Batman #687, Batman & Robin #1, Red Robin #1: A Very Short Review

bandrFinally!  After months of backing, filling and pointless angst (and we still never really saw Batman killed outright),  Batman’s inner circle is doing something about his death.

bman614This arc is not being published in the proper order.  If you read Batman first and then B&R and Red Robin you will be all right.  Some spoilers after the jump!

redrobinSince Batman is/was pretty famous for his planning skills, it is obvious that he should have preplanned for his own demise.  So all of the dodging and feeble  editorial misdirection cannot really distract us from the fact that the original Robin, Dick Grayson, is going to take up the cape and cowl.  The current Robin, Tim Drake, assumed he was going to continue in the Robin gig, but the Bat family (and it is a family) is also saddled with the problem of Bruce Wayne’s son Damian (engendered in stupendously silly circumstances that I am not going to recap here but that were worthy of the most lurid romance novel).     The simplest way to take charge of this horrifically spoilt loose cannon kid is to let him be Robin.  Tim Drake renames himself Red Robin and develops the (probably correct) idea that Bruce Wayne is not really dead, and Tim is going to find him (and thus utterly restore the status quo).

Now this is well done.  Everybody is stressed and full of misery and uncertainty, shoved into new and not entirely welcome roles.  Endless adventures are now set up for as long as DC wants to drag it out.  Prudently they have started off the new Batman and Robin team with quite a fresh set of villains, rather than going back to the overused Rogues Gallery of old.  When interest flags, or when the next Batman movie is in post-production and has a solid release date, they can gear up the search for the real Batman.  Everybody happy!

Now that it has finally got going, this is the place to jump on at last.  With luck it will be a wild and thrilling ride before the roller coaster stops.


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About Brenda Clough

Brenda W. Clough spent much of her childhood overseas, courtesy of the U.S. government. Her first fantasy novel, The Crystal Crown, was published by DAW in 1984. She has also written The Dragon of Mishbil (1985), The Realm Beneath (1986), and The Name of the Sun (1988). Her children’s novel, An Impossumble Summer (1992), is set in her own house in Virginia, where she lives in a cottage at the edge of a forest. Her novel How Like a God, available from BVC, was published by Tor Books in 1997, and a sequel, Doors of Death and Life, was published in May 2000. Her latest novels from Book View Cafe include Revise the World (2009) and Speak to Our Desires. Her novel A Most Dangerous Woman is being serialized by Serial Box. Her novel The River Twice is newly available from BVC.


Batman #687, Batman & Robin #1, Red Robin #1: A Very Short Review — 3 Comments

  1. I really liked the Batman story with Grayson. Red Robin I didn’t like much at all. I liked the opening sequence, which I thought was very well done (if maybe overly “caption-heavy” at parts), but after that it fell apart a little bit for me. Tim’s breakdown and Grayson’s patronizing, “Sorry, I’m choosing Damian” were just too much in too little time. Felt awkward.

    I loved Grayson as Batman, though. His struggle was very well planned out, including his reluctance to wear the new costume.

  2. Yes, it was very well done. You can see the structural weakness in the premise of RED ROBIN immediately, too. Tim cannot possibly find Bruce Wayne right away — the next Bat movie is nowhere near ready, and DC has set up complicated scenarios in the other titles that they evidently want to explore. Necessarily then, Tim is going to be spending many issues digging in dry holes, exercising futility, and in general wasting time. If I were DC I would immediately find a good exciting red herring for Tim to get involved in. With sufficient razzle-dazzle they can distract us from what we all know.