Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Patrick Gleason
Published by DC Comics
Robin Rises has been an emotional rollercoaster for many, many reasons. When Damian died it left a void in the Bat-family that each member has been struggling to fill for months. In issue #37 we saw the emotional reunion between Bruce and Damian that scissor-kicked the Dynamic Duo’s fan base right in the feels. (Seriously guys, that issue is an early favorite for one of my favorite books of the year!) Robin Rises was highlighted by Bruce’s resolve. He would go to any lengths to save his son, even if, in typical Batman fashion, it meant sacrificing himself to do it. Issue #38 finds Damian dealing with more than just coming back from the dead. He’s been revived with a plethora of new powers: invulnerability, flight, and the ability to swim down to Atlantis to visit Aquaman just to name a few. I think we’re seeing the beginning of a major transformation of Damian…not only physically, but emotionally as well.
This book has been a quiet champion in DC’s lineup for months now but I think it has set a new standard for itself in the recent months. Peter J. Tomasi has taken us on an emotional rollercoaster ever since Damian’s passing and I think that while the books tone is certainly changing with Robin coming back, Tomasi isn’t done showing us Damian’s journey of self-discovery. This book has something that’s been glaringly missing from other DC books: character growth. With Bruce back from his battle with Darkseid and Damian returning to the land of the living, issue #38 has shifted complete focus back to not only Batman & Robin’s relationship as crime fighters, but on Bruce and Damian’s relationship as father and son. It’s refreshing to see.
Patrick Gleason had a chance to flex his creative muscle in the last few issues with the Bat-family fighting Darkseid and his lackeys. With this issue focusing less on the action and more on the emotion, he had to dial it back to show us each character’s way of dealing with the recent events in the series. Damian is definitely still Damian, but there’s a maturity about him that is shining through with a big help from Gleason’s art. It’s absolutely brilliant.
This series is a must read. While I was enjoying Robin Rises, it’s great to have Damian back and I can’t wait to see the constant evolution of his and Bruce’s relationship with one another. I’d suggest going back a few issues to around #34 or #35 so you can catch up on what exactly Bruce has put himself and his team through to revive the Boy Wonder, but after reading #38 all I can say now is, “It’s good to have you back Robin!”
4 out of 5 nerds