Batman & Robin #29 (DC)

B+R 29

Rating: 3.5/5 – Aquaman guests in the New52’s Brave and the Bold.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Shawn Hoklas.

The Batman and Robin series has changed quite a bit since the death of Robin (Damian Wayne), and this series’ tie in issue of that storyline.  Since that issue released, this series has moved to a rotating team up, or villain headlining the book and replacing the actual title of Batman and Robin with that character’s name.  Sometimes this has happened for multiple issues like the storyline that just wrapped up with Two-Face, or for just a one-and-done as is the case with this twenty-ninth issue.  Aquaman shares the title with Batman as they team up to go after longtime villain Ra’s Al Ghul, who has stolen Damian Wayne’s body from the grave.

Older comic book fans will remember DC’s Brave and the Bold series which ran for almost thirty years.  Although that title also didn’t start out as a team-up book, the seventy-fourth issue of that series exclusively changed to a Batman team-up title.  It looks as though DC has found a way to bring that formula back, without calling it Brave and the Bold.  For the most part, this has allowed writer Peter Tomasi and artist Patrick Gleason to play in the DC sandbox, using and spotlighting the characters they want to showcase.  It allows one of DC’s more underrated artists in Gleason to flex his artistic skills on a wide range of characters.  Gleason makes Aquaman look like royalty in his body language and posture throughout the issue, which is a nice contrast to the dark and brooding Batman.  His Ra’s Al Ghul is frightening which is no surprise, as Gleason is amazing when it comes to drawing the more horrific scenes and characters.  My only complaint with the art is unfortunately we don’t get to see very many underwater scenes, and it would have been fun to see Gleason’s interpretation of Atlantis.

As far as story goes, this feels like one of those older Brave and the Bold issues.  The meeting between Aquaman and Batman seems convenient, even though the reason for their meeting is a chilling, yet smart idea.  This issue doesn’t have a whole lot of depth, but serves to move the Hunt for Robin story along while allowing for the partnership to happen.  We also get a cameo of next issue’s guest star, keeping to the team-up theme that this series has become known for.  I’d recommend this issue for the Gleason art, more than I would for the story. This series is usually a must read for both the story and art, so hopefully next issue we’ll see each component equally as successful.

Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
(shawn@comicspectrum.com
)
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