Hell of an adventure, this was. Reading the first three issues of Grant Morrison's Batman and Robin: Batman Reborn was very much reminiscent of the first two issues of his Batman Incorporated stuff in which I had so much unadulterated fun. See, I'm the kind of reader who enjoys self-harm through agonizing, gritty and potentially devastating story to my emotional health, but I likewise enjoy it when I can read a comic book and just have a great jolly time. And this was exactly what the three-issued story arc Batman Reborn was like for me. Quitely's illustrations are simply the perfect accompaniment to Morrison's writing, bringing about the action and suspense to life in every page.
Entitled Mommy Made of Nails, this immediately picks up from the cliffhanger of the previous issue where Damian Wayne goes solo to prove to Dick that he can do things his way (dammit), but then, in a not-so-surprising twist, gets caught by Professor Pyg and his circus minions--and unexpected hilarity ensued. But before that, the first sequence of the story starts with Dick as Batman interrogating a suspect by dragging his tied-up body across the highway. Excessive tactic? Commissioner Gordon seems to think so but it successfully goaded some answers from said suspect. Dick then takes care of business and tries to prevent a sickness from spreading in Gotham. I really loved how Gordon obviously disapproved of Dick's interrogation style and asked, "WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?" to which Dick calmly responded. "I'm Batman". That was pretty sweet. I could see that he's finally starting to get comfortable wearing his new identity on his sleeve and not apologize for how he will go about adapting it.
Meanwhile, Damian gets tied up to a chair and subjected to a horrendous yet comedic..er, villain speech? Is that what it was? It was so uncomfortable to read. Halfway through the panels I giggled due to anxiety and bafflement. I have no idea how Damian even managed to keep a straight face while he had to listen to this...strip-tease/guilt admission sequence with the most nonsensical monologue in the history of villain speeches EVER--and it was as hilarious as it was bizarre. I suppose it's because he was preoccupied with untying himself so he can accordingly proceed to GET THE FUCK AWAY from Pyg and not have his innocence further violated. But see for yourself what the hell I'm talking about:
Oh...kay. There are just some moments in comics where I need to wash myself with brain bleach and this might be one of those special exceptions. Hell, I can hardly blame Damian for immediately springing into action as he starts punching and kicking Dollotrons out of his way so he doesn't have to interact with that nasty Professor Pyg anymore. I know I would do the same. This Damian-action sequence of circus horrors happen side-by-side with Dick's own action sequence where he gets sneezed at by stray Dollotrons roaming around Gotham. We then jump back to Damian who could not save a female captive of Pyg's because he wasn't as focused as he believed to be, nor an effective multi-tasker as it turns out. I must say that Pyg man-handling Damian in a page made me cringe and it was a saving grace that Dick arrived in the nick of time to prevent any...rape to occur. Not that I really believe Pyg will sexually assault Damian or anything but the possibility is still there. AND OH MY GOD WHY AM I EVEN ENTERTAINING THAT THOUGHT? WHERE IS THE BRAIN BLEACH, DAMMIT?!
Damian and Dick finally started working well together for the next few pages as they apprehended and beat up Pyg and his Dollotrons. GCPD and Gordon took care of the rest. Meanwhile, Damian still insist to win something out of a childish need to be right and be taken seriously so he asserts that if they are going to be the new dynamic duo, then they should be called Robin and Batman instead. Dick doesn't feel like he needs to argue because, who knows, the new name might catch on. As the issue reaches its conclusion, we get a shocking revelation where the victimized nameless girl that Damian failed to save earlier has now been recruited by no other than Red Hood to fight for his war on crime. The next story arc Revenge of the Red Hood is officially starting and I am at the height of my excitement for the series. Everything looks great. Everything has been action-packed so far, filled with sleek characterizations and interesting conflicts that are on the rise. I NEED TO KEEP READING MORE OF THIS!