Like last month’s issue of ‘Batman and Robin’, this issue wraps an unusual father and son relationship in some tights and bat-ears and is all the better for it. It opens on Bruce Wayne trying to find his footing as a father to Robin (Damien Wayne). He ponders his perceived failures with his past wards who also wore the green and red tights in their own times as Robin. Young Damien was trained by the League of Assassins to be a killer and his natural instincts are usually violent and aggressive. In the midst of his thoughts, Batman gets an alert about another weapons shipment making its way through Gotham City and he and Robin are off. After the battle, Bruce commends his son on showing restraint while subduing the criminals. Damien tells Bruce that, “They deserved worse.” To which Bruce replies, “Doesn’t mean you need to dish it out.”

Back at the Batcave, Bruce allows Damien to burn off some of his aggression on the Batcave’s training robots. As he watches the boy rip into the metal and steel, he consults Alfred about what he thinks he should do. Alfred offers some advice but ends up telling Bruce that he has a lot to learn. After Bruce and Alfred leave Damien alone in the Batcave, the boy shows some disturbing traits that are going to make for a very interesting relationship with his family down the road.

The story ends with Bruce picking up a pet for Damien. I’ll give you two guesses as to what it is (woof! woof!). As Bruce is waiting on the paperwork, a man named Morgan appears and reveals some stunning news before disappearing. At least one of the names dropped will be familiar to long-time bat-readers but, since the New 52 is a whole new playground, things may not be all that they seem.

I absolutely love the fact that Peter Tomasi has decided to take the father/son angle to heart with this series. It’s so awesome to see Bruce struggle with something, especially in light of the fact that he seems so perfect in nearly every thing else he does. Plus, as a parent, it’s nice to read a story where even Batman has to struggle with family issues. Plus the troubled kid story takes a few disturbing turns that will serve to make this tale much more powerful so long as Tomasi has the writing skills to manage where this is leading. I for one, am definitely along for the ride!

The art from Patrick Gleason is great and the way he draws Robin (especially his facial expressions) is spot-on! The only drawback with the art that I have to this issue is that I can’t stop thinking that the Batmobile on the cover looks too much like Peter Porker, the Amazing Spider-Ham. (Google it. You’ll see what I mean.)

Verdict: Buy

Written by PETER J. TOMASI