Batman & Robin: Batman Reborn, Part 1

Like I mentioned in Time Masters: Vanishing Point, Batman was sent back in time in Final Crisis, but Dick Grayson has taken up the cowl, and Bruce’s son Damian is still Robin. The magic touch of this book comes from its writer, Grant Morrison, who I praised for his first Batman story, Arkham Asylum. With art by Frank Quitely, (All-Star Superman) who has worked Morrison before, they obviously have formed a workplace connection, and it shows here.

We begin with the new Dynamic Duo, in a flying Batmobile, chasing after a criminal named Mr.Toad. They catch and interrogate him, but he speaks in European circus slang, which Dick is able to decipher back at the Batcave. Batman & Robin head over to the police station where Mr.Toad is freaking out and threatening that Professor Pyg is coming. An “extreme” circus troupe. Le Cirque D’Etrange, begins attacking the police station, so the Duo go to deal with them. We cut to a hotel where we see Professor Pyg attaching a doll face to another man’s face. The first issue ends with him preparing to do the same to the man’s daughter, Sasha.

Where is Alfred's own series?
Where is Alfred’s own series?

Issue #2 begins with Batman at the Batcave, looking sad, and telling Alfred about what’s wrong. We have a flashback where Batman & Robin are fighting against the Circus of Strange (Big Top, a fat man wearing a tutu, Siam, conjoined triplets, and Phosphorous Rex, a man on fire looking for any excuse to burn brighter.) They beat them all, but Damian doesn’t listen to Dick, and gives Big Top a concussion. Damian says he knows where Pyg is, and rides off in his motorcycle to a carnival. Back in the present, Alfred gives Dick advice how to be Batman and how to deal with Damian. Inspired, Dick rides off to go save Damian, who has been knocked out by Pyg’s hechman, the Dollotrons.

Issue #3 begins with Batman dragging Phosphorous Rex through the streets on his own bike. He learns where Pyg is, and we cut to Damian waking up, tied to a chair. He prepares to put a mask on Damian by…uh… I don’t even know how to explain what Pyg is doing. Anyway, Damian has had enough of this crazy ☠☠☠☠ and breaks free from his bonds and beats up Pyg. One of the Dollotrons in the room turns out to be Sasha, who lights up Pyg with a candle. Pyg, on fire and looking for any excuse to burn brighter, runs out of the room onto a roller coaster track.

Damian says all that needs to be said, "You just redefined wrong."
Damian says all that needs to be said, “You just redefined wrong.”

Damian chases after him, but has to leave Sasha behind. Pyg hits Damian with a burning 2×4, knocking him down. He goes to finish him off, but Dick arrives and punches Pyg. Soon the cops arrive and arrest Pyg, who was trying to release an identity-destroying disease, which Batman finds an antidote for. We cut to a hospital, where Sasha has been taken too. She kills her father, and is about to be caught when the cops are all shot to death. The shooter offers Sasha to join him, and he is revealed to be the Red Hood, with a ridiculous helmet and a collar even bigger than Harrison’s.

Next time we’ll finish this graphic novel, but I will say now this is the better story arc in it. Also I’ll be moving the pictures to the center, instead of the sides. We’ll see how this looks.

Still better than Red Hood and the Outlaws, though
Still better than Red Hood and the Outlaws, though

One thought on “Batman & Robin: Batman Reborn, Part 1

  1. Been waiting for this review! Like you, I really appreciate Grant Morrison’s stories. And I saw that sneak diss you put up about the collars. I give props to that!


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