BATMAN VS. ROBIN #5 Review

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SYNOPSIS: WILL FATHER AND SON RECONCILE…OR RUMBLE? The Lazarus Volcano has left its impact on planet Earth, but the fallout from Bruce and Damian Wayne’s war is far from over. It’s been a long road from the initial tensions that drove a wedge between father and son in the pages of Teen Titans, but is the hatchet at last ready to be buried? A bold new chapter in the lives of Batman and Robin begins in this epic final issue!


After a bit of a hiatus thanks to the “Lazarus Planet” event, Batman vs. Robin is back!

Unlike the preceding issues, Bruce Wayne is not the narrator here. Instead, Damian takes the lead as he tries to free his mortally-wounded-but-got-better-but-is-now-possessed-by-Nezha father. It’s a nice juxtaposition from the majority of the series when Damian was under Nezha’s thrall, letting him play the hero as he tries to be worthy of his father’s sacrifice.

Once the recap is out of the way, Waid continues to bring things full circle as Damian gathers the Bat-Family once again to fight Batman. You’d think they’d have more of an edge now that they’re not under Nezha’s control, but they’re up against a demonically possessed Dark Knight who knows all their moves. Waid brings in the magical side of the DCU as well — another example of closing the loop in this story.

Art duties fall solely on Mahmud Asrar this outing, who brings his A Game. The Nezha-controlled Batman looks suitably threatening and the splash page where Robin is chased by his Batmobile as it emerges from a fireball is spectacular, aided by the fact that Damian has a personal connection to it from his time with Dick as Batman and Robin.

As with all things Mark Waid, the climax boils down to having a lot of heart. It relies so much on the good Bruce did as the Caped Crusader, bringing his myth to the forefront. Damian Wayne may not be your cup of tea, Batman involved with magic may not be either, but both these elements combine for an inspirational conclusion.

Bruce and Damian have been estranged for a while, and even when they’ve been brought back together, they’ve felt apart. This story has affected the entire DCU and I hope that going forward, these two characters are together stronger than ever, having hopefully put to rest the trauma of Alfred’s death and the wedge it drove between them. Waid did his usual magic of mixing action with characterization and it would be very hard not to pump your fist in the air at the conclusion. Morrison once wrote that “Batman and Robin will never die” and Waid certainly put that to the test here, strengthening their resolve.

It’s been a long journey for Damian, one that started almost two years ago in Robin #1. It’s been a heckuva ride. Hopefully, the Dynamic Duo will be a united force to be reckoned with in the DCU going forward.

Oh, and remember, we are Batman! Javier E. Trujillo

GRADE: A

 

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Javier E. Trujillo was a Batman fan long before the 1989 blockbuster opened on his 12th birthday. After following BATMAN-ON-FILM.COM -- the "Dad-Gum Original" -- since its inception, he started to write for BoF in 2019, covering Batman's 80th anniversary. He's a lover of all eras and aspects of The Dark Knight, but artist Jim Aparo will always be how he pictures him. When on the internet, odds are it's because he's talking about Batman or James Bond (or MAYBE Wally West). He resides in the "Live Music Capital of the World" (and also the genesis of Adam West's Bat-Boat), Austin, TX. You can follow him on Twitter @JaviTru or on Instagram @TheBondIsNotEnough.