Madcaps: Batman and Robin #1 (UPDATED)

Batman and Robin #1
Batman and Robin #1

So…FINALLY got my hands on a copy of Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s Batman and Robin #1.

I have no qualms about making my opinions of the team clear.  I’m probably the only dude in the world who didn’t think All-Star Superman was that great.  I felt that Morrison’s run on Batman was WILDLY uneven, with some great ideas, others not so great, and some just downright sh*tty.

So, the endgame (kinda) is here … what Morrison has been building up to since Bruce Wayne went into the cave to “find himself” wayyyyyyyy back in 52.  Dick Grayson is a more fun-loving Batman (kinda) and Damian Wayne is a more angsty Robin (kinda).

Did I like it?  Or is it just another dissapointing Morrison experience for me?

Check out my review after the jump!

Well…it was pretty good.  Not great, but pretty good.

I feel like I just don’t get the joke sometimes, you know?  All-Star Superman has, essentially, already been labeled as one of the classics, but I don’t think it holds a candle to real classics, like The Killing Joke, or The Dark Knight Returns.  I think people are expecting the same quality from this run on Batman and Robin and, as a non-fan of ASS (ha…that’s funny), I’m just feeling like maybe I’m left out of some group that gets the story more than I am.

The cover for Batman and Robin #4
The cover for Batman and Robin #4

I like Quitely’s art, but I think I prefer it more in a non-continuity based storyline, than in the DCU proper.  To me, he seems more like a graphic novel artist than a comic artist, if that makes any sense.  Although there has been quite a bit of rumor to the effect that he may be leaving the title after issue #3.  Not sure how true the rumor is – the cover to #4 is certainly by him.  That’s not to say his art is bad, in fact it’s quite good, but it doesn’t have the right … feel … to a Batman monthly. (UPDATED: Not so much a rumor, apparently.  Phillip Tan is doing issues 4-6.)

I know I start off negative, but it’s just to get into the positive.  A lot is done right in this issue.  The new villains are campy and creepy at the same time, and the ending of the comic is surprisingly disturbing.  I’m one of the few fans of what Morrison did with the Joker, and I think that the creepy overtones he’s added to some of the Bat-Villains is perfect.  I wish he’d take on the Scarecrow – that’s someone who needs a little more creep factor injected into him.

The action is fun and, even though I hate Damien, I hated him less in this book, and he’s showing signs of growing up and maturing, which was important.  I like that we’re in a new Batcave, and a new “Wayne Manor.”  I like a lot of the ideas presented in this book, actually.

However, some of the important bits, like the characterization of Dick, felt a little flat to me.  He didn’t seem to have much of a character at all, really.  Leaving Wayne Manor should have been more heartbreaking.  I know it’s only a first issue, and I’m sure more will be fleshed out in the future, but while I’m not a fan of decompressed storytelling, I’m also not a fan of trying to jam in so much in an issue that we lose some of the important emotional bits, you know?  And the scene where Damian says he’s be happy to take over the role of Batman just had me rolling my eyes.  Seriously…how many times do we need to relive that scene?

That being said, a new title on the stands that doesn’t cost $3.99 off the bat (ha), despite such a high profile, is definitely worth checking out.  It seems like some great things are in store for the title, and it’s an exciting time in the Bat-universe.  Check it out and let me know your thoughts!

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