Batman and Robin Volume 7: Robin Rises

Batman and Robin Volume 7: Robin Rises
Batman and Robin Robin Rises review
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: DC - 978-1-4012-5677-7
  • Volume No.: 7
  • Release date: 2015
  • UPC: 9781401256777
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: no
  • Positive minority portrayal?: no
  • CATEGORIES: Superhero

As methods beyond reality exist in the DC universe, it’s no great surprise that Batman intends to exhaust them all before accepting that Damian Wayne/Robin can’t be returned from the grave. An opportunity he hadn’t foreseen was travelling to Apokalips and making use of their super science, but during the course of The Hunt for Robin, Damian’s coffin was abducted and taken there. Batman has followed in protective armour created for his use by the Justice League.

Throughout the Batman and Robin run Peter J. Tomasi has made a subtle case for Batman being more effective when he puts his trust in others. It’s been apparent during a succession of team-ups, and is emphasised again here as the Bat-Family gather round to help out. The result is a very different type of story from the remainder of the run, not small and enclosed by Gotham, but widescreen action, like a Superman film, but starring Batman.

Patrick Gleason adapts phenomenally well to the new environment, and it’s noticeable that he uses more spreads to do so. Experiments with styling people are discarded, and he creates suitably hostile locations packed with feral threats for the drama to play out. He also channels the sheer power of the beings Batman battles.

Unfortunately these include Darkseid, which prompts another credibility issue. Batman taking on Darkseid once under Grant Morrison was questionable, and repeating the exercise just undermines Darkseid as a continuing threat. Tomasi deserves credit for working out how Batman avoids the way Darkseid dispatched him previously, but finishing the story of Robin’s revival requires repetition and a crude trick for a cliffhanger ending leading into the Andy Kubert-drawn finale.

This, though, is a book of two halves, and while an interesting idea underpins the final three chapters they’re weak overall. The idea concerns Batman previously being protective of Robin, to Damian’s great frustration, so how does he cope when Robin becomes the protector? Damian has returned able to clean up Gotham in a day, so what’s the problem with doing that? Tomasi’s explanation about how that point was reached is ordinary, and while the comment about Robin putting too much faith in powers says more about Batman than Tomasi, it still doesn’t greatly resonate. The trickery of the final chapter is better.

Overall this probably isn’t the send-off readers want for this iteration of Batman and Robin, but it’s true to what Tomasi’s done throughout, and by the end all the toys are back in the box for the next version. Despite tailing off at the end, this series has sparkled overall, and is also available complete in a single Omnibus edition.