Review of Batman and Robin #17


“What are we afraid of?”

***Contains Spoilers***

In the wake of the Death of the Family crossover Peter Tomasi and Pat Gleason grant us a glimpse into the dreams and nightmares of the residents of Wayne Manor. Given the lives they lead it is not surprising that the nightmares outnumber the good dreams, but maybe conquering a nightmare can turn it to a good dream.

If you read the Death of the Family crossover than you know that nightmares are to be expected. Bruce, Damian and Alfred were all captured and mentally tormented my the Joker. The Waynes(when I say Waynes I also mean Alfred, he is as much a Wayne as Bruce and Damian) had plenty of emotional and psychological baggage before being held captive by the Joker. Witnessing your parents being murdered, having your mother try to kill you or really just any of the other day to day operations that go along with fighting crime or assisting in fighting crime is more than sufficient to rattle your brain.

In the dreams we see Damian’s fear of hurting those he has opened his heart to. It has not been an easy road for Damian and he still has difficulty expressing his love that he has for his father and Alfred. I liked the scene of Damian comparing his boot to Bruce’s. Wondering what sort of Batman will he become? We also see Alfred’s nightmare of the Joker killing the Bat-Family. Alfred does not usually directly encounter the villains. He is familiar with them all from helping Bruce over the years, but having a villain invade his home and take him prisoner was a whole new experience. I was glad that after killing the Joker in his dream he smiled as he went back to sleep. Bruce’s dream of literally drowning in a sea of villains had the happy ending of being pulled out by Damian.

In the end Bruce watches his son sleep as Damian dreams of what makes him happiest, protecting Gotham alongside his father. I liked this issue. It deals with the events of Death of the Family and although it begins in darkness it ends on a happy note. Bruce and Damian have never had an easy relationship, but it has grown better and they have grown closer over time. They may lead very unorthodox lives, but in some ways they are no different from most fathers and sons. Bruce wants to give his son the best life he can and teach him and mold him. I feel this especially important for Bruce since he lost his father at a young age. Damian, like most sons, wants to be like his father and make him proud.

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