Home > Comics, Reviews > Comic Review: Batman and Robin #17

Comic Review: Batman and Robin #17

Batman and Robin #17 New 52 DC Comics cover John Kalisz Mick Gray

Sometimes the quiet spaces in between storylines can be the most rewarding.

Batman and Robin #17 is certainly one of those books, as Peter J. Tomasi offers up a self-contained story that spends a night in the restless dreams of Damian, Alfred and Bruce. Tomasi plays with nightmare, wish fulfillment and deep-seated psychological issues in this fun and insightful night-in-the life issue.

Tomasi really takes the time to let this story breathe. There are some charming father/son moments, but also some keen moments of insight into the histories of Bruce and Damian. In one dream, Damian confronts a darker, Al’Ghul-inspired version of himself, and sees the people he’s killed or wished dead chained up underwater; in another, his dog Titus leads him into a familiar Batman: Year One moment. Bruce gets some flashback to his own childhood, and Alfred – poor, victimized Alfred – gets another shot at confronting the Joker.

Pat Gleason’s pencils really get a chance to shine with so many silent, sleep-themed panels. The story is just as jumpy as a dream should be, but the art is grounded enough to make each dream feel real. Gleason’s best panel is a New 52 Joker close-up that hauntingly captures all the sinews of Joker’s face. John Kalisz’s colours bring great visual pop to each page.

Batman and Robin #17 is a welcome lighthearted reprieve from the shadow of Death of the Family. Like a tired family just returned home from a long trip, this is Bruce, Damian and Alfred blowing off a little steam in their dreams.

A fantastic dream tale in the bizarre style of Winsor McCay’s old Dreams of the Rarebit Fiend strip.

9 out of 10

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