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Review: Batman and Robin #40

batman and robinAs the final issue of Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason’s run on “Batman & Robin” opens, we see the Justice League hurtling through the air towards an island near Japan. As Wonder Woman comes to join with Robin, Shazam and Superman, the League descends on the monstrosity attacking the island. As Batman communicates with Damian, he tells him that there are no innocent civilians nearby and gives him permission to use his powers to their fullest abilities.


As the Batwing hurtles overheard and drops several explosives onto the creature, Damian begins unleashing massive bursts of power and even demonstrates laser vision. He and Superman then begin severing the creature’s tentacle arms and blinding it. As Shazam and Robin go in for the metaphorical kill, Shazam slams back the monster’s head as Damian impales a giant metal tower through its mouth…with the power of Shazam, he calls down a lightning bolt and electrocutes the creature into unconsciousness.


As Shazam celebrates their victory, Damian remarks that the League is free to call on his help anytime that it is needed. As the trinity remains behind, Batman thanks Superman and Wonder Woman for putting on the show for Damian, he then thanks Cyborg who is revealed to having been controlling the creature while back aboard the League satellite. As Batman hops back into the Batwing with Damian he informs him that he was discussing with League members on who would bring the robotic creature pieces back to Tokyo.


Back in the Batcave, Damian celebrates his accomplishment by tossing a slightly terrified Alfred through the air as he regales him with the events of the battle. As the three head into Wayne Manor for dinner, Damian eventually dozes off as Alfred and Bruce discuss Damian manifesting yet another super power. As Bruce tucks his son into bed, he finds a note in his room that reveals that Damian has finished the family portrait that was seen commissioned all the way back in “Batman” #1. As he hangs it on the wall, Bruce comments that he is glad Damian finished it and it’s been placed where it belongs. The two then discuss how the events of the battle were staged and how Damian never found out, ultimately the battle was meant to drain the reserves of his abilities…Bruce even comments on how proud he is of Robin, in that he kept control of his emotions and his powers and didn’t let them control him for a change.


The following morning Damian wakes to realize…that his powers are gone! As he tries desperately to fly and shoot lasers, Bruce ends up finding him hanging from a window ledge in a failed attempt to take to the skies. Later that night, Damian wonders how his powers could have disappeared so suddenly and if they were only temporary after all. As Bruce admits that he doesn’t have the answers, Damian admits that he wished that he could have been more with his powers. Alfred then enters and draws their attention to the shining batsignal in the sky and Bruce comments that he will just need to be good old Damian Wayne once again.


As the issue closes, we see the bookcase swing open to reveal the batpoles with Bruce and his son descending into the dark batcave. Each of them dons their outfit as we get quick glimpses of Titus, Alfred the cat and Batcow. The batmobile takes off into the night and we see Batman and Robin swinging through the air…but with one noticeable difference – Batman is smiling. As Robin points this out, it makes him smile more and we finish on a beautiful page of Batman and Robin against the batsignal lit night sky.


Well I have to say that this was an excellent finish for our creative team. As always we have a sneaky Batman that comes up with a plan to drain Damian of his abilities without the Boy Wonder ever realizing. And to finish we get some awesome images of the dynamic duo swinging off into the night with a smiling Batman.


Overall I have loved this entire series, although it may have been a bit rocky after Damian died and Batman was just SO ANGRY!!!! He eventually got over it all and managed to find his son once again. I do have to admit that I kind of wished that Damian had his powers a bit longer…it seemed pretty quick between him gaining them and then losing them. However this could have been something that Tomasi was hoping to explore but had to cut short due to “Convergence.”


My big question comes with the events of Bruce doing something behind Damian’s back. Although the main series is finished, we still have one more Annual that is sent to release next week…and I am wondering if the choice made here by Batman will have some type of consequence. As I have written in a previous post, there is substantial evidence that can lead the reader to a conclusion that the events of Damian’s return occur prior to the events of “Batman Eternal.” However, Damian isn’t in “Eternal,” so where is he? Although several theories have been disclosed, I choose to think that somehow the information that Batman withheld from Damian in this issue is going to create a gigantic rift between the father and son duo. This could lead to Damian taking off and being absent from “Eternal.” Whatever the case, I’m sure Bruce’s decision will end up blowing up in his face as we have seen time and time again that Batman withholding information from the Family always leads to dire consequences.


Overall this is an excellent series and a great final issue, we have Gleason pulling out some amazing artwork and Tomasi writing some truly great moments between Bruce and Damian.


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