Jul 13, 2016

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 505: Batman and Robin #16, January 2011


Though they all seem to be unflappable homicidal maniacs, the villains in this issue have to take at least a slight pause when faced with two Batmen and a Robin. Even the hardest of villains would have to take just a moment to consider the life choices that led them into the path of two Batmen.

Which is to say, there's two Batmen in this issue. Yes, Bruce has returned, stepping from the shadows of time and the Omega Effect to stand next to Dick and Damian and face the immortal and mad Thomas Wayne/Dr. Hurt one more time. Oh, and The Joker is, sort of, working with them. I think once the smoke has cleared, Dick and Damian have some explaining to do to the elder Bat.

The problem of the two Bats is handled rather nicely by artist Cameron Stewart, whose depiction of Bruce and Dick are different enough, given that they're wearing identical costumes, that one never becomes lost trying to suss out who's fighting who. Aside from more obvious devices like Dick's batons, Stewart gives them different chins and very different builds. It's nice to see this kind of detail paid attention to. One of the mainstays of the secret identity is the idea that it could be anyone under the cowl, but this ignores the obvious fact that everyone has a different body and will wear clothing, form-fitting spandex or not, differently. Dick is a more slight Batman, whereas Bruce is more barrel-chested.

One last little taste of Morrison's Bat-universe tomorrow in The Return, and then I'll have to take a break from the Bat. But it'll only be a short one, and then we'll jump back into the grand experiment that is Batman Incorporated. Onward!

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