Tim Drake wasn’t the best Robin, but he was the most unique. Not the fighter Dick Grayson is and not as moody or rebellious as Jason Todd, Drake formed a great tag team with Bruce Wayne, thanks in part to his amazing technical skills and attention to detail.
However, with the arrival of Batman’s apparent son Damian on the scene, Drake ends up out as Robin in one of the best Batman Graphic novels ever produced.
This ultimately could have blown up in DC’s face, but with writer Grant Morrison and artist Adam Kubert at the helm, “Batman and Son” ends up opening many more doors than it closes.
Fans of Drake need not worry either, as his new persona, Red Robin is a pretty cool one and he still manages to pop up from time to time in Gotham. He also has his own series.
As well, the new Robin is more than able to get the job done. Damian isn’t just the byproduct of a crazy night between Bruce Wayne and Talia al-Ghul either. Trained by the League of Shadows, the kid is a master assassin and incredibly intelligent and capable detective. However, it’s these attributes that hurt him the most when dealing with his father. Wanting to teach him ethics, morals and patience before he allows him to fight, the caped crusader is forced to bring his son back down to reality several times in some cleverly written and entertaining scenes.
In spite of this, young Damian has other things in mind. Forcing Tim Drake out of the Batcave, Damian inherits the Robin persona by default, helping forge a new dynamic duo, one that is perhaps more deadly and volatile than ever before. Through Morrison’s excellent writing, we see their relationship develop, adding a sense of unpredictable to the series that it lacked before he took it over. Part of it is charming, as Battie and Alfred are forced to play Dad. The other is quite scary. Make no mistake about it, Damian has been bred to be genetically perfect and in spite of his age, he is a warrior.
And he’s got daddy issues on top of that.
Add in top-shelf art by Adam Kubert, which is easily the best on the series since Jim Lee’s and you have a killer introduction to a great new addition to the Batman universe. While the splash pages and action scenes manage to be dark in tone but vibrant in expression, the best part are the facial expressions. Throughout the tale, you see the frustration on Wayne and Alfred’s face when dealing with the bratty Damian.
Because of this, you have a tale that in spite of its action-packed story has several light-hearted moments that are achieved by a clear synergy between both Morrison and Kubert.