CONVERGENCE - BATMAN & ROBIN #1

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[ DON'T BE CHEEP. SAVE ME.
Good old Uncle DC is moving out this April, 2015, and has allowed his nieces and nephews to pick up any of the toys from his trunk, and play with them accordingly. So being the smart lads that they truly are, Ron Marz, Denys Cowan, and Klaus Janson, immediately picked up every Batman toy they could find. After all, there’s nothing more fun than kicking bad guys’ asses while dressed like a bat.

To QUOTE Marc Warren: “I don't regret things, because I learn from mistakes. If needs be, I always make amends”. 

THE STORY:
Gotham City has been captured and taken hostage by some god who doesn't need a shave! But don't fret. Batman and Robin are at hand to maintain some modicum of peace, despite Red Hood and Scarlet jumping about like a couple of clowns! Well, that is until, surprise-surprise, The Extremists go on the attack.

To be continued. Yet only if Jason and Damian don't end up killing each other first.

THE GOOD:
As is normally the case with any story involving Jason Todd, the best part of it is always the interaction between him and the other characters involved. Bruce struggling to be a good father for Damian, Jason looking to make amends for his previous actions, and Damian's knee-jerk reaction at the return of the prodigal son, all of which; really drives home how different the characters were in the old DCU compared with their New 52 counterparts.

Except for Jason, strangely, who is written very similar to how he is on the N52.

Ironically, this makes him the most interesting character in the story. In the pre Flashpoint universe, Jason was a very one dimensional and shallow character. His actions were erratic and the wish of vengeance against Batman, his only real motivation. Yet by making him more in line with his N52 version, Jason becomes a more nuanced character and is much more relatable and appealing to the audience.

Another huge boon for the issue is Denys Cowan’s pencils; so great that you can get this issue for the art alone.

THE BAD:
Overall I felt that the pacing to this story was very-very odd. The first half, which introduces the setting, is just great. But once it actually gets involved with the Convergence plot, it loses all its momentum from then on in. Although, to be fair, this is a common issue with every Convergence tie-in, so its more a problem with the format of the event.

Another point I found distracting was Jason’s characterization. I know it’s contradictory to my earlier praising, but it simply can’t be ignored. While it is fantastic that he resembles his N52 version, it doesn’t mesh too well with the background he has on the pre Flashpoint universe. He did too much questionable stuff for Bruce to simply accept him back without reservations.

However, the biggest problem is that the story is entirely unremarkable. Marz’s writing, despite being pleasant, is pretty formulaic and never explores in depth the potential of the setting. We only get some glimpses of it before the story-line then becomes railroaded into the event.

THE MUSIC:
I'd say 'Parenthood' was the central theme running throughout this particular story-line; mostly because Bruce was trying his best to understand his two sons, while Jason is trying to make amends for his past actions. So with this in mind, 'The Living Years' by Mike & the Mechanics is the perfect song to accompany this issue.




THE COMPARISON:
Essentially, Jason is doing his best in this book to earn Bruce’s trust by not hurting the annoying little kid that is trying to kill him, intentionally restraining himself for the greater good. So, I couldn’t help but think that Jason is trying to build a Bridge with his foster family, and put their past to rest.

THE CONCLUSION:
This was an entertaining issue that despite its small flaws, is still pretty enjoyable. Whether you’re fan of the characters or just want to read more of the old DC universe, you will find something interesting within these pages.

*** This review was brought to you by Adan, Comic Lad Extraordinaire.