I'm going to be the first one to admit that I really enjoy Damian. In an industry where characters remain stagnant, watching his progression was a real treat. Peter J. Tomasi joined with Andy Kubert bring magic to a rather controversial story arc involving the possible return of my favorite little shit.
Robin Rises is an extra packed one-shot that takes place after Batman and Ra's Al Ghul #32. The issue opens up with a very detailed recap of all the events that led to Batman's fervent quest to resurrect his son. The most compelling of this recap is the mention of Final Crisis since as we all know from the many statements by Dan Didio, any of the DC Crises never happened. Every panel has some of the key moments of both Batman, Batman and Robin, and Batman Inc. with the A-game of Andy Kubert. Tomasi has done the best he could do within the confines of a frustratingly cryptic continuity and has made it very enjoyable.
Until now I thought that Tomasi, Patrick Gleason, and Mick Gray were a match made in heaven; but this issue really made me want to see what more Tomasi and Kubert could do given more time with the story-arc. The action scenes are done with great fluidity and dynamism with phenomenal, albeit brief, characterization of all the members of the Justice League. It felt exhilarating to see the combined efforts of Batman, Ra's and his League of Assassins, and the Justice League just kicking ass against the forces of Apokolips.
This issue, although ultra-packed, did feel a bit brief on the plot. Tomasi typically shines in more plot-centric issues as his writing really creates wonderful character moments ranging from quiet ones to extraordinarily loud ones. However, this was still a great teaser to what Batman-fans will be subjected to in the months to come.
For those following the Batman and Robin series, the past few issues have been action-packed but this issue really takes it to a whole new level. We get Shazam dominating baddies and saving Batman...TWICE! We also get a great scene of Aquaman proving, in an almost Geoff Johns-fashion, that he is a true bad ass. It is definitely exhilarating but I almost felt exhausted towards the end of it!
Fans of Batman and Robin, Damian, and just great superhero art are in for a treat when they pick this up. I'm a little bit torn, though. I think Damian's death was one of the better send-offs of a superhero and I really don't want him to fall into the resurrection trope. I would much prefer him to remain dead and I get to remember him as the redeemed little asshole fondly. With that said, I am most definitely intrigued with what is to come and with Patrick Gleason and Mick Gray coming back on art for Batman and Robin #33, I can't wait to see what happens next!
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About the Author - Bryant Thomas
Bryant Thomas is far too over attached to his dog, Dexter. He talks to him. Confesses to him. But most of all, he reads comics to him. When Bryant isn't working for the energy industry, helping companies figure out what to buy to make them profitable, he reaches for a new trade or drools over all of the insane JH Williams art in Batwoman's early issues. Growing up in Texas has given Bryant a very complex palate to BBQ Sauces, ranch dressing, and the occasional whiskey. His free-time is filled with panels and panels, and even more panels as he writes reviews for the wonderful institution that is, The Outhouse.
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