Damian Wayne is gone. The young Robin made the decision at the finale of ‘Batman and Robin’ #4 to leave his superhero father and join with the more ambiguous crimefigher called Nobody. A few issues back, when Nobody was revealed to be Morgan Ducard, son of Henri Ducard, the man who trained Bruce in the art of tracking, Bruce chose to withhold information from Damian. In doing so, Bruce tipped the domino that has led to his son stepping out from beneath his shadow into a world that the boy may not yet understand.

This issue, Bruce is attempting to track down Ducard and Damian; a task that is made ever more difficult by the fact that Ducard is a master tracker who doesn’t want to be found and Damian knows all of Bruce’s blind spots in Gotham. Meanwhile, Damian swears his fealty to Ducard in exchange for training. As the issue closes, Damian faces a choice that may irrevocably alter his path as Robin.

Writer Peter Tomasi continues to weave a tale of a troubled son and his unusual father as the pair try to discover how they fit together. It’s a trend with the heroes in the New 52 to have them powered down from their pre-relaunch personas. Over in ‘Action Comics’, Superman is not as powerful as the godlike being that he had been. And in the bat-books, Batman isn’t infallible. Before, he was the “goddamn Batman” and could outthink, outfight, and outdo any other man on the planet. Now, he’s a fairly new hero. He’s still a powerful fighter, great strategist, and master of his domain… but he’s not perfect. ‘Batman and Robin’ is the showcase of Batman’s new imperfection since it is in the role as father where Bats is most out of his element. On the other side of the dynamic duo equation, the new Robin is my favorite Robin since the original. He’s brash, he’s arrogant, and he’s completely awesome! And, at it’s heart… ‘Batman and Robin’ is really Robin’s tale.

The art from Patrick Gleason is simply stunning. As you flip through the story, the pencils so complement the story that you don’t really notice it as you read and that is as it should be. However, on subsequent browsing and read-throughs, the level of detail that Gleason puts into each scene is amazing!

If you aren’t already reading ‘Batman and Robin’, do yourself the favor and check it out now.

Verdict: Buy

Written by PETER J. TOMASI
Art and cover by PATRICK GLEASON and MICK GRAY