son has been raised by assassins?
The dynamic between Batman and Robin hasn't always been perfect. In many ways, they have been like father and son. When Batman was faced with a Robin that actually was his son, things became a little different. There's also the fact that Damian was raised by Talia and the League of Assassins as well as the fact that Batman didn't exactly choose Damian to be a Robin. He was sort of forced to accept him into the role. As many fathers do, Batman has a hard time communicating with his son. His primary goal is to protect him and conveying that doesn't always come across as he'd imagine. Damian has become frustrated, feeling he is being left in the dark and is not respected by his father. This is where Nobody, the son of one of Batman's former mentors, Henri Ducard, swoops in. Nobody believes in a more extreme form of justice. For reasons that haven't been fully explained, it's Nobody's goal to fully convert Damian to his line of thinking, apparently because he feels Batman has failed to follow his Nobody's father's teachings.
As we're in the "New 52," some things are different. We never knew Ducard had a son. This is where a handy flashback comes in. We get to see the story of Morgan Ducard and how Batman fits into it. It's always great to get some answers.
I have to mention the combination of Patrick Gleason's art with John Kalisz's colors captures the mood perfectly. This book has been going in a dark direction and you can feel the tension on the pages. Damian is not happy with Bruce and Bruce is feeling as if he's failed. The story takes place at night and the shadows is accentuated perfectly by the bright colors of Damian's costume along with Nobody's mask.
I've been discussing the signs that there may be an end between this incarnation of the Dynamic Duo. It's hard to see how the two will be able to mend their differences after this. There is a fear that everything will be neatly tied up at the end and Damian is simply playing along with Nobody in order to get the upper hand on him. What's a little odd is if Damian is willing to leave Batman's side, why would he put on the Robin suit rather than another outfit. There are advantages to the tech in the Robin suit but it just feels he hasn't fully given up on Batman. It's also not fully clear why Nobody wants Damian on his side so badly. We're starting to get some answers through flashbacks so perhaps there's more to come.
I've been a fan of Patrick Gleason's for a while and in the beginning, the way he drew eyes sometimes bothered me. I hadn't really experienced that in the first four issues of this series but there were a couple moments where they jumped out and I took notice.
It's hard to get enough Batman. The unfortunate aspect with the Bat-titles is there is a feeling of unbalance with the stories. Simply put, some titles are better than others. Fortunately BATMAN AND ROBIN is one of the better ones. Peter Tomasi is revving things up by creating a tremendous amount of tension between Batman and Damian. There is a great feeling that this could be the end of their partnership, despite being father and son. (If that's the case, what would it mean for the title...?) We are getting some answers and find out about Nobody's past with his father, Henri Ducard, as well as Batman. We don't have the complete picture just yet but the puzzle pieces are falling into place. BATMAN AND ROBIN is a pleasure to read each month. The consistency with Tomasi and Gleason lets you know you're going to get a quality Batman tale. The fact that there's the feeling that Batman and Damian might not be together adds a feeling of suspense to the book, despite the title having both their names. A week when BATMAN AND ROBIN is released is always one to look forward to.