Batman and Robin has always been a book about the strained-yet-perfect pairing of the most legendary crime fighting duo in the comic world. Batman and Robin Annual #2 captures the essence of the relationship the Dark Knight has with all the partners he's worked with over the years that wore the red, yellow, and green costume. It serves as a tribute to the first man to don the outfit as well as the last, Damian Wayne.
While doing some cleaning, Alfred and Bruce Wayne come across an unopened box left by Damian Wayne. A note is attached to the package stating its contents are payback for having to listen to Dick Grayson's long drawn-out story about his first week as Robin. Bruce asks Dick to come to the Manor so they can open the box together. Upon seeing it, Grayson recalls the story he told Damian and shares it with Bruce.
Batman and Robin Annual #2 takes readers back to the first time Dick Grayson went on patrol with Batman. Peter J. Tomasi penned the heartwarming tale and packed it with enough punch to keep it from getting too sappy. The story moves along at a good pace and keeps the tension between our two super heroes at just the right nervous level to keep you turning the pages.
Doug Mahnke and Pat Gleason handle the penciling duties for Batman and Robin Annual #2. Their illustrations are striking and perfectly enhanced by Tony Avina's colors. I don't know who's to blame (in a good way), but there are certain visual instances that remind me of Jae Lee's exquisite art style. The full page and two-page spreads of Batman and the two Robins are fabulous and would look great hanging on the wall of any fan's office or bedroom.
Rated T for "Teens," Batman and Robin Annual #2 delivers good clean fun. There's the usual action violence you expect in a super hero comic, but nothing more. Parents should be warned that this is not always the case with the monthly title. It gets pretty dark on a regular basis and not suggested for pre-teen readers. If you're looking for family-friendly fun for everyone, look up Batman '66.
Batman and Robin Annual #2 is a great stand-alone tale that reminds readers of the incredible team dynamics the two heroes share between each other. You don't have to be an avid reader of any of the Batman Family titles to enjoy the story within. It might actually convince casual readers to give the world of the Dark Knight a better look.