BATMAN and ROBIN (2023-) #11 Review

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SYNOPSIS: Bruce and Damian plan the perfect father and son getaway…to DINOSAUR ISLAND?! When the dynamic duo uncovers a deadly family secret, their investigation takes them on a fun-filled adventure to rescue one of Batman’s greatest enemies!

If you’ve been following my reviews you may have noticed that I keep going back and forth on this title. While I was pretty positive about its forebearer, Robin, something was lacking for me when it transitioned to Batman and Robin. Does Williamson turn things around this month?

I think so.

With an unconventional opening, it’s not until the fifth page that we get any dialogue. Instead, artist and colorist Juan Ferreyra treats us to lush panels of Bane fighting a T-Rex on Dinosaur Island to prove who is the real Alpha Male.

It’s ridiculous.

It’s over the top.

It’s bonkers.

And I loved every bit of its cartoonish insanity.

The action doesn’t let up as Batman and Robin arrive in a glorious two-page splash that serves as their introduction and provides the credits. Ferreyra brings it, flooding the pages with pterodactyls for the Batwing and Goliath to navigate through, their riders doing their best to make it to the ground alive.

With the help of Nobody, Maya Ducard, Batman and Robin get the lay of the land. They do reconnaissance on another threat that is also there, the Kobra Cult.

All this is fun with stunning visuals, but it’s not what made me love this comic.

No, Williamson throws in a curveball.

The death of Alfred.

While I thought it was something Damian had made peace with, it was only temporary it seems because now he is face to face with the man who murdered his surrogate grandfather right in front of him. Under the pencil of Ferreyra, it’s a powerful moment that makes you relive Damian’s nightmare all over again.

And the story just takes off from there with another surprise at the end!

From a visual standpoint, this is far and away my favorite issue. Ferreyra’s art is so clear, easy to follow, and overflowing with energy. I’ve been a fan of his since the Rebirth-era of Green Arrow and his work just gets better and better. (Check out his Spine-Tingling Spider-Man for proof) Even on a brightly lit island, his Batman somehow manages to find the shadows. The colors are spectacular and dazzle. Dinosaur Island Bane is brawny and menacing and how can you not love Goliath taking to the skies with Damian riding on his back?

Williamson has Batman feel more in charge of this outing, but still makes it feel like this book is Damian’s by giving him some excellent character beats. If you can get past the outlandish premise (this isn’t detective work on the streets of Gotham), there’s some magnificent art and a fun story with a dash of pathos to enjoy! Javier E. Trujillo

GRADE: A

 

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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.