There's no denying this first arc in Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason's BATMAN AND ROBIN has been full of action, suspense, drama and twists and turns. Batman has always been a father figure to his Robins but this is the first time a Robin has actually been his son. That might seem like it would make their bond and relationship stronger but in the past, Batman actually chose who would become Robin. With Damian raised by Talia al Ghul, he didn't have too much of a choice.
We've seen the struggle between father and son. It hasn't been a perfect wholesome relationship. With Morgan Ducard trying to take advantage of Damian's past and anger, a wedge has been formed and Damian has been going down a dark path. There's also been signs and clues suggestion the possible downfall of the Dynamic Duo. Suspense and doubt are the perfect tools in throwing a wrench into the status quo.
This issue brings the conclusion to the first arc. We've heard the usual "things will never be the same" description before. There is resolution to Batman and Damian's relationship. After everything that has happened and what Damian has done, there's no avoiding the issues involved.
As usual, Gleason's art is top notch. John Kalisz and Guy Major's colors add a vibrant tone to each page. Even amidst the destruction and the turmoil Batman is going through, the colors and art go hand in hand to convey every bit of emotion the characters are going through.
There is so much tension and suspense going here you can't help but enjoy the series. It's unfortunate that we seem to have two different types of Batman comics these days. Ones like this show that there can be some substance mixed in with the Batman-action readers crave. Tomasi and Gleason have set a standard for themselves and continue to live up to it.
There has been so much going on between Batman and Damian in these first eight issues. There's been a lot of build up and we've been left wondering what will happen between the two. Last issue left off with a huge development that has to be dealt with. What's great about this series is while we get plenty of Batman-action, we're also seeing how the emotions play into his life. Batman dealing with a partner is one thing. Adding in the fact that his partner is actually his stubborn and deadly son, Batman is in unfamiliar territory. Tomasi and Gleason have delivered great issue after issue since the "New 52" started. This is the kind of comic we need to see more of. We don't often get to see this side to Batman; the emotions he keeps locked inside. It's opening the door to a new level of storytelling