Batman And Robin (The New 52), Vol. 1 ‘Born To Kill’ Comic Review
Release Date: July 10, 2012. Peter J. Tomasi (Writer), Patrick Gleason (Penciller).
Note: The New 52 is DC’s relaunch of comic book titles, making it more accessible to new readers who have no knowledge of previous story lines. “Born To Kill”, which collects issues 1-6 of Batman and Robin, is not a lighthearted, “buddy-cop” story. It’s worthy of discussion that scratches beneath the surface. This is a recommendation article that contains some spoilers as it sets up the story, outlines the themes and introduces the characters, including the villain who is revealed in the first page of the graphic novel.
The dynamic between Batman and Robin in ‘Born To Kill’ is not that of hero and sidekick. Nor master and protegé. It’s a father and son relationship that plays out in an engaging manner.
Damian is Robin, the ten-year old son of Bruce Wayne and Talia Al Ghul. At the age of three, Damian started to train with the League of Assassins. Cold blooded violence and a killer instinct have been indoctrinated into him from an early age. Add to the fact that Damian is incredibly impulsive and is acting out of his resentment towards his father makes him an unpredictable, killing machine in the making.
“There’s a part of Damian that is broken, and it’s my job, my responsibility — to fix him,” Bruce confides in Alfred. To which Alfred replies, “It’s your job to be a father, not a mechanic, Master Bruce.” Bruce’s heart is in the right place but his attempts to repair and protect his son from himself only serves to push Damian to the edge. There’s an internal conflict in Damian that desperately wants his father’s approval for who he is and relate to the dark rage that he is suppressing.
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