Oh, Batman and Robin, how I know you will ultimately disappoint me but how I desperately want you to be good.
This issue does a good job of showing Dick as Batman while at the same time showing why he really isn't Batman. I know that's odd and probably not what Morrison was going for (or maybe he was-- he thinks in eight dimensions) but it's how it reads. Dick seems more like he's playing at Batman and filling the costume for Bruce's eventual return (which, of course, is eventual and no one's lying to themselves about it). He's uncomfortable and has actual emotions and feelings that, once the cowl come off, make him seem like a more amateurish detective than the protege of Bruce Wayne.
Anyway, the book is filled with ackward lines. It's almost like Morrison is approaching this book from two different perspectives: there's whatever high end crap he's going to eventually pull off and then there's the dialogue straight from a Die Hard movie. Die Hard was great but never, ever analyze the dialogue because it doesn't actually fit most of the scenes. "Crime is doomed." spouted off by, apparently, Dick Grayson. "Batman and Robin. Together again for the first time." again by Dick Grayson and on their second outing together in this very issue (albiet the first visit to the Comissioner). It's weak and kept pulling me out of the book and made me want to watch Die Hard more than anything else.
The villain is suitably villainous though it's pretty certain that... Pyg... won't be joining Batman's rogue's gallery. Maybe he'll get a good run in before disappearing forever/ getting killed off. I guess we'll see.
The art. Quitely is hit or miss and, for me, it's mostly miss. There's some good work within but his faces continue to annoy the hell out of me. The new Robin is particularly Liefeldian in proportions. No seriously. It looks like Liefeld drew it but some of the crosshatching's been erased. Also: no one uses an iron in Gotham City. That is some seriously wrinkled clothes all around. You can add it to the wrinkled skin and... y'know, everything in this book is sort of wrinkled. Could also use an inker to add some line quality to his work. Everything is done with pretty much the same line width with only slight variation within. It looks sort of flat. It's one of the reasons why, precolor, these pages were just sort of blah. The work is saved by very nice coloring and good layouts (and because this is only my opinion and some people actually love this stuff).
The car is cool. The Bat-Suit is cool. Good layouts. Some nice design work. There? I can be positive.
All in all, I'm probably not going to enjoy this when it's in my collection. I should know that and not pick up the next issue and then continue not picking it up. I'm not a Batman fan. I'm not a Morrison fan. I'm certainly not a Quitely fan.
But this thing does call to me. Maybe it's because I'm a Nightwing fan. Maybe it's because the one thing Morrison can do better than anything else is hype. He can make me believe that this thing is gonna be worth it to the point where I don't want to look at it rationally. Maybe this time.
So, I'm in, I guess. We'll see if I can stay excited while waiting for the next issue.
Batman and Robin #1, you get a 7. See you in a few weeks, maybe.