Batman and Nightwing #23 (DC)

B+N 23

Rating: 3/5 – Having read Batman Inc. is a must to enjoy this issue

Although this series is officially called Batman and Robin, each month a new character guest stars in the book and shares the title with Batman.  In issue twenty-three, it guest starred Nightwing.  I haven’t followed Batman Incorporated, but in issue eight of that title the latest Robin, Damian Wayne died.  This issue is all about Batman running a computer simulation in order to try and save him and alleviate some of the guilt and remorse he feels for not having saved him.  As he gets more and more aggravated with not being able to do so, the guest starring Nightwing steps in to try and help Batman out.

Unfortunately by not reading the storyline where Robin dies, a lot of this issue was confusing.  It’s almost as if some scenes were re-imagined for this book.  So without having read those issues, it’s like you’re jumping into the end of a storyline that you have no previous awareness of.  I would imagine that having the knowledge of what happened would make this issue more meaningful, but for me, not so much.  Thankfully, there’s a scene at the end where Alfred also runs a simulation to save Damian, and it was quite an emotional finish.  You didn’t have to know anything that came before to enjoy this five page ending, as writer Peter Tomasi gives just enough information to make the conclusion have quite an impact.

As always, Patrick Gleason’s art is superb.  He’s one of my favorite artists working today as he’s consistently great.  And it’s always refreshing to see his art grace the covers, as well as the interiors month in and month out.  John Kalisz’s colors on this book really set the mood and adds to the “darkness” of Gleason’s art.

Overall, I would say that if you read the death of Robin in Batman Incorporated, this issue will connect with you.  If you haven’t, then the emotional ending isn’t enough to pick up this issue.

Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas – Covering the full spectrum of comics culture

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