Rating: 4/5 – A showcase for one of DC’s top artists, Patrick Gleason!
by ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas.
I’ve reviewed quite a few issues of the Batman and Robin series that preceded Robin: Son of Batman. That series was written by Peter Tomasi and the wonderfully talented Patrick Gleason. It focused on Batman and a series of guest stars after the death Damian Wayne. Last year Batman headed to Apokolips to retrieve Damian’s body, and in a not so memorable story by Tomasi and Andy Kubert, Damian was resurrected along with some fresh new super powers. Now, Patrick Gleason has taken over the writing of Robin in addition to the art, and although he’s not quite as great a writer as he is an artist, the potential is there.
Of course you have to start with the artwork since Gleason once again shows why he’s such a talented artist. There’s four full page splashes in this second issue and that’s not counting a couple pages where’s there’s just three to four panels per page, yet this issue feels packed. Gleason uses the entire page and runs the art to the edge, choosing not to use any outside panel borders. That gives the art a wide angle feel to showcase the heavy amount of action. Praise also has to be given to colorists John Kalisz and Jeremy Cox since it looks as though they had a lot of fun with this issue.
Robin is attempting to atone for past misdeeds during his time spent with Ra’s Al Ghul and Talia. That atonement has him attempting to return a decapitated stone head to a statue that once protected an ancient temple. As the stone goliath is reawakened, his powers are visualized by bright rainbow-like colors that are hypnotic and wild. Kalisz and Cox go crazy with the colors yet somehow make it all work. Meanwhile, each time Robin is touched by the stone creature his body slowly turns to stone which Gleason is able to portray brilliantly. We’re also shown some flashback scenes including a wonderful opening sequence with Talia and Damian that shows just how volatile their relationship was. And once again, the scene shows brilliant color choices during the setting sun, and wonderful body language between Damian and his mom.
If you haven’t been following Gleason’s work, I’d encourage you to do so. In my opinio0n, he’s been one of, if not the most, consistent artists working today. He’s been drawing Batman and Robin for years, and has had long runs on both Green Lantern Corps and Aquaman as well. It’s a pleasure to see him now on the writing side, which allows him complete creative control. Although the structure of the story could have been a bit smoother, it was still a great read in a mostly done in one issue. Robin: Son of Batman is a showcase for one of DC’s top artists and it needs to be seen.
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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