The Ninjabot

Comic Review: Batman and Robin Annual #2

Posted on January 30, 2014 at 5:33 am by Zakk Saam

Cover by Mike McKone & Chris Peter

Cover by Mike McKone & Chris Peter

Written by Peter J. Tomasi

Pencils by Doug Mahnke

Inks by Alamy, Champagne, Nguyen, Irwin, Gray, and Mahnke

Colors by Tony Aviña

Published by DC Comics

 

 

 

 

In the latest wave of Annual’s from DC Comics, scriber Peter J. Tomasi (Hitman, JSA) brings you Batman and Robin Annual #2.  Set before the events of Forever Evil, the story opens a flashback of the original Robin, Dick Grayson, telling a story to Damian Wayne about his first week as Batman’s protégé and partner.  The issue then kicks forward to Bruce Wayne discovering the “Robin Cave” in the ceilings of Wayne Manor with a note reading “Payback for Grayson telling me that long boring story about his first week as Robin.”  Bruce asks Dick about the story and that’s where ours truly begins.

BaRA002_3

As Grayson says before telling retelling his tale, “But remember, Bruce, unlike you, I was trained to be a natural showman…”  What follows is a fun adventure in the life of a teenage Dick Grayson.  Dick sits through what he describes as “the second longest day of my life,” only to be berated by Batman for wearing a costume reminiscent of his circus days. Dick’s first night as Robin gets even worse when he disobeys Batman’s specific instructions and is promptly sent home and unceremoniously fired. Tomasi tells an excellently paced story that compliments two characters that he has spent an abundance of time with (over 100 stories involving Batman and 23 appearances on Nightwing).

"Yes, dad."

“Yes, dad.”

Doug Mahnke’s (Green Lantern, JSA) pencil work is a great fit for this story, redesigning the Robin outfit (no more short shorts) for a modern age. His two school time sequences are fun to look at considering the stylistically repetitive panels, showcasing Dick’s boredom in the classroom.  Where many artists draw Dick’s acrobatics in multiple positions across a single panel, Mahnke displays them across multiple panels to great effect, notably during the “helicopter incident.”

BaRA002_2

Colors were done by veteran Tony Aviña (Green Lantern, The Boys), whose use of shadows fits the Dark Knight well, and his pallet fills with red upon any use of Dick Grayson.

Overall, this issue is thoroughly enjoyable.  At $4.99, it won’t break your bank and as a one shot, there’s no pesky back issues to hunt down and no cliffhanger to make you buy the next.  That being said, the Batman and Robin series has been strong since the beginning of the New 52, no doubt a result of Tomasi’s writing.

Story: 8/10

Art: 8/10

Overall: 8/10

Want to know more about Zakk’s adventures and escapades?  Follow him on Twitter: @ZakkSaam

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