Batman and Robin Vol. 1: Born to Kill
Collection: Batman and Robin #1-8 © 2011-2012
Publisher: DC Comics © 2012
Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Pencils: Patrick Gleason
Inks: Mick Gray and Guy Major
Colors: John Kalisz
Letters: Patrick Brosseau
Cover: Patrick Gleason, Mick Gray, John Kalisz
The artwork of Batman and Robin Vol. 1: Born to Kill by Patrick Gleason was pretty good. He has grown a lot since his Green Lantern days and it is evident in his work. Gleason’s characters, faces included, are good and solid. Gleason has a knack for doing a lot with very little. Gleason does this by showing the shadow of an object, not the object itself. It’s a great effect. Though there is an abundance of over-shadowed panels where characters are virtually reduced to a silhouette during action sequences.
Gleason’s work on Batman and Robin Vol. 1: Born to Kill is both aided and hindered by inkers Guy Major and Mick Gray. During the heavily-lighted panels the inks were good and a benefit to the art. But in some other places this, over-shadowing, is done to extreme. In a couple panels the character, NoBody, all but disappears in some panels save for his six little red eyes. This shadowing technique isn’t always bad. But I personally did not like this effect when utilized during a fight or other action sequence. I want to see it all. But, that’s just me.
The coloring by John Kalisz was spectacular. Kalisz’ use of lighting and dimensional-coloring through color variations is top shelf work all the way through. Kalisz is a little bit artsy, but not in a bad way at all. He seems to like to sprinkle a little artistic-flare throughout the book to convey emotion. The lettering by Brosseau was good as well. He uses a nice, consistent font of good, easily-readable letters.
The story Batman and Robin Vol. 1: Born to Kill by Peter J. Tomasi is brilliant. I love his study into who Damian Wayne is in the depths of his soul. I’ve never read a more flushed-out version of Damian Wayne. Tomasi really explores what it would be like to both be Damian Wayne and what it is to be his father. I loved Tomasi’s NoBody character. His dynamic with Damian is priceless. Great dialogue, character interactions and pacing – as is to be expected from a writer of Tomasi’s calibre.
Batman and Robin Vol. 1: Born to Kill finds a father and son, partners on the streets, Batman and Robin at odds with one another over Damian’s overly-violent tendencies. This coincides with the arrival of a skilled and lethal man from Bruce’s past. A self-appointed judge and executioner who works in the shadows. The murderous NoBody has come to Gotham to take down Batman. But first, he’s going to convince Damian to give into his dark side and take from Bruce what he cares about most: his son.
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