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Review Group Week 173 - BATMAN and ROBIN #1

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Garofani Spruzzo

Rain Partier

Postby Garofani Spruzzo » Thu Jun 04, 2009 6:31 pm

Punchy wrote:Kind of an odd choice, halfway through a story arc, but we haven't done Spider-Man in a while (I think the last time was a Kelly issue too), and I'm enjoying this arc a lot.

I'll be interested in what people who aren't following Spider-Man thinks.

I'll be thinking of reading it in the shop.
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malcolm reynolds

Garbage Collector

Postby malcolm reynolds » Fri Jun 05, 2009 2:57 am

Batman and Robin #1

The new series Batman and Robin starts this week, and appeals to just about every inch of geek in me. From the Bat-Mobile with a bat symbol as a windshield to the para-capes; this was a stellar set-up for the series to come.

I know a lot of people either love or hate Morrison, but there very much seems to be two sides to his writing. And I find when he collaborates with Quitely, he can do no wrong.

In summation the first issue, shows us the new Batman and Robin and introduces two new very different villains. One frankly scares the crap out of me and one just reminds me of campy Batman from years gone by. However, one thing can be said, the Mr Toad chase scene was not only a great way to introduce the new flying bat-mobile, but one of the most kick ass/ well designed sequences I’ve seen in a long time. I think it’s great how Morrison doesn’t feel that he needs to use the Joker all the time to write a good bat-story.

I always thought there was no need for Damien, there was already enough heirs’ to Wayne/ Batman Family in general without introducing another character. He struck me as overly whiny and pointless. I think I might be about ready to change my mind. This book is the perfect place for Damien. It creates a place where the character can be redeemed, and hopefully learn some humility. The banter between Damien and Dick definitely paints a different Batman and Robin than the ones readers are used to.

What can’t be said about how great the art was in this issue? Quitely has one of the most individual styles I have ever seen. The splash pages were amazing, I sat and stared at the Paracapes page for a good minute.I can’t fault the art at all apart from the overly baggy costumes our heroes seem to now wear.

This book reminds me of All Star Superman for obvious reasons. In this Issue Morrison reminds us what it is to read a great Batman Book.

A new status quo and a fresh start, ‘Batman and Robin together again, for the first time.’

Story – 9
Art - 9.5

Overall – 9.25

I loved this book and I’m usually one of the strongest haters of Nightwing, lucky for him he’s Batman now.
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Review Grouper

Postby Daringd » Fri Jun 05, 2009 5:31 pm

Batman & Robin: Morrison/Quitely DC $2.99
Yeah Baby! Wow! God I hope this ends up being as good as All Star Superman. If this first issue is any indication it will be. I really don’t know where to start other than, Dick and Damien make a great Batman and Robin. I have always hated Robin as a character Damien makes Robin a punk ass and I love it. Dick as Batman is great the line about feeling as if the costume is a shroud chills. I am very impressed with this issue can’t wait to see what these two do on the book. Even if Quitely is only doing 6 issues of it.

Sorry about missing the last weeks I've been busy
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Review Grouper

Postby Mr_Batman » Fri Jun 05, 2009 6:29 pm

idk if I'll review Spider-Man. I wouldn't want to just jump into the middle of the arc like that
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Staff Writer

Postby Punchy » Sat Jun 06, 2009 10:10 am

I've started reviewing this 3 times now, and I'm too hungover to get it right.

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Review Grouper

Postby 48THRiLLS » Sat Jun 06, 2009 11:26 am

Punchy wrote:I've started reviewing this 3 times now, and I'm too hungover to get it right.


Heh... and I thought you were a professional.
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Staff Writer

Postby Punchy » Sat Jun 06, 2009 11:29 am

48THRiLLS wrote:Heh... and I thought you were a professional.

I am! That's why I'm not writing a half-assed hungover review, I only write when I'm in my prime. I am a champion.
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Outhouse Editor

Postby GLX » Sat Jun 06, 2009 4:04 pm


In all seriousness, this comic delivers the goods. Great writing. Great art. What more could I want?

8.3* out of 10*

Jess Nukem


Postby Jess Nukem » Sat Jun 06, 2009 8:48 pm

mike oxbig wrote:Quitely is the best artist of the last 20 years and will be looked back upon more fondly than codpiece fetishists like Alex Ross and Jim Lee.

Book it. Done.
I agree but I hate that it takes him so long to do. Especially when there's other artists that can do the same amount of details and action in their scenes on a monthly basis. If I ever became a billionaire, the third thing I'd do after making sure my family and friends were set for life and charities would have their coffers overflowing, I'd commission Quitely to draw all the issues he didn't do in Grant's run on the X-Men. :-D

Jess Nukem


Postby Jess Nukem » Sat Jun 06, 2009 8:54 pm

mike oxbig wrote:I am OK with that. I am however surprised by your refutation of codpieces.

He's everything that the Image artists tried to kill off. The storytelling, the designs, the creativity, the general awesomtacularness, it can't be beat.
Except his slowness is the same as the Image artists. :P

Except for Erik Larsen. I know he's late now, but back then he was the only one who was still doing his comic after five years.


Postby ****** » Sat Jun 06, 2009 9:21 pm

Jess Nukem wrote:Except his slowness is the same as the Image artists. :P

Except for Erik Larsen. I know he's late now, but back then he was the only one who was still doing his comic after five years.

That was just while he was publisher. Now that he's back to doing Dragon full time it's coming out like clockwork. He's working so fast he's talking about doing the book bi-weekly for a while.

Jess Nukem


Postby Jess Nukem » Sat Jun 06, 2009 10:43 pm

amlah6 wrote:That was just while he was publisher. Now that he's back to doing Dragon full time it's coming out like clockwork. He's working so fast he's talking about doing the book bi-weekly for a while.
I wish I had his drive. Although I know he used to trace panels from his Spider-Man run in the earlier issues. Which was more funny than just cheating like a certain artist on Uncanny who tries to cover it up.

Anyway, I know I shouldn't derail the thread as seeing how I'm not a member of this esteemed stew of bitchiness. I read the comic to check it out, reading in the mindset of it being a part of the All-Star line. I don't know how I missed that it was in regular DCU continuity. I had thought that All Star Batman had relaunched and was going about it correctly since Quitely wasn't exactly a monthly grinder. The All Star line seemed to really tailor to his perchant of blowing deadline yet still delivering killer artwork. I'll be the one of the first in line when DC releases that ASS omnibus.
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Staff Writer

Postby Punchy » Sun Jun 07, 2009 7:28 am

Batman And Robin #1 - 'Batman Reborn Part One: Domino Effect' - Morrison and Quitely

Story - Grant Morrison is that most frustrating of creators, the mad auteur with brilliant ideas, but so often, his execution of those ideas is sorely lacking, his recent work, with the exception of All-Star Superman has been very poor indeed, Final Crisis started out well, but soon spiralled into a crapstorm of epic proportions, the same can be said of his Batman run, and the pure unfettered badness that was RIP, so by all rights, I shouldn't be excited for this new book, it's the second Chapter of Grant's Bat-plan, it should be just as confusing and infuriating as before, but it isn't. There's one important difference, and he's probably the reason why ASS was so much better than it's contemporaries, Frank Quitely. I have more to say about him in the art section, but it's safe to say that he brings out the best in Morrison, and Batman and Robin #1 is a totally different animal to Morrison's recent embarassments, it's actually good!

The set up for B&R #1 is simple, Bruce Wayne is dead (or in the past, or something, let's say he's dead) and now Dick Grayson, the original Robin, and previously Nightwing is the new Batman, and Bruce Wayne's son, Damian, also the son of Talia Al Ghul, is the new Robin, and they fight crime together! Biff! Zap! Pow! I really think this is a good concept, and progression for the Batman concept, for the last 15 years or so, Batman has become stagnant, Bruce is Batman, Tim is Robin, Dick is Nightwing, they continue to have meaningless adventures, but this shake up here was sorely needed. I know Nightwing has his fans (his poor, deluded fans), but for me, that identity has always been pointless, but now that Dick is Batman, he actually seems more interesting, he has the weight of his predecessor and mentor on his shoulders, and has finally achieved his potential. Damian as Robin is also interesting, Tim Drake is an excellent character, but he was never really Batman's sidekick was he? Most of the time he was off having his own Spider-Man-lite adventures, he never worked with Bruce as a regular team like Dick and Jason did, plus, he was a bit too old to be Robin, now that Robin is a crazy 10-year old, he needs to be monitored, and it's a return to the more interesting duo set-up. Of course, it's also an inspired reversal of the classic Dynamic Duo, we are used to a grim, violent Batman, and a lighter, more fun Robin, with this, it's flipped, Damian is the darker character, and Batman is slightly lighter, it's a fun twist on an old concept, and it can keep the book going for a while.

But as I said, Morrison's concepts are good, but his execution can often be not quite there, it doesn't matter how many interesting character progressions or 'inspired reversals' there are if the comic is a confusing mess. Fortunately, this is a very well-told, straight-forward action book that zips along at a brilliant pace, it moves quickly, but not at the expense of the story, like Final Crisis for example did. We open with a chase sequence, a new villain, Mister Toad is fleeing from the new Batmobile, which can fly! Yeah man, flying Batmobile, pretty cool. Dick and Damian catch up with him, and find out he's been paid in dominoes, which is kind of odd yeah? After pulling a classic fake out trick on him, they head back to their new HQ, an awesome skyscraper. I much preferred when Batman was based out of the tower in I think the 70s, as it made sense for such an urban hero to actually be in an urban environment, rather than out in the country. The Dark Knight movie used the same idea, and this fresh new Batman and Robin team deserve a more interesting base than Wayne Manor. We are then introduce to a second new Villain, Mister Pyg, who is creepy as hell, and it is there the issue ends. The book is light on story, but it doesn't really matter, because what is there is just bursting with fun and energy, the new villains, something sorely needed in Batman are interesting, the action scenes are strong, the dialogue is sharp, and the characters compelling.

Even if like me, you've been sorely disappointed with Grant Morrison's recent work, I recommend you check this out, it's a sea-change from his other Batman work, in fact, it's so new-reader friendly, you may as well forget all that crap ever happened. This is a fresh new take on a hoary old franchise, and I would like to see Dick and Damian as a team for quite a while, even if, in all probability Bruce will be back within the year, 2 years tops, because DC have no balls, but it'll be fun while it lasts.

Art - Frank Quitely! The name that strikes terror in the hearts of Jim Lee loving fan boys everywhere! Has there ever been an artist so divisive in comics? You seem to either love him or loath him. Me, I fall firmly in the love camp, I don't see how anyone could read ASS or We3 and not be amazed at what he does, there's more invention and ideas in his pencil than in most artist's entire body of work. One thing I like about Quitely is how is work is slightly different for each project, and this is no exception, he's using a slightly different style here than he did for Superman, it's darker, more scratchy, more suitable for Batman, Quitely also tries out some new tricks here, most notably the sound effects, he's working them into the art, so when there's an explosion, it makes a 'BOOM' in the smoke, and when there's a splash, the water makes a 'SPLASH!', it's fun, and it seems to me to be much more palatable than normal sfx, which have been the bane of Batman's life since the TV show. I also particularly liked the page showing the Bat-Tower, and the panels cutting into it, showing Alfred's progress down, as a kid I was very interested in stuff like this, images showing the structure of buildings, cut outs, dioramas etc, and this was a nice example of this, and a good example of something that only comics can do, and the kind of innovative structure Morrison and Quitely play with. Also, that aplash page of Batman and Robin jumping out of the Batmobile was the tits. Good stuff, and I just hope Morrison can keep up his writing without Quitely.

Best Line - 'Batman and Robin. Together again for the first time'

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Eric Ratcliffe

Staff Writer

Postby Eric Ratcliffe » Sun Jun 07, 2009 2:04 pm

Batman and Robin #1

So here we go again huh? Though this time it feels like something fresh. We have a whole crap load of hints to the new villian who we meet at the end of the issue, who was actually pretty damn disturbing.

Grant is able tow eave in nice little character moments and continuity beats that manage to make me smile. Dick is very stoic while in the batcave as alfred talks to him about how bruce would be proud, which I liked a lot. Oh and damian being the little shit we've all come to know and love was great too.

Oh and Frank's art is really strong here, this is at the same level of allstar superman. Oh and it seems Grant decided to take a play out of Geoff Johns book with the preview page at the end.

Grade: Solid 8
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Outhouse Editor

Postby SuperginraiX » Sun Jun 07, 2009 5:44 pm

MrBlack wrote:I dunno. I'm seriously inclined to make everyone pick up a Transformers comic my week (Cliffjumper Spotlight), and Captain America #600 be damned! The only thing I could find to pick for next week is X-Factor, which would be a good pick.

Is there something you have in mind for June 17? Will you cave and pick Cap #600?[/

Guess who would be the only one happy to pick up a Transformer book?

This guy. :)

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