With everything going on over in Gotham War the new Batman and Robin was a refreshing change of pace. Joshua Williamson and Simone Di Meo did a good job establishing the chemistry between Bruce Wayne and Damian Wayne after they spent years apart from one another. They have a unique father-son chemistry we haven’t seen from the other Dynamic Duo pairings. Now with the foundation established what is next for the Dynamic Duo? Let’s find out with Batman and Robin #2.
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Simone Di Meo
Letterer: Steve Wands
“INTRODUCING A NEW VILLAIN: SHUSH! Introducing Shush. Who does she work for? And how have they turned one of Batman’s greatest tools against him? Urban Jungle continues as the father and son dynamic duo are on the deadly case! But first, Damian must deal with…his first day of school?!” – DC Comics
Continuing the momentum from the first issue, Batman and Robin #2 keeps things simple by allowing our Dynamic Duo’s chemistry shine. It’s a refreshing change of pace from the other Batman titles led by Bruce Wayne that we can have this sort of storytelling. It provides the opportunity for Bruce and Damian Wayne to shine together and individually at the same time.
The opening of Batman and Robin #2 is a great example of how things are kept simple but well detailed. Joshua Williamson taps into Damian’s history before his mother, Talia Al Ghul, had him meet Bruce for the first time to establish potential backstory for our new villain, Shush. While it is not confirmed that the teacher Damian had is in fact Shush there are a lot of clues to that being the case. This is where Simone Di Meo artwork works so well as there are similarities with how Shush and Damian’s teacher to draw comparisons. It’s all works to create a mystery while adding to the overall badass design for Shush.
This flashback also importantly further develops how the Damian that appeared in his debut wasn’t always who he has been. Like every kid Damian did have potential to have all sorts of emotions but was raised by his mother to become Ra’s Al Ghul’s successor. This all helps to further explain how having the influence of Bruce, Alfred Pennyworth, and Dick Grayson did get Damian to tap into the kinder side he had to lock up when with the League of Assassins.
Developing Damian in this way adds interest to the high school angle Williamson is going for. While Damian’s first day of school goes as you expect, with him bouncing as soon as he gets the chance, we see the potential there. Like with Lazarus Island, Damian going to high school is an opportunity to see him interact with teenagers around his age. Working in the current state of the Wayne Family financial struggles is an additive part to all this. So while a brief part of Batman and Robin #2 Damian going to school is hopefully a long-term sub-plot for this series.
Back with the main Dynamic Duo plotline of Batman and Robin #2, Shush turning out to be the muscle for a mysterious big bad furthers the deeper mystery of what is going on. The presentation of Shush is done well enough to have her be the main villain for this story arc. This in turn allows the boss from the shadow to be developed as a mastermind for an even bigger story. Which gives fans plenty of opportunity to wonder where Williamson is leading this story to.
The mysterious mastermind angle also provides further opportunity to re-establish other Batman villains that don’t get much time. Williamson utilization of Killer Croc, White Rabbit, and the Terrible Trio are examples of that. Their presences here helps elevate them after being forgotten for so long. It also taps into the current Gotham City direction as a whole where villains are teaming up more due to the status quo shift Catwoman created.
Which all presents an intriguing challenge for Batman and Robin to overcome. A threat they don’t know anything about will test both of them in ways they don’t expect. Williamson use this as a chance to dive into Bruce and Damian’s chemistry in different ways. We see this from Damian showing the medical training Alfred gave him or Bruce trying his best to be a father to his son. They are all little things that help to build the chemistry Bruce and Damian have as the Dynamic Duo in and out of costume.
Simone Di Meo once again steals the show with incredible artwork. Its so different from every other title DC Comics is producing. Its dynamic with its own style that gives this series an anime vibe. Which works well with how Williamson has an episodic approach to the way Batman and Robin #2 was paced. What’s most impressive is Meo use of lighting in all of his artwork. Every scene, whether night or day, is properly lit to make the different settings each standout. It is so additive to the tone each scenes goes for.
Batman and Robin #2 is an excellent follow-up to the debut issue. Bruce Wayne and Damian Wayne’s chemistry as the Dynamic Duo once again shines. Shush is presented as a incredible new villain you can’t wait to see more of. All of it comes together to quickly establish Batman and Robin as the best series in the franchise.
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10