Reviews

Comic Review – Batman and Robin #40

  • Batman & Robin #40Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
  • Pencils: Patrick Gleason
  • Inker: Mick Gray
  • Colorist: John Kalisz
  • Letters: Carlos M. Mangual
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Release Date: 3/25/15

After  40 issues and three annuals (the last one being released next week), it is time to say goodbye to Batman and Robin, a consistently strong title that has been with us since the New 52 began. It’s issue 40, the grand finale. Are  Damian’s powers permanent? What is the major crisis in Japan that has Robin joining the Justice League? Is this the end of the Dynamic Duo? Let’s dive in, shall we?

The battle itself is fun: a giant robot is causing havoc on an abandoned island/coal mine off the coast of Nagasaki (coincidentally, the real life island this is modeled after served as the villain’s base in Skyfall). Seeing Damian interact with Superman, Wonder Woman, and Shazam is fun, especially as he gets to cut loose with his powers. The teamup of Robin and Shazam is one you never knew you wanted, as these two youngsters (okay, Shazam doesn’t look that young, he’s still 13 when not transformed!) proceed to attack the robot. The secret of who is behind this robot is a bit cliche, but the reveal is still great and is kind of funny. The last third of the book is father and son finally being able to repair their bond. As for whether Damian’s powers are permanent or not, Tomasi answers this question in a clever way, expressing it through Damian’s behavior as a kid.

Batman & Robin #40Gleason once again brings his A-game, rendering the battle with a ton of energy, as well as slowing down to show tender moments between father and son. Gray provides the right amount of shadows on the island or in the Batcave, and Kalisz brings a crackling energy to the robot battle. But where the art team shines is with several panels that are a throwback to the now classic silent issue of Batman and Robin, creating parallels  between Bruce’s grieving for Damian, and his delight in his son’s return.

This issue is a perfect sendoff to the title, though next week’s annual might cause a slight shift in status quo. As for Tomasi and Gleason, this isn’t their farewell to Damian, or Gotham. Tomasi apparently has another Batman project in the works as well as writing the comic book prequel to Arkham Knight, while Gleason will be writing and pencilling the post Convergence title Robin, Son of Batman. It’s not truly farewell for them or us to Batman and Robin, it’s more like “until we meet again.”


 

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About the author

Daniel Kalban

Daniel is the writer of The Eagle webcomic and aspires to one day join his favorite writers at the Big 2. Until then, he keeps plugging away at various projects, as well as serving as a reporter for Word of the Nerd on various subjects, especially the DC Comics "beat".

Contact him at danielk@wordofthenerdonline.com

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