Batman and Robin: Dark Knight vs White Knight by Paul Cornell, Scott Mcdaniel, Peter J Tomasi, Patrick Gleason, Judd Winink and Greg Tocchini
Okay so the title of this post is a little deceiving. The first story in the graphic novel is driven by a woman Bruce briefly dated. After she ends her relationship with Bruce (because he was too busy being Batman and lying about it) she got shot through the head, but since this is Batman it turned her into a super villain… instead of you know… just killing her the way you’d expect it to. Whatever. She is very upset that Bruce wasn’t at her funeral (he was too busying being not dead) so she decides to attack Batman, Robin and other women Bruce’s dated. ‘Cause that makes sense. Luckily, Dick resents being attacked so he and Damian deal with that.
If anything clever happened in this story (and it might not have) it would be the play between Una and Dick’s Batman. She talks about how Bruce uses people but doesn’t care about them, that the Batmen are all expendable and worthless to him and that he inspires loyalty and self sacrifice but never shows these traits himself. Since Dick was the first of five Robins he kind of relates to the idea that Bruce can always get someone to step up and fill his little green ankle shoes/Batboots and that worries him. Particularly because he’s only had one Robin and he’s pretty fond of Damian. The family interactions (mostly Dick, Damian and Alfred but Bruce gets a phone call too) were genuine and sweet and as usual, my favourite bits.
The second story is the Dark Knights vs White Knights in which a crazy vigilante calling himself the White Knight is murdering the family members of the super-villains in Arkham. This story is much cleverer, more involved and actually sort of makes sense most of the time. It also opens with an awesome scene were Bruce forces all of his (mostly sane) Robins to watch a movie with him and later Alfred tying Dick’s bow tie while driving (seriously is that not the height of awesomeness?). The Dick/Damian banter is wonderful – funny and bickering most of the time with momentary slip ups from both parties were they accidentally show how much the care (Damian getting very grumpy when Man-bat steals Dick and Dick being super supportive, caring and speech-y when Damian expresses his concern that he’ll grow up like his crazy evil ass family).
And because this is a Batman, Dick gets impaled at the end and then shakes it off. ‘Cause gut wounds aren’t really a big thing.
The last one involves Jason Todd. Unlikely the rest of the internet, I’m not that excited about Jason. But this story kind of changed my opinion on him which was fun. For one thing, he’s a ginger (normally he’s got black hair just like EVERY OTHER MALE CHARACTER IN THE BATFAMILY) but there’s some confusion about that, whether in some of his early comics Bruce asked him to dye his hair the same colour as Dick’s or if the hair colour was changed when he got a new back story because the chances of a rich superhero finding two acrobatic circus kids was just getting ridiculous) so his was re-written. Anyway, for this story I’m going to have to assume he was dying it when he worked with Bruce because in the flashbacks he has black hair (all speaking to how amazingly bad Bruce was at parenting him – no wonder he’s crazy). I found that detail made him more sympathetic (and it’s not because all gingers have a secret solidarity pact or anything) because yeah, if the man who raised me asked me to alter my appearance to look more like his other kid I’d feel a little undervalued too. Anyway, Jason gets transferred out of Arkham despite the best efforts of Dick and Bruce and into real prison so he can systematically kill the other prisoners. Eventually even the dumb as posts prison staff put two and two together and try to send him back to Arkham only to have him rescue/kidnapped on the car ride over and forced to work with his kind of siblings Dick and Damian to rescue his sidekick.
They switched drawing styles half way through which I didn’t like, but at least it wasn’t really toothy.
Jason, despite the fact that he’s crazy, a murderer and was put in prison by his sort-of-siblings still hasn’t told anyone his name, presumably to protect Bruce and by extension the Batfamily. Which kind of means he’s awesome and that he still loves his family just a little. Good times. No wonder the internet adores him.
Last movie I watched: James Bond – does it even really matter which one?
Last TV episode I watched: Still Grimm. Still awesome. STILL NEEDS TO STOP EATING PEOPLE.