Thursday, June 4, 2009

Batman and Robin #1

So Bruce Wayne is dead (for now), and the Battle for the Cowl is finished - so now it's time to roll out the new team of Batman and Robin.

DC does so in style, as the Caped Crusaders return as entirely new characters. Wearing the Bat (finally) is Dick Grayson, the original Robin. Filling to role of his new understudy is Damian, Bruce's son (with Talia), and a Robin who has a definite chip on his shoulder.

The team are lucky enough to find themselves in the hand of two of the top creators in comics. Writer Grant Morrison has taken some heat for his work on the disjointed Final Crisis and the virtually impenetrable "R.I.P." series, but he's also the guy who has turned in some terrific stories, including the recent All-Star Superman. So which Morrison will show up? So far, it's more the latter than the former.

The art is by Frank Quitely, who style is so unique that it almost defies description. He really manages to evoke a sense of realism in his work, all while drawing the most amazing events. Here he provides some iconic images, and he even re-invents the Batmobile into a flying wing.

So far, this new series looks impressive. It starts with the team tackling some criminals who are off on a wild ride, with lots of snappy patter between the two grudging partners.

The storyline that's unfolding is somewhat grim and even a little gruesome, but so far, very difficult to put down. I really like the last-page teaser for upcoming stories - DC has been doing that in several of its books, and it's encouraging to think they're actually planning stories that far in advance.

It's hard to tell how long this version of Batman and Robin will last, but so far, it's shaping up to be an exciting ride.

Grade: A-

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