In this review of Batman and Robin #2, Batman deals with the aftermath of the attack from the bats while Damian deals with a new sort of problem – high school. Plus, Batman’s attacker is revealed.
Batman and Robin #2
Written by: Joshua Williamson
Art and Main Cover by: Simone Di Meo
Variant Covers: Francesco Mattina, Kael Ngu, Gabriele Dell’Otto, Lesley Leirix Li, David Baldeon, and Simone Di Meo
Page Count: 32 Pages
Release Date: October 10, 2023
This review contains spoilers
Before getting into the review of Batman and Robin #2, I want to clear the air on something first. In a recent episode of the TBU Comic Podcast, we questioned the time and place of this series. I theorized that it occurred during the Gotham War event. After reading the latest edition of Batman, however, I am completely wrong. That being said, I will not spoil anything, but you can read the review of Batman #138 here to see why my theory was wrong. That being said, it’s time to move on.
Batman and Robin #2 – The Story
Batman and Robin #2 picks up immediately where issue #1 end. After a flashback to when Damian was younger, we find Batman still under attack by bats. There’s little he can do about it after he was shot with a bullet that not only attracts the bats to him; it causes them to attack him as well. He then remembers an old remedy of eucalyptus, cinnamon, rosemary, and thyme to chase them off. Me being who I am, I googled to see if this could actually work or if Williamson was shooting air up our rears. Lo and behold, it actually does work as a deterrent to bats (I should have never doubted Williamson). But I have to question why Batman is eucalyptus and cooking ingredients with him. However, it’s only a temporary fix as the bullet has manipulated Batman’s pheromones. Damian benches his father.
Bruce and Damian are able to get away. In the course of the attack, however, we get a glimpse of the person responsible for the attack. She’s a young female with her face wrapped in bandages. Apparently, she has a grudge against Batman… or does she?
Who’s Pulling the Strings?
In their lair at the Gotham Zoo, Killer Croc, Orca, and the Terrible Trio look over the captured Dr. Kafira. Croc leaves, however. Batman is going to figure things out. When he does, Croc doesn’t want to be around. The female – referred to a Shush – walks off into a greenhouse, where someone else speaks to her. The person is hidden and apparently is responsible for everything. The being agrees with Croc – Batman will find them sooner rather than later. They need to tie up loose ends.
In just a few pages, we’re not just introduced to the new villain in Shush. Williamson also reveals that there’s someone else pulling the strings. I’m not certain I would have made that reveal this soon. However, the pacing in this issue is really fast. Seems it was unavoidable. Of course, it leads to questions of who the mastermind might be and if any clues exist, such as the hideout at the zoo or the two holding their conversation in the greenhouse. It will be interesting to see where Williamson lands with the reveal.
Mission: High School
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a mark for Damian Wayne. They also know how much I enjoy the work done by Joshua Williamson since his Robin run. That continues here in Batman and Robin. Bruce enrolled Damian into Gotham Heights High School, a long way from Gotham Academy due to his father’s now “modest” means. He hears the students talking about him. Then, four wannabe bullies approach him in a classroom. One of them takes his notebook (the same one with his script in it). They mock him about several things, including his accent. But then, they mock Talia, Damian’s mom. Bodies immediately start flying.
Me being the fan that I am, I had this huge smile on my face seeing Damian doing Damian things. However, it quickly dissipated when turning to the following page to find that everything I just cheesed myself over was simply a vision in Damian’s head. However, I seeing this made my smile bigger. Damian held himself back from completely destroying those boys. Maybe it was because the principal showed up just in time. Maybe Damian felt he didn’t want to kill anyone. However, I’m going to chalk this up to the natural maturation Damian has experienced since he’s come under Williamson’s pen. It continues to be a great ride watching Damian grow and I am here to see it through its completion (or whenever DC decides to reset everything again).
Damian’s first day of school was a short on. He didn’t make it out of first period. Folks, he literally jumped out of the window with no one watching. He makes his way to Blackgate Prison to interrogate White Rabbit about the events in issue #1. He’s not alone as he finds his father hiding in the darkness as well. Despite his injuries – and the fact that his pheromones continue to be tainted – Batman wants to interrogate White Rabbit as well. Neither will get the chance to do so, however. An alarm blares across the prison. They find that Shush and the Terrible Trio has White Rabbit in their grasp. She’s the loose end they must eliminate. Batman and Robin are too slow.
Williamson and Di Meo continue to keep me invested in this story. Some things are obvious. There’s Damian’s continual growth while maintaining his cockiness. It’s Williamson’s ability to write father and son so well. This was quite apparent in Robin, not so much in Williamson’s Batman arc. Di Meo’s art continues to be beautiful, although I hope to see a change-up in the colors at some point. Williamson also provides a more subtle way to grab your attention and have you anticipating the next issue. It’s the hook. As I get to the final page, I get the feeling that I’m watching Batman ’66 reruns. As the Dynamic Duo face their next great challenge, the voice over comes across… “OH NO,” only to end with a “BANG!!!” Hooked.
Batman and Robin has the feel of being Williamson’s sequel to his Robin run. And I am here for it. Tune in next month for the review of issue #3… same Bat time, same Bat… BANG!!!
Editor’s Note: DC Comics provided TBU with an advanced copy of this comic for review purposes. You can find this comic and help support TBU in the process by purchasing this issue digitally on Comixology through Amazon or a physical copy of the title through Things From Another World.