Sunday, April 3, 2016

Robin: Son of Batman by Patrick Gleason issue #5

My last review of this enthralling series penned and drawn by former New 52 Batman and Robin artist Patrick Gleason was way back in September 2015--and since then, there have been ten issues so far for this title, and I can't wait to start discussing and fangirling about them again! Gleason has come a long way since his B&R days and his ongoing character-driven arc entitled Year of Blood is a spectacle featuring a dynamic variety of action sequences, thrilling exploits and insightful examinations concerning Damian Wayne, Batman's heir and the current Robin, as he goes on a journey of tribulation and atonement. 

He made his way through South America, Alexandria, Egypt and more to put back the stolen items he has put away in his old family's vault, hoping he will restore some semblance of peace and receive forgiveness and absolution from those he had hurt. Accompanying him in this journey were his loyal pet, the sorta Man-Bat, Goliath, and the late Nobody's daughter Maya Ducard whom Damian at first was forced into an alliance with until genuine camaraderie began to blossom between them. 

Amidst this riveting yet often wacky adventure among these three unlikely friends, is the return of the resurrected Talia Al Ghul, mother of Damian, who had selective amnesia at the beginning of the story but has now regained back her memories and identity. In doing so, she began to flee away from an unnamed and sought for her only son.

Damian and Talia have a really complicated relationship. And by 'complicated', I mean she had him in secret and then raised him as a killer without telling the father Bruce Wayne about it, and proceeded to torment the father and son once they had reconciled. Oh, and did I mention she had her own son killed by his failed-experiment of a clone back in Grant Morrison's run of Batman Incorporated? So yeah. Talia is no exactly winning any parenting rewards soon. And Damian agrees. 

The very first moment he met her again after they were both resurrected from the dead, he did not even hesitate to put mommy dearest back into the grave where she belonged. Because fuck that; he's not looking forward for any heartfelt reunion from the woman who put him under in the first place. Talia found this justifiable but she was also annoyed of her son's badly timed hissy fit because there are more important evils to battle, namely the new type of shit that her own son has unwittingly unleashed by trying to eradicate his Year of Blood crimes. They had a short-lived duel in which Talia tries to enlighten him with this clusterfuck:

And hell was unleashed a few seconds after that debriefing. Meanwhile--earlier this issue--Damian introduced Maya to his brothers--the genetic clones whom he had freed and gave a home to in a remote island. It was such a touching moment. I was glad Gleason brought these cutie pies back. I mean just look at this sweet and poignant exchange between the Damians:


The Damians came to the rescue, decorating themselves in Robin's symbol at that and sacrificed themselves in order to save him. IT WAS JUST UTTERLY HEARTBREAKING. I mean, who are you all of a sudden, Patrick Gleason? The next Joss Whedon? Did you take fucking lessons with Fabian Nicieza back when he also royally fucked Xavier and Magneto during his post-Claremont nineties run? Am I being punished because of the hiatus I took from reading Batman comics? This level of betrayal is comparable to that scene in the Guardians of the Galaxy film where Groot sacrificed himself by wrapping his entire body around his brethren to soften their landing as they all crashed. They even have the same kind of tear-jerking scene where innocent Damian-clone says this:

WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU, GLEASON! It's too early in the game for me to get this shattered over my babies! How could you cheapen the return of the Damian clones just so you can kill them off! Just cosmically unfair, Gleason! YOU MURDERERRRRR!!

This would have a solid 8 rating but because that fucking ending sucks balls for me, it's getting a 7 instead.


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