Review: Bruce Wayne The Road Home: Batman and Robin

Published on October 17th, 2010

So, Bruce Wayne has been dead for a while now.  Only he wasn’t really dead,he was skipping around time leaving clues for his Bat-family in the present.  If you’re thinking this sounds familiar, that’s because Marvel did exactly the same thing with Captain America.  Now Bruce is coming back (or is back depending on what you’re reading) and he’s got some work to do before he makes his presence known.

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Bruce Wayne The Road Home is a series of one shots that focus on individual characters in the Bat-family.  Each one is about how that character is dealing with their jobs as superheroes while Bruce is away.  It also features Bruce watching them from behind the scenes to catch up on all he’s missed.  Bruce Wayne The Road Home: Batman and Robin, written by Fabian Nicieza with art by Cliff Richards, is the firstin the series and focuses on Dick Grayson, the current Batman, and Robin, Damien Wayne.

For most of the book Batman and Robin are chasing a group of assassins hired to kill the mayor of Gotham City.  The main assassin, Killshot, gets away during their first bust and the duo spends the rest of the book trying to hunt him down.  Throughout the book there are narration panels that look like they were torn from a notebook.  The notes read like a journal kept by someone who is watching Dick and Damien and documenting their style and the quality of their work.  The author turns out to be Bruce who is shadowing Batman and Robin in a shiny new robotic ninja suit.  I liked this suit very much because it seems like an early, prototype version of the high tech suit from Batman Beyond.  I really hope that’s what they’re getting at and I’m not just reading too much into it.  Since Batman Beyond has been picked up as a monthly book at DC, it would be really cool if they started dropping little bits here and there that allude to Bruce’s future.

I really enjoyed this book which is saying a lot since I’ve been against almost everything that’s happened in the Bat-books since Grant Morrison took over.  I’m not a fan of Morrison’s writing style, I don’t like his dialogue and his story choices for which he gets a lot of credit for being a visionary always feel unoriginal to me *cough*Captain America*cough*.  Granted, I haven’t been against Dick Grayson as Batman, quite the contrary, I think it has breathed a lot of life into the Batman mythos.  I really enjoyed the twists and turns in this book and it really sets the stage for what’s to come in the Batman titles.

Richards’ art is also really nice.  I like how it feels a bit realistic, but still very clearly a comic book style.  It’s just a little bit gritty which suits Batman very well.  He also does a good job of capturing the action going on in the story.  I’d like to see him on more Batman books.

Overall, Bruce Wayne The Road Home: Batman and Robin, despite having the longest title in the history of comics, is a pretty solid book.  It does a good job of setting up the rest of the Bruce Wayne The Road Home books but still manages to deliver as a stand alone issue.

Ian Candish
Ian@ComicImpact.com