If the buzz from DC Comics is to be believed, last month began the march towards the possible return of Damian Wayne. Will we see our rise by the end of this arc? Who knows?!
In the meantime, let’s check in with this title, where Batman’s search for his son’s body brings him up against none other than Lex Luthor. Is it good?
Batman and Robin #34 (DC Comics)
Batman has called for a special meeting bringing together four (well technically five) of his most trusted allies together: Alfred, Red Hood, Batgirl, Red Robin. He wants to bury the hatchet and tell them about his plan: he’s going to retrieve and possibly revive Damian from Apokolips. And he might not make it back alive.
Yes. I’ll share everything with you besides that one small detail about a certain someone…
The basic focus and theme for this issue is family. You know, what Batman and Robin was mostly about back at the start of the series before Damian kicked the bucket and everything sort of went off the rails. There’s not much action or even that much conflict therein; it’s basically about Bruce talking with the Bat-Family, making peace with them and putting his affairs in order before he begins his mission. As such, there’s not a whole lot happening this issue but what we get instead is still enjoyable.
The character focus here is really nice and I enjoy writer Peter J. Tomasi’s notion of trying to bring everyone back together again in the Bat-Family. The character interaction and dialogue is solid and you’re really able to sympathize with some of the characters’ hesitation to everything Bruce is telling them given his behavior in the past.
There’s only one problem: Bruce doesn’t tell any of his crew that Dick Grayson is still alive and in the Batcave as well. As such, the apology doesn’t feel one hundred percent genuine despite Bruce’s purported sincerity and you can tell this will only lead to problems somewhere down the line.
Tomasi’s writing is fine except for one tiny hiccup. The dialogue is strong besides maybe Lex Luthor possibly depending on how you view the character . The pacing, although slow is also strong and the story flow is decent. The timeline and continuity here is a bit messy on where and when this story is exactly taking place with everything (like when Grayson or Eternal is happening). Sure, I’m glad Tomasi is referencing a lot of the events taking place in other stories, but it does make it things a tad confusing overall. The ending is good, making you really want to know what happens next. All in all, the writing is good except for the bit of chronology confusion.
The artwork is alright to me. I’m not that big of a fan of Patrick Gleason, mostly due to how he draws certain characters and facial expressions, but he’s not bad here. The characters are fine, the layouts are decent and the mood in some of the scenes is alright. The coloring by John Kalisz looks very good and does contribute to a lot of the tone in several scenes. Other than that, if you are a fan of the artist there’s no real dip in quality between this and previous issues he drew.
Is It Good?
Batman and Robin #34 is a good issue, with a decent cliffhanger to get the audience excited for when all the action goes down in the next issue. In this one though, it’s all about the characters and their drama and for the most part, the writing handles it all very well. Not a bad issue.