BATMAN AND ROBIN (2023-) #8 Review

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SYNOPSIS: As Batman finds himself in the clutches of a new cult that worships Man-Bat, Robin continues his own investigation into his High School’s connections to Shush! Can the father and son dynamic duo uncover Man-Bat and Shush’s master plans before Gotham pays the price?!

Double crosses abound in the latest installment, brought to readers by writer Joshua Williamson and returning guest artist Nikola Čižmešija!

Opening with Robin and Flatline confronting her sister, Williamson expands on their family’s backstory, before placing Robin in a trap. There’s something about it that feels very Batman & Robin/Batman ‘66 as the young hero has a freeze weapon turned against him, providing a sense of fun.

Turning to Batman, I love the colors Rex Lokus provides the art as the Dark Knight confronts Shush. The Gotham night sky has an amber glow, making it feel like Halloween. Shush continues to grab my attention and this issue’s developments do little to change that, though she does have a shocking moment or two during this outing that did provide some excitement.

The Robin/Flatline relationship has some obstacles to face this issue and it continues to be an aspect I enjoy, however, I don’t see how Damian will maintain any anonymity at his school with her by his side. Damian’s place at school continues to be odd, especially considering who he believes the principal is. I’m hoping Williamson throws a curveball and surprises me.

Batman is portrayed more confidently in this issue, perhaps in part because he spends his time away from his son. His confrontation with Man-Bat was exciting and Williamson creates some tension with the outcome for the next installment. We all know Batman will endure, but given how worried some of the characters are, there’s just a twinge of doubt.

Čižmešija’s art has a lot of energy and manga influence. I’m not particularly keen on some faces, particularly when Robin’s looks mushy, but his layouts are exciting, his Man-Bat menacing, and that two-page spread looked breathtaking. Most importantly, I was able to follow the story easily, a problem I’ve had with Di Meo’s art and coloring.

Batman and Robin isn’t my favorite title in the Bat Stable, but this was a fun entry. It feels disconnected from the rest of the line, which can be a plus or minus depending on your perspective. Williamson writes Damian well and Batman feels more central to this issue. The art may not be to everyone’s taste, but it fits the vibe Williamson is going for. Looking forward to seeing what happens next between Batman and Man-Bat! Javier E. Trujillo

GRADE: B

 

 

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Javier Trujillo
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.