Review: ‘Batman Vs. Robin’ #3 Makes It Personal
by Tony Thornley
The war between Bruce and Damian Wayne has been escalating and Batman Vs. Robin #3 shows that the best way to make it worse is to make it personal.
Mark Waid, Mahmud Asrar, Scott Godlewski, Jordie Bellaire, and Steve Wands start round 2 of the most brutal war of the DCU.
Batman and Alfred are en route to Lazarus Island, where Robin waits, ready to spring a trap. But the Boy Wonder is starting to fight back against the whims of Mother Soul and the Devil Nezha. Can Bruce Wayne save his son, or will he even survive long enough to see him again?
Waid goes all out in this issue. He resolves the cliffhanger of the previous issue, pits Bruce against all of the Robins, and shows why Batman is a good character. The fights against Tim, Steph, Jason and Dick are all tailored to each character, and not just because they have different magical weapons. He roots their conflict in their history, and as such, it hits Bruce on multiple levels. The moments with Alfred (which I won’t spoil) are great too, with Waid using their father-son relationship to fantastic effect.
I like the art in this issue, but I have problems with how it was executed. Godlewski steps in to help Asrar, and they’re both good artists (if fairly different in style). The issue is that several times, things switch between them mid-scene (for example, Bruce’s fight with Steph and Jason). Their styles are similar enough that it’s not a clash, but different enough to pull you out of the story when the change happens. It’s an editorial problem, not an art problem, but it does drag the issue down a bit.
Overall though, the art is great. Both artists are extremely dynamic, and have a great sense of motion in their action. Asrar has some great emotional moments in particular, making Waid’s script come to life, especially in the fight between Bruce and Nightwing and its aftermath. Godlewski has several pages that build tension really well, and his action looks great. Bellaire’s colors unify the art and does a fantastic job at creating a sense of unease, especially with the green tone she uses for Lazarus Resin.
I’m continuing to enjoy this event and I hope it keeps up its momentum. It’s shaping up to not just be a fascinating story about fathers and sons, and a Batman action story, but also be a truly major event for the DCU.
Batman Vs. Robin #3 is available now from DC Comics.
The creative team continues to knock this event out of the park. Despite some bumps, it’s still a must-read.