Batman and Robin has quickly become the premiere title for the Batman franchise. The first two issues of the series made a strong case for having claim to that title. A big part of that is the dynamic between Bruce and Damian Wayne shining. Now Joshua Williamson is looking to further tap into Damian’s past, something he did during his Robin run. With the mysterious Shush targeting the Dynamic Duo how will things go next? Let’s find out with Batman and Robin #3.
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Simone Di Meo
Letterer: Steve Wands
“FATHER-AND-SON PRISON BREAK! White Rabbit is a key witness in uncovering Gotham’s newest criminal mastermind, and Batman and Robin realize the only way to keep her safe is to break her out of Arkham Tower! But Damian still has homework to deal with!” – DC Comics
Batman and Robin #3 is doesn’t progress the plot forward very much. It is just a comic book with solid character work but if you didn’t read it you would not miss anything other than the final page. If it was for the appearance of Dark Man-Bat you could’ve gone straight to Batman and Robin #4 after reading the second issue without missing much.
This is not to say nothing happens in Batman and Robin #3. This issue is at its best when showcasing Bruce and Damian Wayne operating as a strong Dynamic Duo. They’ve never looked better as a team than they do in these early issues of Batman and Robin.
A big credit to Williamson for understanding that Bruce and Damian have grown beyond their initial awkward relationship. Both have been through a lot since they first met. Damian in particular has matured to not just be a killing machine trained by the League of Assassins. He is more of a layered character who has adapted to living in a family environment. And even if its just him and his dad now Damian understands how to best compliment Bruce as they operate as the Dynamic Duo.
On Bruce’s part there is trust shown that while he is handling disarming a bomb Damian can find Shush and White Rabbit. This opened the chance to show how Bruce can keep his cool in a high-pressure situation. Normally we don’t see this type of detail for Batman, as the disarming happens in a matter of seconds. Showing Bruce as Batman going through the process puts over how much work he does to be as efficient as we know him to be.
That said, because this issue featured Bruce and Damian in full Dynamic Duo mode the moment of brevity where they are having a father-son moment is awkwardly timed. It was a moment that came across as Williamson remembering he was just showcasing Batman and Robin. There was no big father-son moment for Bruce and Damian like we had in the previous two issues.
Shush part of the story was a major disappointing. Shush still maintains her badass aura. But reducing her part to be a big chase scene did nothing to enhance the presentation from her debut. She comes across as very one-note. And it does not help that Shush being a female copy of Hush, at least in design, does not help any. This makes the character look worse as its pointed out how unoriginal her presentation is.
The excitement of the story is definitely driven by Simone Di Meo. This is by far the best looking issue of Batman and Robin to date. Meo has such a great understanding of motion, which especially helps White Rabbit, who is constantly in motion. Batman and Robin #3 also features the best car chase we’ve had in a comic book this year and that is all thanks to Meo’s strong artwork
Outside the stellar artwork by Simone Di Meo, Batman and Robin #3 was a filler issue. All you need to know is that Dark Man-Bat appears. Everything else felt inconsequential, which definitely hurts Shush as a new villain. Hopefully the next issue picks things back up for the series.
Story Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 6.5 Night Girls out of 10