BATMAN & ROBIN VOL. 7: ROBIN RISES
Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Pencillers: Patrick Gleason, Andy Kubert, Juan Jose Ryp & Ian Bertram
Inkers: Mick Gray, Jonathan Glapion, Andy Kubert, Juan Jose Ryp, Jordi Tarragona & Juan Albarran
Colorists: John Kalisz, Brad Anderson, Sonia Oback & Dave Stewart
Letterers: Carlos M. Manual, Dezi Sienty, Tom Napolitano & Steve Wands
While many fans have had their complaints about "New52", myself included, their were still a few bright spots. BATMAN AND ROBIN by Tomasi & Gleason was one of those books. They really dove into the father/son aspect of Bruce and Damian's relationship as opposed to just the crimefighting partnership. Once again though, Tomasi knows exactly what heart strings to tug at and when to throw in humor and action, which is what makes this book so great.
After the events of "Death in the Family", Damian was killed. Once again Batman had to deal with the loss of a Robin, only this time it was his son as well. Not giving into heist emotions he sought to bring Damian back from the dead, which is where this book starts off. It picks up where Vol. 6 left off, with Batman storming the gates of Apokolips and preparing to go toe-to-toe with their daunting and immeasurable forces. He invades the planet by himself but is quickly joined by the Bat-family, and manages to get an upper hand against Darkseid’s forces. His new suit, which is badass by the way, proves to be more than just a visual masterpiece, it has a ton of cool countermeasures, and the resulting battles are fantastic. This story feels has the gravitas and finality of an epic saga and one that actually lives up to its hype.
Watching Batman battle Darkseid and Kalibak was exhilarating and fun to watch. Patrick Gleason and Andy Kubert make you believe that Batman could go up against this powerful god. They alsobrought so much action, emotion, and humor, to this story that elevates this into one of the best volumes of the entire series. With Batman triumphant, we finally see Damian resurrected and that full splash page of Bruce and Damian is sure to tug at your heartstrings.
Damian's resurrection also came with him gaining powers, which brought one whole new dynamic for Bruce to deal with. Tomasi and Gleason closed out their epic run once again highlighting this unique and awesome father/son relationship. The cockiness Robin gained by having powers was even worse than he was without them. But the powers were short lived and led us to have some poignant moments where he frees his failed clones and sets them free. There's also a great interaction between Damian and Shazam that will make you laugh out loud.
After the main story ends, we get a story from an Annual and an issue of Secret Origin. While neither of these stories were mindblowing, they weren't all bad. But they definitely feel like filler and this book would have been better served if they were omitted as they don't really mesh well with the main story.
In the end, this volume put a capstone on one of the best Batman series of the last 15 years. Whereas before this series I couldn't stand Damian, and this series changed my opinion for the better. Tomasi and Gleason are one of the best creative duos in the industry and don't get nearly enough praise for their work. BATMAN AND ROBIN is the perfect example of how to write a great Batman story.
If you like this series I highly recommend you read Tomasi and Gleason's work on the Superman Rebirth. In that series they focus on Superman and Superboy's father/son as well and it was phenomenal.