Robin and Batman #2 (Review)

Dec 14, 2021

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Robin and Batman #2

Ho hum. Bor….BAM!!!!! Robin and Batman #2 of Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen’s Robin and Batman was more surprising and better story-wise than the first issue. It takes the relationship that was built in Robin and Batman #1 and adds more pieces, more layers. In the end we see the same grumpy Batman, with a wide eyed Robin willing to learn. In doing so the optimism and hope that could have filled Dick’s eyes? It’s gone now. There is a mission at hand.

DC Comics
Written By: Jeff Lemire
ART AND COLORS BY: DUSTIN NGUYEN
LETTERS BY: STEVE WANDS

Story

Batman always has a plan. In this case it’s sending Robin on a mission. Unknown to the Justice League, Alfred or the Teen Titans. That’s where this book earned its stripes. Seeing Robin interacting with League members is cool and all. Its actually beyond cool, but it doesn’t separate itself. It also doesn’t expand or grow from what we saw in Robin and Batman #1. Where and when it’s really ramps up is from just the last five pages. When we see the Batman who know, and the teaching he provides.

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Dick’s childhood has been taken from him, both from his parents murder and his upbringing. He never had the chance for a normal life. Alfred is the one who wants that. He wants Dick to grow up and go to school and be “normal”. Batman wants a partner, a soldier. Robin and Batman #2 shows us that Dick will and never has had the opportunity whether it be at school or anyone where else to be “normal.” The book, after two issues, has done a nice job of subverting the overall idea of story. Instead Lemire put pebbles here and there. He’s showing us there is a story, an arc. Robin is the focus, Batman is the catalyst.

Art

Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes, panels pop off the page, but other times it’s a mess of lines and colors. It’s all a matter of perspective. Robin and Batman #2 dealt mostly with Bats and Robin. A few other characters made their way onto the page, but nothing to me stood out. Robin and Batman #2 is the complete opposite. It all comes down to Nguyen’s colors. The Justice League and Teen Titans look outstanding. The character designs are on point. Wonder Woman, Firestorm, Hawkgirl and Kid Flash. Brings about the amazing work that Nguyen did on Lil Gotham.

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Panel structure at the beginning and end of the issue help the story unfold. During the middle of the book panels become larger and double page spreads are a plenty. During the beginning and end, which in turn is the slower, more methodical part of the book, we see a more refined structure. Good art always helps a good story be that much better. Certain aspects of Nguyens art is still not my favorite, but overall Robin and Batman #2 was loads better than Robin and Batman #1.

Final Thoughts

We’re watching Dick Grayson become Robin. We are watching Bruce Wayne instill his dominance and leadership as Batman. It’s bonkers to think that Lemire and Nguyen are creating an established and definitive “origin” story for Dick Grayson’s Robin. At this point in the bat birds history? But here we are. One of the best Bat books on the shelves today.

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