Batman and Robin, Vol. 1: Batman Reborn
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"Batman Reborn" begins here with the reunited team of Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely (ALL-STAR SUPERMAN, WE3,New X-Men). The new Dynamic Duo hit the streets with a bang in their new flying Batmobile as they face off against an assemblage of villains called the Circus of Strange. They also tackle their first mission investigating a child who's been abducted by the mysterious Domino Killer. But will everything go smoothly? And who exactly are the new Batman and Robin? The newest era of The Dark Knight begins here!
- Amazon Sales Rank: #3168 in Books
- Published on: 2010-04-13
- Released on: 2010-04-13
- Format: Deluxe Edition
- Original language: English
- Number of items: 1
- Dimensions: .53" h x 7.40" w x 11.00" l, 1.32 pounds
- Binding: Hardcover
- 168 pages
- ISBN13: 9781401225667
- Condition: New
- Notes: BRAND NEW FROM PUBLISHER! BUY WITH CONFIDENCE, Over one million books sold! 98% Positive feedback. Compare our books, prices and service to the competition. 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed
From Publishers Weekly
Following Bruce Wayne's reported demise, this Grand Guignol miniseries shows the competition to fill his role. Dick Grayson, the original Robin, has established a separate crime-fighting identity as Nightwing, but now has donned the iconic cape and mask of Batman. Partnered with bratty, impatient 10-year-old Damian (son of the original Wayne), he wants to modernize Batman's equipment but maintain his high principles. Dick's successor as Robin, Jason Todd, now calls himself the Red Hood and believes that the way to reduce crime is to kill criminals as dramatically as possible. Unfortunately, the Red Hood's violent tactics bring reprisals in the form of the Flamingo, an incredibly vicious South American assassin who enjoys skinning and eating the faces of beautiful young women. Morrison's scripts use this dark material effectively, and the art—first by Quitely, then by a team of three—is dazzling. In this largely self-contained episode, Morrison expertly retools DC's old superhero machinery. When combined with Quitely, it nearly reaches the heights of the duo's previous All-Star Superman. (Apr.)
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Recent issues of the comic book Batman have portrayed momentous developments, indeed. Bruce Wayne is dead, and erstwhile Robin Dick Grayson has replaced him as Batman. The new Robin is arrogant, 10-year-old upstart Damian, who’s both Bruce’s son and archvillain Ra’s al Ghul’s grandson. Morrison charts the new team’s first missions, as Grayson strives to guide headstrong Damian while tackling foes old (the Penguin) and new (Professor Pyg and his Circus of Strange). Complications arise from the reappearance of the Red Hood—another former Robin, Jason Todd, who battles crime more brutally than the new Dynamic Duo. In the first three of the six issues collected here, Morrison is joined by artist Frank Quitely, his collaborator on All-Star Superman. Their efforts here don’t reach the sublimity of that landmark work; unlike their extra-canonical Superman tales, these stories are restricted by the characters’ established continuity, and Quitely’s vivid visuals are less appropriate for the Dark Knight’s moody atmosphere. Still, these are the most accomplished, enjoyable printed Batman stories in many a year. --Gordon Flagg
The Beginning of an Entirely New Series That Seems Like It Will Definitely Be Worth Reading
The DC Universe has been through a lot over the past few years. Not a single hero or villain has been immune to the effects of reality-altering circumstances, sudden resurrections, and crazy machinations that threaten to rewrite the entirety of their existence. It's pretty heavy stuff. With everything so mired in complex continuity, it's difficult to just leap into any comic, but Grant Morrison's Batman & Robin presents a good starting point.
Here's what you need to know: Bruce Wayne has disappeared in time, because comics like to do that. The original Robin, Dick Grayson, has returned to Gotham to fight crime as Batman, alongside Bruce Wayne's 10-year-old son, Damian, who is essentially half supervillain and very angry about stuff. Both of these heroes are finding their legs in these iconic roles throughout the course of these six collected issues. Everything else should spell itself out without becoming too confusing.
Grant Morrison is one of my favorite writers. He can write incredibly strange, surreal, psychological fiction and just as easily slip back into writing powerful superhero tales about the X-Men or the Justice League. While it sometimes feels that Morrison is writing weird things for weirdness' sake, the historically bizarre bad guys that attack Gotham are a very good fit for his version of creepy, and there's no better artist to make sense of his strange exhortations than Frank Quitely.
Quitely's artwork, which is used for the first half of the collection, might be an acquired taste. It feels soft and squishy, but it's also ultra-detailed and focuses on a stylized realism, textures, and atmospherics. His characters may sometimes appear a little ugly, but it's a very refreshing approach to the undeniably attractive world of comic-book superheroes, and Quitely is amazingly skilled in depicting just about anything with amazing clarity. Philip Tan takes over art duties on the second half of the book, and while his art is good, it leans toward a more typical comic-book approach.
As a Batman fanatic, I was initially unwilling to accept anyone else in the Batman costume, as are many readers who've become cynical about the disposability of superheroes and the negligible effects that death actually has in comic books. Bruce Wayne has been out of the cowl for various reasons over the years, and the entire "Battle for the Cowl" storyline that preceded this didn't seem to simplify anything at all. What the DC Universe needs after a highly complicated narrative event are titles that distill things back into their essences and don't rely on referencing everything that just happened. Having a Batman and Robin, albeit a different set of them, going out and fighting crime and weirdo criminals is a perfect way to do this and make comics accessible again.
Because this is the mainstream DC Comics universe, there is no profanity or outright sexuality, but because this is also Batman written by Grant Morrison, expect a fair amount of grotesquely broken bones, blood, and people getting disfigured or tortured. Batman's been written into a whole lot of pointless, awkward stories, but this is a good Batman book, as well as the beginning of an entirely new series that seems like it will definitely be worth reading.
-- Collin David
Definitely Not the Second Coming of All-Star Superman
There appear to be two Grant Morrison's. The first Grant Morrison writes spectacular stories like All-Star Superman and Batman R.I.P and then there's the second Grant Morrison who writes terrible ones such as Final Crisis and JLA: Ultramarine Corps. One Grant Morrison pushes comic writing to the edge while the other pushes it right off into a deep ravine. So where does Batman and Robin fall on the Morrison scale. I would put it somewhere in the middle leaning closer to the quality of R.I.P.
One of the big differences between Batman and Robin and All-Star Superman is that BaR is canonical with the rest of the DCU following sometime after the events of Batman R.I.P. I really like the fact that Dick Grayson has taken over the mantle of Batman and hope that he retains the moniker for a significant run. The relationship between Grayson and Damian Wayne is the main strength of the series. We are reminded throughout that this is the Grayson Batman and although he doesn't operate exactly like Bruce he is a formidable hero with a wealth of experience. Unlike previous Robin's Damian has no problem challenging Grayson's authority and despite his tender age of ten he is the son of Bruce Wayne and was trained by the League of Assassins so he can more than handle himself.
One of the great decisions Morrison made was to give Grayson a new set of villains rather than recycle Bruce Wayne's. I know that Jason Todd/Red Hood fought Wayne but he does seem like the perfect foil for Grayson pitting Robin vs Robin. The other villains include a sinister and twisted circus troupe led by the insane Professor Pyg and a grotesque assassin named the Flamingo. I'm not sure if these will be reoccurring foes but Grayson should definitely get his own rogues gallery.
Frank Quitely once again comes through in spectacular fashion with his awesome bold clean style. In fact I would credit Quitely with at least half of the success of All-Star Superman. My only issue is that I question how appropriate his bright upbeat visuals are along side Morrison's much darker story. The second story arc was drawn by Philip Tan and in this case Tan was not living up to the potential I saw in Green Lantern "Agent Orange". I found his visuals muddy and confusing although some of the blame might fall on the inkers and colorists. It's a shame that Quitely only drew the first three issue story arc although he's been doing all of the covers and so far and they're all fantastic.
Now to the complaints. I read a quote about Professor Pyg describing him as, "One of the weirdest, most insane characters that's ever been in Batman". Mind you that's a quote from Grant Morrison talking about his own creation. Pyg was apparently an homage to the song "Pygmalism" by Nick Currie as will as the play by George Bernard Shaw. In this books summary Morrison wrote, "Batman R.I.P had been inspired by industrial music, the Tibetan Book of the Dead and pop psychology". The reason I bring this up is that sometimes I think Morrison pushes way too hard to create a masterpiece and sometimes forgets to just write a good story. I would be more forgiving of his occasional lack of modesty and literary tie-ins if he was more consistent. Morrison's Final Crisis felt like total self indulgence (despite his insistence of its awesomeness) and other stories have been flat out terrible. JLA: Ultramarine Corps, in particular, read like bad fan fiction. Twice in Batman and Robin we have characters monologging about being an evolutionary upgrade. First Jason Todd blathers about being the future of crime fighting saying, "It's about the NEXT LEVEL. Smarter, faster, hotter, more in tune with changing time and changing crimes". Meanwhile, one of the crime bosses goes on about how "the new model of crime is grass roots, viral". The speech by Jason Todd is completely out of character and feels like he's just mouthing the words of Morrison who seems obsessed with this idea of transcending to a new level. It feels as if Morrison himself wants to reach a new level of comic writing but often presses way too hard. Alan Moore was an incredible student of literature but he almost always kept his stories accessible and his character dialogue believable and consistent. At least in this series Morrison steered clear of his infamous techno babble.
Morrison was understandably proud that Batman and Robin #1 was one of the best selling comics of the decade but I have this feeling that the engine behind the sales bonanza was the fan belief that they were going to get the quality of All-Star Superman this time with Batman. A lot of things work in this series but it never reaches the level of All-Star or even Batman R.I.P. I'll certainly preorder book 2 but with reduced expectations.
Batman & Robin: The Odd Couple
Leave it to Grant Morrison to turn Batman and Robin into a nightmare version of THE ODD COUPLE. Now that Dick Grayson has put on the Batsuit and agreed to take Damian Wayne under his (Night)wing, this story arc asks the question: "Can a self-doubting ninja vigilante and his sociopathic, ten-year-old sidekick fight crime together without driving each other crazy?"
As Mr. Toad from THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS starts things off with a deadly car chase, it's clear that this is going to be a relatively lighthearted storyline (what wouldn't seem relatively lighthearted after witnessing Batman's mental breakdown in Batman: R.I.P.?), but one in Morrison/Quitely terms. That is, it allows for the introduction of homicidal circus performers, MY FAIR LADY's Professor Henry Higgins recast as a serial kidnapper and torturer, and the Red Hood (now with his own murderous teen sidekick) getting a serious smackdown from a whip-wielding cannibal wearing one of the gayest outfits in comic book history.
If Alan Moore was the first writer to successfully break down the distinction between superhero comics and literary fiction (should Will Eisner's debt to O. Henry count as well?), Grant Morrison picks up where Moore left off, adding an improvisatory, Dadaist sensibility to his stories that's served him well for more than twenty years. In all that time, Morrison has consistently managed to do the literary equivalent of nailing together two things that have never been nailed together before, and we're still enjoying the fruits of his inventiveness, eating out of his (sleight of) hand.
Oh yeah, Bruce Wayne is still dead. For the moment.