Ever wondered what a guy like Batman dreams about? Brutally murdering the Joker with complete impunity from his own morality? A night watching The Mark of Zorro with his parents that ends in Monopoly and ice-cream sundaes? Keeping the Bat-pimp hand strong? A world where the Batman and Robin movie was never made? Batman and Robin #17 has the answers to these questions and more.
Batman and Robin #17
Once we get past the standard, “Hey Alfred, we’re home from crime-fighting; now we’re gonna do normal people stuff in hasty fashion while you rattle off sarcastic butler humor”:
We’re ready to delve into the realm of “Batception” and the phantasmagoric — starting with everyone’s favorite problem child, Damian.
It’s not every day we’re given a deeper look into the unconscious mind of a little boy who spent his gestation period in a laboratory and was trained from birth as a super-assassin. And maybe we’ll wish we hadn’t been:
“BEEP BEEP Richie! They ALL float down here.”
Damian’s dreams are rife with symbolism and ostensible foreshadowing and Patrick Gleason’s surreal art is wonderfully befitting. I dug his stuff in the Batman: Death of the Family story arc and continue to be impressed more and more as his portfolio burgeons — including this bizarre parallel to the Batman origin scene in Batman: Year One:
Bruce’s dream on the other hand, while similarly aquatic in nature, is diametrically opposed to Damian’s; though they both exhibit flashes of powerlessness and inner turmoil, one’s stems from hubris and the other the posture of inadequacy. (Or inability to rectify the one thing he wants to change most.)
Tomasi unravels each dream in clever fashion: there are subtle fragments of foreshadowing intermingled with more conspicuous ones. And something tells me with the upcoming issues we’ll see which ones were the red herrings thrown into the mix, as well.
What would a Batman dream be without Thomas and Martha Wayne?
My inner Batman-fanboy found it disappointing that a guy who can bully Superman and commit deicide didn’t exhibit any signs of lucid dreaming but I suppose Alfred more than makes up for it with his dream sequence. I don’t want to spoil the surprise so I’ll just say it ends with Alfred looking like this:
Final Score: 7.0
- Beautiful visuals. Gleason brings the strange and surreal with aplomb.
- A curiosity-sating look into the unconscious minds of Batman and Robin, and even Alfred too.
- Neat little stand-alone tale, but not much in terms of story-arc progression.
So you know it’s good. As for the issue as a whole?
Is It Good?
Yes. It’s well done, but not much more than filler. If you’re really interested in seeing what the Dynamic Duo and Alfred dream about, by all means pick it up. It will be fun to go back and see which bits of foreshadowing stood out as the most obvious, but if you were to skip over this issue you probably wouldn’t be missing much in terms of storyline progression.