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There once was a brat called Damian. Who had a ‘thing’ for all things Arabian. But his Dad knew better, when he gave him a sweater, plus a dog which is known as a Pomeranian.  What to know what else Damian’s Dad can do? Then check out this book Written by Peter Tomasi; Drawn by Patrick Gleeson; and Published by DC Comics in January 2012.

So what’s the story morning glory?
This issue of Batman and Robin – entitled ‘Matter of Trust’ – is blatantly a tale of two half’s, with an additional dilemma pitched in at the end for the sake of titivation.

Part One – The Problem – Batman and Robin are both held hostage by ‘Nobody’, whom taunts ‘Bruce’ with a series of questions and replies. In turn, Batman basically tells him to ‘f*ck off’ (in a manner of speaking), before signalling Alfred to aide them in their plight via remote control.

Thankfully, this partly works, because Batman and Robin are able to escape, even though ‘Nobody’ manages to get away as well.
Part Two – The Argument – Once back in the Bat-Cave, Bruce and Damian have ‘a barney’ about work ethics and trust, which then leads Bruce to reluctantly tell him about ‘Nobodies’ origins – he’s Henri DuCards son, and a ‘chip off the old block’ too.

After that, Damian decides to take his dog ‘Titus’ for a walk in the safety of Wayne Manor – bless the little brat.

The Dilemma – Once out in the grounds of Wayne Manor, ‘Nobody’ appears and queries Damian’s future by posing to him a simple question – you are more like me than your father, aren’t you?

What is the most memorable sentence spoken in this issue?
Primarily, I did enjoy hearing most of Bruce’s argument with Damian in the Bat-Cave – well, we have all been there, correct? But when Bruce said ‘You’re damn right you need my permission’, I have to say that, that phase just sealed it for me – very close to home.

Was the story any good?
Yes – I really did like reading this issue – because it felt very natural in a strange sort of a way. The questions posed were all very personable, and the answers just as revealing also. Plus, for a change, I did enjoy how this story was clearly split in two half’s – as if the battle changed from hero verses villain to father verses son.

Class tale, and well worth the read as a self-contained story.

Was the art any good?
OK, I hold my hands up, I am not that big a fan of Patrick Gleason’s art. On the negative side, his pencils do come across as murky and contrasting in nature. Whilst on a more positive note, his layouts and pacing is very clear in the execution, and does make certain scenes seems very cinematic.

I’m sitting on the fence with this one – I like it – I’m not sure – Its OK – and it does the job in a different style compared to the other Bat-titles.

What is the best thing about this issue?
I liked watching someone else arguing with his or her parents for a change. Granted, this may seem like a right plum thing for me to say, but the fact remains that Bruce talking down Damian is both very funny and relatable thing for me to read.

Good on you Tomasi – I may need therapy because of you, you git, ha!

Moreover, I did like that Alfred ‘saves the day’, plus the reveal that ‘Nobody’ is DuCards son – that was a surprise – lets hope we see more of him in the future.

What is the worst thing about this issue?
I found that when Alfred stepped in to save Batman and Robin, that the splash pages used pushed the momentum out of sink just a touch. OK, I know that this is only a minor gripe – but one worth mentioning I think.

Boy, aren't I a sticker for a story, huh?

If you could sum up this issue in a phrase or saying, what would that phrase or saying be?
Due to the brat-ish and confrontational nature of this story, what about Garry Colemans catch phrase from the sitcom ‘Different Strokes’, huh? 

‘What are you talkin bout Willis’ – bless you Gary, you’re a star.

If this issue were a movie, an object, or a piece of music, what would that be and why? 
Conceptually ‘Alfred saves the day’, right? And in addition to this, this story is bold and vivid, plus entails a ‘flying rat’. So what about the theme tune to Mighty Mouse to illustrate this issue – perfect.

What do you think would have made this issue better than it was?
I would have liked to have seen the mother, Talia, show up, and start arguing with Bruce about how he is bringing up ‘her child’.

I think this may happen in the future though, right?

Final thoughts...
I found this issue a marked improvement on the previous issue. Also, Tomasi has proven me wrong with his new ways of making this Father and Son Dynamic-Duo work as a concept.

However, as Damian has already ‘seriously injured’ someone in this series, isn’t that a ‘death knell’ to this concept?

Just food for though.                                             

Marks out of 10? 8.5

BATMAN AND ROBIN #4 BATMAN AND ROBIN #4 Reviewed by David Andrews on December 29, 2011 Rating: 5
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