Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Art: Patrick Gleason
Publisher: DC Comics
What is it about siblings that makes it hard for them to get along? I grew up with three siblings, so I understand how fights are just a part of life with them; it’s inevitable. However, none of us were trained assassins or vigilantes, so when Tim, Dick, Damien, and even Jason get into a spat, things are bit different. And that’s exactly what happens in Batman and Robin #10. The Robins just aren’t getting along, and Bruce is still trying to find his way as a father who’s more expressive about his care and who wants to be more involved in building an actual family. Now that I think about it, this issue makes a pretty good Father’s Day gift.
Who is the best Robin? Fans have long debated that, but I never really thought about it mattering to the actual characters… until I read this issue. Now that I have, it makes a lot sense for there to be some tension among “the boys.” Of course, leave it to Damien to stir the pot. He surprisingly throws down the gauntlet to prove once and for all who’s the best Robin. The fun of all this is seeing the various personalities mingle and mix. Damien is brash, obnoxious, and even arrogant. Tim is uptight and disapproving. Dick is easy going and mature. Jason, well, I think Jason actually feels a bit left out. And then there’s Bruce; trying to be a real father to Damien to help guide him on a difficult path, trying to build an actually family with the rest of them (except maybe for Jason) and some unity among his boys, and trying to establish a true family legacy outside of the cape and cowl. It’s all compelling stuff and why Batman and Robin is consistently one of the best bat-books around; it focuses on the characters and not on the capes.
As I said, it all rings so true because siblings often have a hard time getting along with each other; that’s even true in the family of God. When one becomes a Christian, they become a part of God’s family (take a look at what Paul says about this in Romans 8 and 9). However, some people don’t like church because they don’t understand why “church people” seem to have a hard time getting along. Well, it’s because they’re siblings, and sometimes, there are sibling rivalries. Now, I’m not saying this is ok, I’m just pointing out that it shouldn’t be surprising, and certainly shouldn’t be a reason to avoid church. That’s like refusing to hang out with someone who doesn’t always in every circumstance and at all times get along with their brothers and sisters. Should Christians in the church do a better job of minimizing sibling rivalry and fights? Absolutely. Like with so many sibling fights, including the one among the Robins, they often erupt over pretty trivial things (like trying to prove who’s the best). Interestingly, it doesn’t disqualify them from being considered God’s children. If anything, instead of avoiding church because of this issue, one should feel right at home. But more than that, I think they’ll find there’s something different about church sibling rivalries as they often help highlight the amazing grace, love, and forgiveness of God. It’s best to get along, but it’s only realistic to expect that won’t always happen, and it’s a blessing to know that because of Jesus those rifts can be dealt with and even healed.
So who is the best Robin? Does it even matter? Damien certainly thinks it does. Is he right? I don’t think this issue is settled, so it’ll be interesting to see where it goes next.
Score: 6 of 7
A BIG thanks to Astro-Zombies for providing the material for this review. Learn more about them at astrozombies.com.