Review: Robin and Batman #1
Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen are a duo who have shown they can create magic. Descender was a series that was a treat in every way. This duo now takes on another dynamic duo in the form of Batman and Robin. But, the focus isn’t on Batman, it’s instead Robin in his early years of training. Robin and Batman #1 focuses on a young Dick Grayson, newly orphaned, struggling to find his way in a strange, difficult, dark new world and his attempt to navigate it all. It’s a hell of a debut that is gushing with high quality in both its storytelling and the art.
Lemire crafts an interesting take on the young team putting the perspective on Dick Grayson. This is a young student in multiple ways, still dealing with the death of his parents and wanting to fight crime like his mentor. It’s also a Dick Grayson that’s young, a bit brash, and thinks he knows far more than he does. In other words, he’s an average kid. Lemire nails down a “comic” style of a kid who daydreams about fighting crime while in school and sneaks out at night to do so when he’s told not to. This Grayson is skilled, very skilled, and a bit of a dreamer in a way, imagining his role in Batman’s war on crime.
What stands out is the depiction between Batman and Dick. You get a sense of frustration from Batman in that he doesn’t quite know what to do with his protégé. Batman didn’t exactly have a normal childhood and that sense of confusion as to what he should do is present. There’s something very relatable about it all making the dynamic aspect not so much their ability to fight crime together but instead the burgeoning father/son relationship between the two.
Dustin Nguyen’s art continues to amaze. With lettering by Steve Wands, the comic is a visual treat. Nguyen’s style is unique taking an almost water color look to the action. The coloring is beautiful with each page a work of art. Every panel you want to linger on, not just for the characters within but how the color is used. What is and is not present in the panel. There’s also a youthful aspect to Dick that works so well. He looks and feels like a kid. The poses are slightly different than Batman and Alfred. He doesn’t just look like a miniaturized adult. Batman has a weariness about him, not from years of fighting crime but instead dealing with this young kid. The art alone is a reason to get this comic.
Robin and Batman #1 is amazing in every sense. The story is great. The art is beautiful. The combo is unreal. It’s a hell of a debut from two creators who have already set a high bar. One issue in and I’m already demanding more from this team.
Story: Jeff Lemire Art: Dustin Nguyen
Color: Dustin Nguyen Letterer: Steve Wands
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review