Home > Comics, Reviews > Comic Review: Batman and Robin #15

Comic Review: Batman and Robin #15

Batman and Robin #15 Joker New 52 Tomasi Damian Wayne

Damian Wayne has enough issues to fill a jail cell, and the Joker has enough to fill an entire prison; Batman and Robin #15 puts them together to create a Joker caper the likes of which we haven’t seen before.

With Alfred gone and Batman determined to bring down the Joker by himself, Damian gets shafted with watching the Batcave. Naturally, that lasts about one page, as he quickly decides it’s up to him to track down Alfred.

Damian quickly winds up in the clutches of the Joker, but unlike Jason Todd, this Robin refuses to play victim. The Joker plays a few sick games – including an amusing one where he uses a real robin and a real bat like action figures – but Damian isn’t the sort of scared little Robin the Joker’s used to.

The result? The Joker really has to put some effort into unnerving Damian. Scary things won’t frighten the boy, so the Joker starts to play on the insecurities that he’s always seen in the Batman and Robin relationship.

Tomasi takes the right route in continuing to make this comic about the relationship between Damian and Bruce. He avoids touching the secret identity issue – an issue best left to the main title – and instead echoes Batgirl #15 by suggesting that Damian, like Barbara, is willing to break the Batman rule this one time for Joker’s case.

Tomasi and artist Patrick Gleason are to be commended for trying something different here with the Joker face. They turn it into a silly rubber mask to be stretched, flipped, peeked out of and played with. It’s a bit lackluster when it’s on Joker’s face, but when he’s using it, it’s creepy and inventive.

My one problem with the art comes in the very first panel of the book, in a flashback to the Joker kidnapping Alfred. Gleason makes Alfred’s head look weird and bulbous, with a comically tiny tuft of black hair sprouting out the top of it. He rights the ship quickly, but that one panel takes a bit of the steam out of the trauma that should come with that memory.

One thing is clear after reading Batman and Robin #15: Peter J. Tomasi has done his Joker homework. He offers a different angle on the Alfred blinding that Batman listened to in Batman #14, and he works in elements of The Killing Joke and A Death in the Family to create a Joker story firmly rooted in the Bat-family history.

It’s great to see Batman and Robin drag itself out of the zombie/Halloween fare of the last few issues and get back into some character-driven storytelling. Batman and Robin #15 leverages Death of the Family to produce a strong solo outing for Damian Wayne.

8 out of 10

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  1. December 14, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Reblogged this on Collecty.net.

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