Warning: Spoilers for Batman and Robin #10.
Batman and Robin #10 brings together four Robins to begin a three-part arc. Peter Tomasi continues writing duties and Patrick Gleason continues penciller duties. The issue opens with the reader being introduced to the villain known as Terminus. The reader is also introduced to some other subpar villains who don’t seem very threatening. The reader is shown snippets of actions throughout the issue that Terminus is taking to defeat Batman.
The main focus of the issue are Batman and the interaction between the Robins. It is first worth noting that Stephanie Brown doesn’t show up in this issue or look to be showing up in this arc at all. This seems to imply that either DC has bigger plans for her and or that her time as Robin has been reconned in the New 52. This would not come as a surprise since they had already brought her back from the dead after killing her off in the War Games storyline. Her time as Batgirl was fantastic though and hopefully she will be returning soon.
The reader is introduced to the Bat family in this issue as Bruce, Damian, Tim Drake, Dick Grayson, and Alfred attempt to have a family painting done together in Wayne Manor. Tomasi shows in this scene that he has a firm understanding of not only Bruce but also the three Robins. Tim and Damian going back and forth was entertaining. However, the best part was Bruce insisting to Alfred to not try and back out of the portrait since it is a family portrait.
Damian later on calls a meeting between the other former Robins (including Jason Todd) to tell them that he’s going to fight them all at some point in the future. The scene does a good job of establishing that Damian still feels he needs to prove himself. Tomasi also does a good job of using humor in the scene with the inclusion of an assassin attempting to attack Damian along with the dialogue between Jason and Dick.
Tomasi has shown throughout his run that he does a fantastic job writing scenes with Bruce and Alfred talking. This issue is certainly no different. The reader gets to see the changes in the father and son relationship from Bruce’s perspective. It is interesting to see how Bruce has changed as a father towards Damian since issue #1.
The buildup of all the arguing between Tim and Damian in this issue results in a small fight between the two in the Batcave. Damian uses some footage from action in Teen Titans Annual #1 to try and prove his point that Drake is not better than him. The issue ends with Terminus ready to put his plan to kill Batman into action.
Overall, the issue was very strong. Tomasi did a fantastic job throughout the issue and used humor at the appropriate times. Gleason’s art was great as usual and the panel that first shows Red Hood in particular deserves praise. The only negative thing about the issue was actually the inclusion of the villain Terminus. The pages he were on felt wasted and could have been better used to focus fully on the Bat family.
The thing that seperates Tomasi’s Batman and Robin from the other Bat books is that it’s ultimately a book about family. The main focus throughout the first ten issues has been the development of the father and son relationship between Bruce and Damian. The villains are really only there to stimulate action and change within our heroes. This three issue arc could just be a focus on Damian attempting to prove to both Bruce and himself that he deserves to be a Robin and a Wayne. Batman and Robin #10 is a wonderful jumping on point for those who have been interested in picking up this series.