Dec. 3, 2013, DC Comics, 160 pgs
"In the stories from issues #15-17, BATMAN #17 and BATMAN AND ROBIN ANNUAL #1, Damian battles The Joker—with catastrophic results! What secrets will be revealed?"
Received an egalley for review from the publisher through Edelwiess.
This is my first time reading "Batman & Robin" and I've jumped in here because I'm reading the whole "Death of the Family" arc to see how DC actually plays out a crossover storyline like this between all the different series. So far I've read Catwoman and Batgirl and this makes the third book. (Though I've now read Batman by the time this review is published) From these books I know that the Joker is torturing the Bat-family and I know who dies but that death hasn't happened yet; it has only been relayed in a phone call. One chapter has appeared in two books but in different lengths.
Surprisingly, this volume has very little new to add to the "Death in the Family" arc. Not having read the previous volumes I feel like I'm missing something here but the book starts off with Damien playing at being Batman to prove something to Bruce and all the while Bruce, I think, is in on what he is doing. So there are some crimes and superhero action going on with vague references here and there to Batman's past.When the Joker comes along to do his torture session of Robin it's pretty gruesome. Love the artist's take on the new Joker's look! Then things got a little weird for me going back to the 1700s, back to the present, two Batmans and Professor Pyg? After this pyschedelic run we're back to the famous scene I've already read in Batgirl where Joker has the entire family captured. Love this part! It's cut a little different than the first time I read it but I'm really looking forward to reading it again and finding how each member works their way to the party (heehee). Then we end off with another fairly psychedelic issue with Damien, Bruce and Alfred all having frightening dreams. A scary ending paired with a touching father/son moment.
A strange book I must say. It does nothing to make me want to read this particular title further. I'm glad I read it though as in the grand scheme of things it's important to have some knowledge of Damien in this story arc.