Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Interlude: All Star Batman & Robin The Boy Wonder Volume 1

The friend who lent me both Volume 3 and 5 of Star Wars Tales also lent me All Star Batman & Robin the Boy Wonder Volume 1. He told me it was a really good story. And it totally was. All Star Batman & Robin is a reimagining of the origins of Robin. This volume starts with Dick Grayson's parents getting killed in front of him at the circus. The cops of Gotham are still crooked, and they take the boy. Batman follows them and saves him (while looking like he kidnapped Dick), having decided to recruit him as his protege. He sets about training Dick in much the same manner as he trained himself. Or at least he tries to - Alfred won't have much of that and takes it upon himself to feed Dick hamburgers and help him where he can.

This takes place at a time where Batman isn't established yet, and neither is the Justice League. The Justice League consists of four people: Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and Plastic Man. And they aren't happy with the Batman's actions, especially now that he's kidnapped a kid. Wonder Woman wants to go hunt Batman, but the rest of the League insist on talking with him first. So they send Green Lantern.

This led to a hilarious encounter between Batman and Green Lantern. I didn't know this, but apparently the colour yellow is Green Lantern's weakness. So Batman and his new sidekick Robin (named after Robin Hood - Dick Grayson styled his costume after the hero, wanting to be called "Hood." Batman removed the costume's hood and called him "Robin" instead) paint themselves and the meeting place completely yellow. Green Lantern is unable to use his powers against them. Robin also manages to steal the Green Lantern's ring, leading to a fight between the two where things almost turn tragic for Green Lantern when Robin hits his windpipe. Batman has to perform a tracheostomy to save him.

In the aftermath, Batman realizes that he has failed in his teachings. And more importantly, he hasn't given Dick the time he needs to grieve for his parents. So they stop in the cemetary to grieve together.

All Star Batman & Robin was a lot darker than I was expecting. But it was a really good story all the same, giving origins for several super heroes (like Black Canary). I'm really glad my friend lent it to me!

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