All-Star Batman & Robin, The Boy Wonder (2005-) #2
Dear DC Comics, Longtime fans, and those looking into this series,
Look, I know this is Frank Miller and he’s written some of the best comics out there, but I’m begging you: PLEASE stop reprinting this with the idea that it’s some forgotten classic.
And I get it. This series has a lot of potential, and an intriguing premise, of “why does Batman need a robin?” It’s the same think A Lonely Place of Dying asked, to much success.
But the thing was about A Lonely Place was, we get to see after Jason’s death just how much Bruce needed him, we get to see his progression.
With this series, we get no buildup, just a Batman trying too hard to be an edgelord.
And while that could be used well, like in A Christmas Carol, where we see over time Scrooge’s life, this series pushes Bruce’s edginess to the point of no return without compensation.
The sad thing is, with this issue we can actually see what Miller was trying to do.
With bits of Bruce’s narration saying he’s trying to scare Dick Grayson(Age 12) to not let him grieve, we see how much Bruce’s “mission” gas affected his outlook on life.
But the problem is with this series, it goes too far into Miller’s tropes, without the restraint that made his previous takes on Bruce Wayne and Matt Murdock so three dimensional.
In Born Again, we get to see Matt’s progression to obsession and how it tears down his life, and in The Dark Knight Returns, we see a world that actually requires tough love to snap it out of it’s darkness, whether it be right or wrong.
But in this, there is no double edged sword to Bruce’s actions, just a sad attempt to use extreme violence and language for shock value, that never pays off.
So TL;DR, this series is only worth your time as a guide of what NOT to do, akin to Tommy Wiseau’s The Room.
But in a strange sense, I recommend it, if only for Jim Lee’s godly artwork and the hints of what could have been greatness, but ended up an unfinished mess.
With great respect,
Page 10, Panel 1