Robin and Batman #1 (review)

Nov 10, 2021

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Robin & Batman #1

What is Batman without Robin? What is Robin without Batman? Questions that maybe don’t need answering. If they do need answered, then DC Comics Robin and Batman 1 is the preface. Written by award winning comic team Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen. Robin & Batman #1 tells the story of the early days of the dynamic duo. What they were before, and during their heralded time as ward and guardian. Robin & Batman #1 is an emotional and grounded look at Dick Grayson and Bruce Wayne, and it’s is a great first issue and one of the best Batman comics of 2021.

DC Comics
Written By: Jeff Lemire
Art and Colors By: Dustin Nguyen
Letters By: Steve Wands

Story/PLot

Straightforward and to the point. No surprise for what the first issue in this mini series is about. Robin learning to grow under the guidance of the Batman/Bruce Wayne and Alfred. The story could have very easily replaced Dick Grayson with Damien Wayne and wouldn’t have lost a beat. Dick is often thought of as the Robin that left. The Robin that found greener pastures with Nightwing. A young Dick Grayson Robin tale hasn’t been explored in many years. Having been replaced by Damien as Robin in main continuity, Dick is fully entrenched as Nightwing. Going back to the beginning of Bruce and Dick’s relationship was a major selling point for this first issue. There is always more to learn about these two. Taking it back to the early days was nice to see.

The story takes a back seat in this first issue. The seeds are there for the endgame though. Haleys Circus is the forefront for some plot progression. Which makes sense for Dick and his late parents. Plot is second nature and is replaced by just getting the reader up to speed into what kind of world this mini will exist in. We see banter, we see strife. We see young angst and old stubbornness. All written beautifully by Lemire. The voice of Robin is front and center in this first issue.

Art

Dustin Nguyen’s art style is an acquired taste. The more you look at it, the more you appreciate it. Water color and paint brushed art style isn’t common in comics. Most often than not, the old pencil will get the job done. Nguyen’s paint brushed style can feel dark and watered down. It can feel grey and dismal. Behind all that though is the existence of precision. Behind the messy water lines are colors and lines that express the mood perfectly. The craftsmanship is there from Nguyen, its just personal preference that may hold it back for some readers.

Character designs are a give and take with Nguyen’s art. On one hand most of the human characters look like Vampires. On the other hand the creatures and some villains look spot on. Costume designs from Batman, Robin and even to old Alfred are all drawn and colored to perfection. The red of Robins suit pops off the page.

FInal Thoughts

The Boy Wonder and one grumpy Batman. Look at it from a kids point of view. Look at it like you are a young boy trying to win the approval of your father or parent. Dick is just that, a kid. One step forward with issue #1, two more to take. Don’t expect earth shattering storytelling here with issue #1. The doesn’t hold it back in anyway. In fact its still great. The seeds are there for more.

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