Going back to the origins of an iconic character is a difficult exercise because you have to know how to innovate without completely deconstructing the hero of the story, and it goes without saying that Jeff Lemire has brilliantly managed to find the perfect balance between the great story of this character and what brings him.
In this unique volume, the screenwriter insists on this mentor/apprentice relationship which hides a strong and touching father/son relationship. The bond that unites them continues to be built in subtext, whether during their patrols or in the private sphere. Jeff Lemire shows a Bruce Wayne sometimes a little dropped with the education of his pupil and this breaks his image of a cold and implacable vigilante. He doubts, he is afraid for the boy he has embarked on his crusade.
Robin’s psychology is also approached with a whole range of nuances, we discover him with a strong desire to prove himself but also to find his place in this super heroic world, we are far from the image of asserting years of his creation.
Jeff Lemire gives as much importance to Dick Grayson as to Robin with his school and private life and by showing in one box the close link between the choice of his alias and his personal history.
Finally, the narration is a pleasure of fluidity, the reader lets himself embark from the first boxes in this well-balanced story with breathtaking action scenes and moments of intimacy such as a discussion between Alfred and the young man who brings a lot of depth to the narrative.
The drawing :
No need to procrastinate for a long time, the drawing of this volume is a total success thanks to an absolutely remarkable direct color setting. The latter gives a unique dimension to the album while sublimating the strong boxes of the volume. This watercolor aspect brings a kind of poetry to the boxes while not distorting the fights or the dark atmosphere of Gotham. This technique sublimates Batman, giving him an almost supernatural aura with his cape that mixes with the mist, giving absolutely iconic boxes. The designer also uses color to make his reader breathe with more vivid colors during quiet moments. No color is used at random, especially the red of his costume which almost fascinates when discovered.
The fights, which are particularly well cut out with large squares, accurately show the impact of the blows and their consequences, thus allowing the reader to experience them intensely.
This album is full of striking boxes, and this is where Dustin Nguyen hits hard, there is no false note and the reader begins to read and reread the volume to discover the details and the beauty of his line cut for this kind of story.
Robin and Batman is a staple of the mythology of the two characters and an excellent gateway to discovering the first Robin. Its scenario faithful to the universe with points of emotion makes it particularly striking because it is rare that we feel under the masks of our heroes so much intensity.