Batman and Robin #7 was written by Peter Tomasi, illustrated by Patrick Gleason, and inked by Mick Gray.
In the stunning conclusion to this story-arc, Batman has been rushing to try to rescue Robin from the clutches of one of his oldest nemeses, Nobody. As Batman is forced to listen to Robin being tortured and about to be brutally murdered, he crashes the Batplane into the ship they're hiding on. Robin tells him to do whatever it is he needs to do. Nobody plans to leave him broken and bloody, just as Batman did to him all those years ago. Batman lands and asks Nobody if he really tried to murder his son and expected to live.
Nobody says he wasn't trying anything, it was going to happen and Batman was going to have to watch, just like Nobody's own father did.
Batman fights him off and tells him the only purpose he has now is to make Morgan bleed. As Nobody shouts to stop calling him Morgan, he attempts an aural attack, but Batman says he has already modified the suit. As they battle, Robin crawls toward the fight and wants to help.
As Nobody fights off Batman, he tells him that Morgan died the same day Bruce threw him, beaten, over his father's table. He was disgraced, he was nobody. Batman says he's still the same insecure little boy with wounded pride. Robin turned on him, his father turned on him, and the only person who loved him and showed him loyalty, his mother, he killed.
Nobody counters and says that Batman took his father, so he's taking Batman's son. Quid pro quo. According to him, the world needs a Nobody, because it's always a nobody who rises from the masses to make things right, but Batman tells him it takes a somebody to show them they're wrong.
Batman submerges Nobody's head into the pit of radioactive green goo that has been destroying people since the opening issue of this arc. For a moment, it looks as though Batman is going to kill him this way, but he looks over at Damian and realizes what he's doing. He pulls Nobody out, with his mask severely damaged and his face just beginning to show damage.
As Batman pulls Robin to him, he tells him he thought he almost lost him. When Robin asks if he really believed he betrayed him, Batman answers "Not for a second." There's a pause and he says "Well, maybe just a second." As Batman begins to get them out, Morgan gets Robin's attention, and tells him not to disappoint him. He tells Robin he'll be back to kill them all. As Bruce turns around, he sees Robin execute the move he refused to show him in an earlier issue, killing Morgan. Turning to his father, Robin says "Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned." Up next: Atonement.
I struggled with writing this review, because my rule has always been "If they're masked, they're Batman and Robin; if they're not, they're Bruce and Damian." This issue, particularly the last half, was difficult because while they were very much in a Batman and Robin situation, they were very much Bruce and Damian. Typically a villain doesn't know who they are, and if they do, they still fight them as Batman and Robin. This fight was so deeply personal, and the attacks of Morgan were so deeply personal, that it was hard to see this caped and cowled man as Batman, and his broken sidekick as Damian.
I really, really loved this issue, because I felt like we finally got to see a more human side of Batman. His son was being attacked and was almost killed, and it was seeing his son and realizing that he had to set an example that kept him from killing Morgan.
While I always try to pick out something good in the art, this issue was something that was very difficult for me to isolate just one thing that I thought was very well done. Obviously, I loved the page of Batman showing up and asking Morgan if he expected to live, but equally powerful was the panel of Batman cradling Robin's injured hand and looking at him while saying he thought he lost him.
Batman and Robin #7:
Reviewed by Melinda Hinman