Friday, November 1, 2013

Batman & Robin: Batman & Robin Must Die!- The Deluxe Edition

 OK, now this is more like it.

 When last we met, I wrote about how disappointed I was in Grant Morrison's BATMAN: THE RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE. That volume fits snugly into the middle of this collection, BATMAN & ROBIN: BATMAN & ROBIN MUST DIE!- THE DELUXE EDITION, showing how twisty and convoluted Morrison's epic Bat-saga is, and just how truly fucked a newbie would be if he tried to read all of this shit in the right order. Anyway, I digress....
 With this third (And Morrison's final...) BATMAN & ROBIN volume, he brings the whole Dr. Hurt/Professor Pyg/Black Glove storyline to a satisfying conclusion, giving a proper sense of closure to to many dangling plot threads that have littered his BATMAN run, and even providing a few "A HA!" moments where things finally click into place for the reader. (I still hate THE RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE, though.)

 I do have to say that none of this would be as enjoyable without the new Robin, Damian Wayne. Damian is a loveable. loathsome, violent, smug ninja assassin lunatic curmudgeon, and he makes the book. I literally could not stop smiling whenever he was on the page. Morrison really outdid himself with Damian.

 The art is still a mixed bag, with Frazer Irving's ugly work comprising the bulk of the book. Things get better towards the end, when he is joined by Chris Burnham and David Finch. Frank Quitely and Gene Ha contribute beautiful cover work, as well.

 I'm still of  two minds about Morrison's BATMAN run, but I loved this volume, and felt that it did a lot to tie things together.

 BATMAN & ROBIN: BATMAN & ROBIN MUST DIE!- THE DELUXE EDITION collects BATMAN & ROBIN #'s 13-16 and BATMAN: THE RETURN, complete with all covers, and includes an extensive sketch gallery with work by Grant Morrison, David Finch, Frank Quitely, and Frazer Irving.