Skip to main content

Graphic Novel Review: "Robin & Batman" by Jeff Lemire

Natalie is a writer who works at her local library. She enjoys writing reviews, watching anime and TV shows, and playing video games.

"Robin & Batman" official graphic novel hardcover art.

"Robin & Batman" official graphic novel hardcover art.

Quick Info

  • Author: Jeff Lemire
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Published: August 16th, 2022
  • Page count: 144 pages
  • Availability: In print, buy on Amazon or wherever books are sold, buy on Kindle Comixology, streaming on DCUniverseInfinite

Story Summary

Dick Grayson has recently come to live with Bruce Wayne and is training with him. Bruce feels he’s not ready to be out in the field with him fighting crime. The story mainly deals with Dick’s feelings and how he has to adjust to his new life with Bruce.

This Is an Unconventional Version of Robin's Early Career

There are many versions of the story where Dick is living with Bruce Wayne and training to become Robin. This is one of the more unconventional versions of that story. Bruce isn’t as nice to Dick as he has been portrayed in various versions of this story. The animated cartoons and older comics tend to portray Bruce’s early days with Dick in a more positive light, and then there’s All-Star Batman and Robin by Frank Miller and a portrayal so bad it’s a meme. I have seen people compare this version to Frank Miller’s version because Bruce is not as nice to Dick in this version compared to other stories.

I understand why some fans don’t like this version of Bruce Wayne, but I didn’t mind it as much because it’s a different take on a familiar story.

I’ll get into fan complaints later in this review, but I enjoyed the story for a different take on something that’s a very familiar story.

I liked that the story’s villain, Killer Croc had his origin story fleshed out a little. I liked that it’s connected to Dick Grayson’s past before he became Robin since Killer Croc has ties to Haly’s Circus in this story.

It makes Killer Croc being the villain more than him just being the villain for no reason. He has an interesting motivation that has to do with Dick’s life before becoming Robin and I liked that aspect of the story

Dick fights criminals early in his career.

Dick fights criminals early in his career.

The Artwork Is Great!

Dustin Nguyen’s illustrations are nice and have a unique art style that I enjoy looking at. The artwork looks good and I think the art is nice. The art looks excellent and captures the emotions of Dick Grayson very well.

The illustrations look like digital paintings and I love the aesthetic and the atmosphere of the book.

The fights also have nice illustrations. While this book doesn’t necessarily focus on the fights because it’s a character study, they’re still very nice to look at.

Overall, I like the artwork in this comic, it’s nice to look at and I enjoy looking at the illustrations while I read the story.

Bruce Wayne Is Mean and Some Fans Don't Like It

Bruce Wayne’s portrayal in this story is an odd one because he’s meaner and harsher to Dick in this story than most other versions of stories where they first live together in Wayne Manor. It’s a very odd decision because they have a good relationship in the beginning that usually sours later for various reasons.

This portrayal of Bruce Wayne has been compared to the much-maligned All-Star Batman and Robin by Frank Miller for understandable reasons. Bruce seems way out of character, yelling at Dick for not being “perfect” while learning to fight criminals out in the field and being way too nosy in Dick’s personal life, which doesn’t happen in other stories set in this period of Dick’s life.

The fact that Bruce is mean and too harsh makes him unlikeable and people dislike this characterization. While Batman isn’t spouting the crazy nonsense that he was in Frank Miller’s All-Star Batman and Robin, he’s still too harsh on Dick and it makes Bruce very unlikable and less sympathetic. Sure he’s not a perfect father figure, but he’s usually very kind and caring. He isn’t that way in this graphic novel and that’s why fans dislike the way he’s written in this story.

I understand why fans don’t like this portrayal of Bruce Wayne/Batman but it doesn’t bother me as much. I enjoyed the story but some fans of these characters won’t like this portrayal of Bruce Wayne/Batman.

Scroll to Continue
Dick says he doesn't need Bruce's help.

Dick says he doesn't need Bruce's help.

Reader Poll

The Hardcover Is Expensive

The hardcover copy of Robin & Batman is expensive, the full MSRP price of the graphic novel is $24.99 and that’s a lot of money for one hardcover graphic novel. It’s not something you want to buy at full price and I don’t reccommend buying it at full price.

While I enjoy the story and the artwork, I’m not paying this much for a hardcover copy.

I reccommend waiting until this book is sold at a discount because the price is a lot to fork out for a graphic novel that you can read in a matter of hours.

It’s expensive and you can always wait for your local library to buy a copy of the book and then you can borrow it and read it for free without paying anything.

It's Flawed but Still Fun

Robin & Batman is a flawed comic that’s an enjoyable read, however, not everyone will enjoy the characterizations of the characters. Bruce is so different from other characterizations of Bruce Wayne in stories where Dick Grayson comes to live at Wayne Manor.

This portrayal is compared to Frank Miller’s bad writing for Bruce Wayne/Batman in All-Star Batman and Robin and I understand why fans of Bruce Wayne’s character dislike the story. It does feel out of character for him to be so mean.

If you think you’ll dislike this version of the character, you can ignore this graphic novel.

Quick Summary

What Works:What Doesn't Work:

Good story, characters, and world-building

Bruce is mean and feels very out of character

Nice artwrok

The hardcover is too expensive

An interesting take on familiar characters

My Grade: A-

I highly recommend reading Robin & Batman, it’s a very well-done graphic novel that has a fun story and a unique art style that I enjoy. The story isn’t my favorite, but as a fan of Dick Grayson, it’s nice to see him as Robin every once in a while, I’m used to seeing him as Nightwing so seeing him early in his career is always a nice change of pace for me.

I also recommend reading it on DCUniverseInfinite if you’re subscribed to the streaming service. It’s worth a read and the hardcover copy is a little expensive. It’s not available in softcover format yet.

I recommend reading it if you can borrow it from your local library. The high price tag for the hardcover is a little too expensive for me to recommend a blind buy of the graphic novel.

It’s an enjoyable novel, but not everyone will like the characterization of Bruce Wayne so if you end up disliking this characterization you don’t have to read or buy the comic.

I didn’t mind the characterization of Bruce Wayne, but I know that some fans won’t like the characterization.

The comic does give insight into other characters and has a fun plot but it’s not the best Dick Grayson/Robin story you can read, but it’s a lot of fun and I enjoyed the story a lot. It was a good story that gave some insight into Killer Croc and made him more connected to Dick’s past, which was interesting to me. I also liked him as a villain in this story, he was entertaining, and seeing him be important in the story is fun.

Robin & Batman is a fun comic, but it’s not for everyone. I enjoyed reading the graphic novel but I don’t feel I have to buy it. Reading it on DCUniverseInfinite was enough for me.

This graphic novel is worth your time, but not necessarily your money since it’s very expensive at the moment. If your local library has it then you should borrow it and read it before you decide if you want to buy it for your graphic novel collection.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2022 ReViewMeMedia

Related Articles