Who's tougher: The Boy Wonder, or the Harlequin of Hate? I'm sure that this matter will never abate. Unless Batman steps in. And gives them both a bottle of gin. Instructing them to drink until late. Oh! Wait a minute! I wonder if the creative team of Writer: Peter J. Tomasi; and Artist: Patrick Gleason; would like a tipple? Especially with Publisher: DC Comics in January 2013.

So what’s the STORY morning glory?
Now can you guess who Robin bumps into whilst searching for Alfred Pennyworth in this adventure entitled, 'Little Big Man'?

  • No. It's not a psychotherapist. Mores the pity.
  • It's that crazy chap who wears his frown upside-down -- the Joker -- who gives him a slap, ties him up, before giving this little sod a good talking to.
  • Still, it could be worse I suppose. The Joker could feed Robin some bugs, and force him to fight a very smiley caped crusader.

Ops! To be continued.

What is the most memorable SENTENCE OR CONVERSATION spoken in this issue?
By in large the majority of the conversation between the Joker and Robin was a blast to read. But the stand out for me has to be...

ROBIN: If your idea of good times is paralysing an innocent girl...
JOKER: Why do you keep on insisting on being so negative when I am a half-glass-full kind of guy!

[Robin head butts the Joker in the face, prompting him to fall onto the floor]

ROBIN: ... and I'm in a glass-smashed-in-your-disgusting-face state of mind.
JOKER: You're a warped little bird -- so different from the others -- I like that. But I want you to think of me as more of a beacon -- a lighthouse helping you through the storm of souls.
Ha! Wasn't that great? I liked to for three reasons. Firstly, it was kind of amusing to see Robin give the Joker a slap. Secondly, the way both characters kept on interrupting each other made the scene very naturalistic in tone. And thirdly, I like the fact that Robin was the surely one, whereas the Joker was the happy one.

What was the BEST thing about this issue?
Because I'm a lover of a good detective story, one of the things that I really did like about this tale, was how Robin kicked it off by doing one of the only logical things -- look for Alfred.

It is the right thing to do, huh? And was defiantly 'in character' for this wayward Bat-son.

What was the WORST thing about this issue?
As much as I did get a kick out of the interaction between Robin and the Joker in this issue, as soon as funny-face caught the brat-wonder -- well -- it was game over for me.

Not that I didn't like what on show thereafter. No. Not that at all. It was how the investigation suddenly stopped, and something else suddenly started.

What was the most INNOVATIVE thing about this issue?
There were two things Patrick Gleason drew in this issue that I really did like. For a start, I enjoyed the silent scene where Robin began his investigation and fought the dogs -- I've not scene a scene done like that for ages. Plus I also liked how he drew the Joker wearing his face upside-down -- it was gross, but nice at the same time.

If you had to CAST TWO CHARACTERS in this comic book, who would they be and why?
ROBIN: Because we're still in plant-themed casting-call month, dear reader, why not cast this little sod as a 'Phormium'. Spiky to the touch, and rather strange to look at.

TITUS: Did you know that the 'Turricula' is also known as a 'Poodle-dog bush'?  Yeah. I'm not messing about. And neither is everyone favorite Bat-dog either. Woof! Woof!

What QUOTE could you use to sum-up this story?
The Rolling Stones said it best -- 'You Can't Always Get What You Want'.

If this issue were a MOVIE, an OBJECT, or a piece of MUSIC, what would that be and why? 
Largely due to the penultimate scene -- where The Joker dips Robin in a vat of bugs -- I feel that the following video clip from the reality show 'I'm A Celebrity Get Me Outta Here', would be a fairly good match.

Offf! I need a shower!!!

FINAL thoughts...
Now a strange notion popped into my mind whilst reading this particular instalment of 'Batman and Robin'. No. Not what bugs taste like when they're covered in chilli (although I am feeling rather peckish at the moment). But why oh why oh why do I prefer reading this comic book, when Batman isn't in it?

I like Batman. I always have. But when he's not in this book, leaving Robin on his Jack-Jones, somehow the overall story feels that much more relevant.

Maybe this has something to do with how their dynamics are played out in this series? By transposing the father and son relationship onto our current 'dynamic duo' team. Then again, maybe it's got something to do with Damien needing more 'me time', huh? Just so us reader can get to know him on a more personal level.

I'm sure you will agree with me that this is food for thought, dear reader. Which reminds me -- I need a snack.

MARKS out of 10? 9