Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Batman and Robin #33

Robin Rises Cold Justice

Peter J. Tomasi Writer
Patrick Gleason Penciller
Mick Gray Inker
John Kalisz Colorist
Carlos M. Mangual Letterer
Gleason, Gary, Kalisz Cover
Matt Humphreys Asst. Editor
Rachel Gluckstern Editor
Mark Doyle Group Editor
Batman created by Bob Kane

The cover shows us a scene that's becoming quite common these days — Batman taking on the Justice League. However, I am glad to see it's an updated roster with Shazam, Lex Luthor and Captain Cold. Notably absent are Superman and the Flash. And the Robin Rises Part One title is misleading, as this issue actually takes place after the standalone Robin Rises: Omega. As for the art? It's pretty lackluster. But at least we know what the inside pages are going to look like.

I'm a bit lost on the story, but apparently Batman's dead son, Damian, has ended up on Apokolips somehow. Batman wants to go there to save him, and the Justice League, well most of them, are trying to talk Batman out of it. And Frankenstein is there for some reason, but he doesn't say or do anything and walks away first chance he gets.

Anyway, Aquaman makes a fairly compelling argument, telling Batman that their responsibility is to Earth and they can't go off planet for personal missions. Batman says they need to stop Apokolips before it attacks again, but Luthor says this is really about Robin. Cyborg says they're not prepared to take down Apokolips, and he puts his hand on Batman's shoulder to try to reason with him. But Batman uses some gadget to shock him, teleport away to the Watchtower and fry everyone's transporter tech.

Captain Cold asks if Batman always plays by his own rules, and Luthor responds in the affirmative, calling it invigorating. Shazam says he can fly up to the Watchtower to stop Batman, but Wonder Woman holds him back, saying they need to do this together. And Luthor gets to work on fixing their transporters.

At Justice League Headquarters, Batman opens up the chamber containing a special suit for him called the Hellbat. But before he can pull the suit down, the rest of the Justice League shows up and Cyborg shuts Batman away from his armor. Batman kind of throws a fit, and says that there's a chance to bring Robin back to life. Batman says the Hellbat suit was specifically designed to handle situations just like this, and Wonder Woman reminds him how all the original members of Justice League worked together on that suit to help the one human member of the team. Superman forged it in the sun, Green Lantern added his power, Cyborg some technology, Wonder Woman some magic, and Flash did ... something to it.

But Batman is still determined to go to Apokolips. He tells Cyborg to allow him access to the suit, but he refuses. Captain Cold then points his gun at Batman's head, and the Dark Knight retaliates by starting a bit of a fight on the satellite. However, Batman is quickly subdued by Aquaman and Wonder Woman, and he surrenders.

Bruce goes back home and throws another fit, destroying Damian's grave. Superman pays him a quick visit, apologizing for the loss of Damian. He knows Bruce will turn him down, but he offers to help anyway. Once Superman leaves, Batman head to the Batcave to plot his next move with Alfred, Batgirl, Red Robin and Red Hood.

The Good:

The big takeaway from this issue was that the Justice League worked together to create a suit of armor for Batman. Unfortunately, we are told nothing about this amazing suit. What exactly did each hero add to the suit? What can it do? I wish that Tomasi could have described this suit in as much detail as Scott Snyder described Batman's anti-Justice League suit.

The Bad:

Little to no Flash. I guess Flash was too busy helping Wally with his algebra homework to help stop Batman from going on a suicide mission. It really is odd how many stories show the entire Justice League except for the Flash. If anybody can find the time to take part in every little adventure, it's got to be the Flash, right? How can 15-year-old Billy Batson spend so much time hanging out with the Justice League?

Final score: 4 out of 10

Next time, we'll see the Flash actually hang out with his teammates in Justice League #34.

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