‘Batman & Robin: Batman & Robin Must Die!’ Graphic Novel Review

“Batman & Robin: Batman & Robin Must Die!” Deluxe Edition
On Sale May 11, 2011
DC Comics; 168pg.; Color; Hardcover; $24.99 US

DC Comics will be rolling out the deluxe hardcover edition of “Batman & Robin: Batman & Robin Must Die!” on May 11. This collection will include “Batman and Robin” Issues #13 – #16 and “Batman: The Return #1.”This is a collection that fans of The Dark Knight and his extended family will not want to miss picking up.

“Batman & Robin: Batman & Robin Must Die!” shows us what happens “on the eve of Bruce Wayne’s return to Gotham City, (when) the new Batman and Robin team that battled crime during his absence must deal with the deadly return of The Joker. Then, Batman and Robin gear up for the climactic showdown between Batman and The Black Glove. Finally, learn what happens to Dick Grayson after the ‘real’ Batman returns.”

Grant Morrison pulls out all the stops in this wrap-up of the Professor Pyg/The Black Glove/Doctor Hurt storyline. The pacing of “Batman & Robin: Batman & Robin Must Die!” is great and the dialogue is as witty and smart as it always is. Morrison again takes us far into the dark places of the human psyche. He also does a great job of catching the emotions between Batman/Bruce Wayne and his son Damian/Robin.

Artists Cameron Stewart, Frazer Irving, Chris Burnham, and David Finch all lend their talents to “Batman & Robin: Batman & Robin Must Die!” They each have very different styles and are easily separated within the pages. Irving does most of the drawing on the “Batman and Robin’ issues and then David Finch jumps in for “Batman: The Return #1.” My personal favorite is the art for “The Return.” Irving definitely stands out from the crowd but just doesn’t quite do it for me. The cover art by Frank Quitely is absolutely beautiful. It will really grab your attention. The coloring is done quite well in this collection by Alex Sinclair and Peter Steigerwald.

There are some great special features in “Batman & Robin: Batman & Robin Must Die!” as well. We get 19 pages of sketch-to-cover processes, villain profiles, and a breakdown of the Batman outfit from “The Return #1.” There are also notes about some of the artwork and what they are patterned after.

“Batman & Robin: Batman & Robin Must Die!” is a must-have for all Batman completists. It should be considered required reading for all fans of the Caped Crusader or the new Dynamic Duo. If you missed the individual issues of this collection, do yourself a favor and catch up with this book.

You can order “Batman & Robin: Batman & Robin Must Die!” right here.