It’s Batman and the Robins… and Duke. Well most of the Robins, Tim is dead (still, I think. Really it is hard to keep track of them all). Batman is rounding up the sidekicks in Batman #16 to try to get them out of Gotham before Bane finds and kills them. Of course, the Robins are too independent to listen to Bruce.
Now, like most comic book fans, I’ve had plenty of discussions on whether Batman is a sociopath. But nothing prepared me for the depths of horror hidden inside Bruce Wayne that Tom King and David Finch revealed in this issue. Dick Grayson, doesn’t want to meet in the Batcave and instead gets the meeting moved to a Batman-themed fast food joint. While telling the Robins and Duke that they have to clear out before Bane gets there, Bruce reveals what a soulless monster he is by eating a hamburger… WITH A KNIFE AND DAMNED FORK!
While the Robins are used to Bruce’s horrific hamburger habits, Duke finds himself appropriately disturbed. I think it is this more than anything else that convinces Duke to take Batman’s advice and leave Gotham. Dick, Jason and Damian decide to stay in town and see if they can take down Bane or at least help Batman.
I think it is weird who Batman is a warning to get out-of-town, or else King didn’t want to show him repeating the same conversation so many times. I am guessing that he warned all the living Batgirl’s (How many Batgirl’s are there in the 52-verse? I seriously don’t know) to clear out too, although it isn’t shown.
Despite the seriousness of the threat, King’s (The Omega Men, Vision) adept story telling keeps the issue light and fun for the most part. How the Robins interact with each other and Batman is entertaining. And each of the Robins has a distinct personality, which is sometimes difficult especially when they are all together.
Finch’s (Wonder Woman, Moon Knight) art also helps keep the book feel amusing, despite the creeping dark undertone of the story. The visual jokes of the fast food place as well as Damian and Jason annoying each other for laughs makes the sudden turn at the end of the issue more shocking.
King’s work on Batman has been impressive since he took it on. I really want to see where he is going.
Writer: Tom King
Artist: David Finch
Color: Jordie Bellaire