Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Comic Review: Batman and Robin vol 4: Requiem for Damian

Requiem for Damian
Batman and Robin vol 4 (#18-23)
written by Peter J Tomasi
art by Patrick Gleason
DC Comics

The entire first issue is wordless, except for a letter at the end. It amazes me how much can be conveyed with just illustrations, and Patrick Gleason is a master at projecting feelings of grief. I was sobbing during the whole 18th issue, because it felt like a hole had been carved into my chest. One notable aspect to this comic was that each chapter was titled after a stage of grief: Denial; Rage... the list goes on.I found it to be creative and it added to the intensity of the grief.

Tell me this doesn't give you feels
Let me tell you a story.
When I first read some random comic with Damian, the newest Robin, I detested him. I thought him a little brat. But after reading Tomasi and Gleason's work on Batman and Robin, I've grown to adore the little brat. He's like an annoying little brother. After his death in Batman Inc. #__, I was horrified, and vowed never to read any more batman stuff, simply because I find Batman to be boring without his Batfamily, Damian most importantly. Issue 18 was the cathartic end I needed from the horrific and insulting death of Damian. It was a flawless issue.

As if that weren't foreshadowing enough

Now onwards, onto the rest of the story, where my hatred for the incompetence that is DC grows. We are introduced to Carrie Kelley. Any Frank Miller fans will recognise her immediately, and it's no accident that she was written in. Her sudden removal was a conscious, last minute decision by editorial to cancel the story that Tomasi had already spent several issues working on. Tomasi had been introducing us and the Batfamily to this strange girl with a love for Shakespeare, and an instant bond with the late Damian's dog, and it feels like it's all gone to waste.
This volume builds up Carrie's rise to being a Robin, but SPOILEr ALERT, all that goes down the drain in vol 5.

Overall, a fun yet poignant novel that deals with grief and the memories that make death worth living for.

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