Home > Comics, Reviews > Comic Review: Batman and Robin #18

Comic Review: Batman and Robin #18

Batman and Robin #18 New 52 Damian Wayne by Pat Gleason

What do you say when someone loses a child?

Are there words?

Not in Peter J. Tomasi’s Batman and Robin #18: he lets artist Pat Gleason do all the talking, because no amount of exposition can capture what it feels like to lose a son.

Instead, Tomasi and Gleason show us what it’s like in moments. It’s felt in the shared moments that are now lonely; in the empty corners of your life where that special person used to reside; in the little rituals you did together that meant so much more because there were two of you.

That’s what you get in Batman and Robin #18.

Pat Gleason shows the helpless anger and despair of the situation without beating you over the head with cliches. There are familiar moments, like the many Batmobile cockpit scenes, and bittersweet memories, like a scene with Bruce and Damian sliding down the Adam West Batman fire poles. Each note plays beautifully in this haunting issue.

It’s a risky play by Tomasi to do an issue free of text – save for Damian’s last letter to Bruce before his death in Batman Incorporated #8. Kudos to him for the risk, because it plays out poignantly here. Quiet, heartfelt, and tear-inducing, Tomasi lets the story tell itself to great effect.

Tomasi takes Batman through a nightly patrol that is so much different without his partner at his side. Batman catches a glimpse of himself alone in a building window; he looks over and sees the Batmobile’s passenger seat empty; he returns home to an expectant Titus, who is disappointed not to see his master there, too.

You can absolutely feel the emptiness and loss.

Batman and Robin #18 gives Damian Wayne his full due by letting emotions run the story. There will be time to address the implications of Robin’s death in later issues – Red Hood and Batgirl are set to appear in the next few months – but for now, it’s all about Damian.

What more is there to say about Batman and Robin #18?

It’s a gut-wrenching Requiem not only for a sidekick, but for a son.

Words can’t capture the feel entirely; you’ll have to read it for yourself.

9 out of 10

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