Batman and Robin is written by Peter Tomasi and drawn by Patrick Gleason. The third issue skips ahead to a night in the Batcave, where Alfred and Damian sit playing chess. Damian is complaining bitterly about Bruce being outside heightening perimeter defenses on the manor and the addition of a dog to the family.
Alfred gives Damian a bit of advice which relate both to the challenge Batman is facing and the game they're playing. "In this game you'll always need to be in four places at once – The present and the future in not only your head but your opponent's, too." Damian scoffs because Talia abducted several expert chess players to improve his game and he beat them. When Alfred places him in check, Damian sweeps a piece off the board, only to have it caught by Batman as he comes back in. He informs them of the improvements to manor's security.
We learn Damian has been locked out of patrol for the last two nights and is going to be locked out for a third night. Batman says placing himself out there as a target is a risk he needs to take, putting his son out as one is not. He urges Damian to name the dog, but Damian says he only bought the dog to be a distraction for him. Batman uses the p-word, proud, when describing how he feels about Damian's recent display of self-control.
Immediately after, in direct defiance of Batman's orders, Damian suits up and begins taking his motorcycle out. Alfred manages to chip him, despite Damian thinking he removed the only sensor Alfred put on him.
Out of the streets, a couple of thugs accost a couple on a date. Robin shows up and beats the thugs severely. After two pages of a bloody fight, a voice calls from the shadows "Finish him, Damian."
Morgan appears from the shadows, deflecting Robin's attacks as he explains he's not there to fight. He informs Robin that he's brain-damaged one of the thugs and proceeds to kill him. When Robin tells him that's cold-blooded murder, Morgan says that's semantics. He explains that Robin has given him a glimpse of Gotham's future once he burns Batman Incorporated to the ground.
After unmasking Robin, Batman shows up and shouts at Morgan to get away from him. Batman and Morgan tussle for a few panels before Morgan hits him with ultrasound, shaking him to death from the inside out. He goes on the attack, only to be hit by a car on his way to hit Morgan.
We cut to where Batman and Robin awake in an abandoned drive-in theatre. Batman asks Robin if he's all right. From the projection booth, Morgan welcomes them and urges them to sit back, relax and enjoy the show, all while the typical old-school movie countdown plays on the screen in front of them. Next up: World's Apart.
For once, I enjoyed more of this issue than I disliked. It's no secret that I really like Damian and I've been extremely sad to see him portrayed the way he is in this series. While I am still not a fan of his portrayal in this issue, I feel like it's at least got the potential to be eliminated in the next issue with his realization that his lack of self-control essentially a person.
I like the way Morgan swooped in at the end of the fight Robin engaged in and I liked that Batman was there, rescuing his son. This issue redeemed a lot of the relationships for me, so I'm hoping this continues in that direction, rather than just continuing to show Damian as a know-it-all brat.
There's some truly beautiful splash pages and panels in this issue, because it's such an action oriented issues. One of the things I've noticed through the series is the portrayal of Alfred. Resignation and disappointment can be something difficult to portray as emotions on a person because they don't involve a specific set of facial muscles, but Patrick Gleason has managed it two issues in a row.
Batman and Robin #3:
Reviewed by Melinda Hinman