Review: Batman and Robin #20

Published on February 16th, 2011

Batman and Robin have had an interesting run from the start, with varying writers and artist combos. The last two issues haven’t been the most enjoyable a read as they should, pitting  Batman and Robin against a villain with nothing more then a large hole in her head.  All of this can be wiped clean with the brand new team of Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason, but is it a turn for the better or a turn for the worse? Keep reading to find out as I review Batman and Robin #20!

batmanandrobin20Reading a bad comic is tough, but reading a bad comic for months on end can be infuriating, especially when it is one of your favorite characters. Batman and Robin has been like this, on and off for me. While I love Paul Cornell, the last arc felt a little rushed and forced. In Cornell’s defense, however, the  art was what really killed it for me, the story line I could give or take, personally. Now having said that, it is disappointing for me that every time  D.C. has had the chance to do something amazing they tend to do ,well, the opposite.  In this issue,  Tomasi takes the reigns on writing detail and Gleason becomes the artist on this series and I have to say right off the bat, no pun intended, let these guys stay on this book for 50 to 60 issues! They have made a fan of me, 100%. The writing is top notch and reads just as it should.  The art work is a nice cross between Norm Breyfogle and Jim Lee with a little Alan Davis thrown in there for good measure.

The story starts off with a movie night with Bruce, Damian, Dick, Alfred, and Tim. All the boys sit down to watch Bruce’s childhood favorite, The Mark of Zorro.  Now at first I was not  into this book, I wont lie.  I was pretty much convinced that this was going to be another story arc that I could live without, but boy, was I wrong! The issue shifts drastically into sixth gear with the death of a man who falls several stories to the ground. Now, while this may sound pretty normal to some, the part that isn’t normal is the fact that he has angel’s wings and no identification whatsoever! This put Batman and Robin immediately onto the case, as Gordon and the the boys look over the broken body to find that this man has burnt off both his foot prints and his hand prints.  Not deterred by this, both Batman and Robin climb to the top of the building to search the area that the man must have jumped to his death from.

Batman, aka Dick, finds a package with a clue taped to the bottom of one of the Gothic statues and then is immediately taken off guard as Man-Bat flies directly for both Robin and Batman, knocking them off the side of the building. I have to say some of the art on these pages are picture perfect. They are the right part of kinetic and action oriented to work for a Batbook. I would like to take this moment to implore D.C. to please keep this team together for the next 20 to 30 issues! Tomasi’s story pacing works perfectly with Gleason’s art! Ok, so, where was I? Oh yes, Man-Bat keeps yelling “Stay away from the light,” with a crazed look in his eyes while our two heroes tumble to the earth with a glowing substance  in the form of Bat’s flying all around them. Thankfully, both Batman and Robin land Man-Bat and their feet safety on the ground.

Final Verdict:This story has everything a Batman fan needs and it’s put on a freight train pointed right at a cliff!  Hold on tight and enjoy this ride while it last!

Sheldon Lee