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Precinct1313 Recommends: Super Sons #1

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They may both be Superheroes, founding members of the Justice League and all round crime-fighting bad-arses, but Batman and Superman aren’t always the best of buddies, and, unsurprisingly, neither are their progeny.

The last time Precinct1313 caught up with Damian Wayne’s rambunctious Robin, and Jon Kent’s Kid of Steel, they were involved in a bout of fisticuffs worthy of their powerful patriarch’s many clashes throughout the decades… like father, like son seems apt. However, again like their respective parents, these two wannabe Superheroes were always destined to fight crime together, and it’s their irrevocably conflicting personalities that makes Super Sons #1 such a joy to behold.

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Written by Peter Tomasi, with art duties falling to the fantastic Jorge Jiminez, Super Sons #1 focuses primarily on this direct clash of disposition between the “lil” costume crime-fighting sidekicks, and it’s glorious. Damian Wayne may be the son of the Batman and League of Assassins’ Talia Al Ghul, a highly trained martial artist and nifty ninja of notable nature, but he’s also a narcissist with severe delusions of grandeur who likes nothing more than to mess with Jon Kent’s mind. Whether it’s secreting himself in Jon’s bedroom, before confronting him after he’s just about to fall asleep, or impersonating Jon’s school bus driver, Damian really does revel in freaking out his prospective ally, much to Jon’s annoyance.

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Oooooh, He’s A Rascally Robin!

Jonathan Kent is Damian’s polar opposite (well of course, he was raised by none other than that big blue boy-scout Superman) a kind and considerate son, who genuinely wants to help his fellow humans, a responsible, straight laced kid with caring and sensitive parents in Clark Kent and Lois Lane, who have endeavoured to instil into Jon a sympathetic understanding of the world around him… which is in stark contrast to Damian’s own upbringing, I mean, he is the son of the goddamn Batman after all!

Damian’s childhood was vastly different to Jon’s, an isolated upbringing with nary a kind word from his father. Bruce Wayne is a distant and austere patriarch, a solemn guardian of the night, whose only true mission in his life is to fight crime in a desperate attempt to avenge his parent’s death and appease his guilty conscience. Which makes it no surprise that Damian should ultimately reach out to Jon for companionship, even though the only way he knows how to do this is by being an annoying arse!

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Super Sons is a fantastic first issue, an exceptionally fun and zany comic that combines perfectly the burgeoning friendship between the two antithetical heroes, and their relevant parental nurturing’s (or lack thereof) ultimate effect on their prospective psyche. A must buy.

Robin v Superboy: Dawn Of Temper Tantrums…

Well if it’s good enough for their mentors…  After Batman v Superman’s bodacious brawl this summer at the box office, their scrappy sidekicks decide to get in on the action, and recreate the feud on a much smaller scale.

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Boys Will Be Boys… Even Super Powered Ones Apparently!

Batman and Superman couldn’t be more different if you paid them, chalk and cheese, night and day… they are literal polar opposites in the realm of the Superhero. So it would be pretty damn obvious that their offspring would be also, and guess what, they really are.

Damian Wayne is the biological son of one, Bruce Wayne, otherwise known as The Batman, Damian is a mischievous malcontent of the highest order, he’s also been trained by the world’s foremost martial expert… his father, but for all of this he may have just met his match against the son of Clark Kent.

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Jon Kent is the son of Clark Kent and Lois Lane, and is a chip off the old block in every way, including the fact that he also has super powers, just like his father. Jon’s powers though do differ to the Man of Steel’s, Jon is a powerful telekinetic, which helps him mimic feats such as flight, super strength and superhuman speed. 

After a disagreement between Bats and Supes (this really does happen on a regular basis guys, perhaps you just aren’t cut out to be Super-Buddies after all!) is resolved without fisticuffs (for a change) Alfred offers to introduce Superboy to Damian’s pets, but of course, Damian dependably ruins the enforced ambience by insulting Superboy, who reacts with… 

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That’s Gonna Sting In The Morning!

Damian though isn’t the type to take that lying down, and neither are his loyal pets, if you take on one member of the Bat Family, you take on them all…

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Bat-Cat, Bat-Dog And Bat-Cow(!?) To The Rescue!

Of Course, this frenetic fracas does not go over well with their respective patriarchs, and let’s be honest the last person you would want to upset would be The Batman, I’m sure Damian’s punishment will reflect his Father’s rather unforgiving nature…

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Uh-Oh Is Right Guys… You’re In Deep Doo Doo!

Superman #10 is a fantastic and fun read, it’s always great to see the big two together especially when they’re at odds, and having their sidekick sons enact their on/off animosity makes for a quirky and amusing ride. Highly recommended.

Robin The Boy Wonder: A Celebration Of 75 Years

(DC Comics, 2015)

(DC Comics, 2015)

The myth of Batman being a lone crusader against crime and injustice, popularised in more recent cinematic excursions, is far from the reality of everyone’s favourite cowled crime-fighter, Batman has always had a cadre of partners and fellow costumed combatants to rely upon.

In fact, Gotham City is almost overrun with willing aides and allies in his ongoing mission, Batgirl, Batwoman, Huntress, and Ragman, are just a few of the other heroes working alongside the Dark Knight to keep the city safe from the assorted maniacs and criminal organisations who plot the city’s downfall on a daily basis. Of course the most famous and loyal of the Caped Crusader’s partners against crime has always been a young plucky teenager, dressed in a red and green outfit, and named after a small passerine bird that originates from Europe.

Robin 75 2Robin was created by Bob Kane, Bill Finger and Jerry Robinson in 1940, making his first appearance in Detective Comics #38. Though various characters have donned the mantle of Robin over the years, the original, longest running (and still most popular) of these is Dick Grayson. Grayson was originally a member of The Flying Graysons, a family of famous circus acrobats. His life as a crime-fighter begins on the night of his parents’ death, after a young Dick Grayson overhears two criminals attempting to extort money from the circus owner, the owner refuses, and in retaliation the criminals sabotage the trapeze wires resulting in his parents plummeting to their deaths, in front of Dick’s eyes (a close parallel to Batman’s own tragic origin)

Former Robin, Dick Grayson as Nightwing

Former Robin, Dick Grayson as Nightwing

In 1984 Dick left the role of Robin, all grown up he decided to go his own way and took on the secret identity of Nightwing, naming himself after the famous hero of Krypton’s Kandor city. Taking over the role of Batman’s sidekick was Jason Todd, a wayward youth who Batman takes under his wing to help stop the vicious cycle of crime that he feels Jason is heading for, if left alone to fend for himself.

Jason made his first appearance in Batman lore in Batman #357 in March 1983. Initially not well received by the fans (though he has always been a personal favourite of mine), he was a very different character to the well loved Dick Grayson. Moody, angst ridden Jason was ultimately murdered by the Joker in 1988’s Death In The Family storyline, after DC Comics opened up phone lines for a fan vote on whether the character should live or die. The result was close, but the votes for his death won by a very slim margin.

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A distraught Batman cradling the dead body of Robin, Jason Todd

15 years later Jason was resurrected through R’as Al Ghul’s Lazarus pit, angered by his death at the hands of the Joker and that Batman (in Jason’s opinion) had failed to avenge him, he came back to Gotham as the violent and deadly vigilante Red Hood. Clashing with not just the criminals of Gotham but also Batman himself on several occasions, Jason continues to bring his own form of brutal punishment to the Supervillains of DC’s universe, and is now an extremely popular character amongst bat-fans.

Jason Todd, Robin #2 became the Red Hood

Jason Todd, Robin #2 became the Red Hood

Robin #3 is Tim Drake, who took over the role in Batman #436, published in August 1989. Tim was a child prodigy, a highly intelligent young man, who by the age of just 9, had managed to deduce the secret identities of both Batman and Robin. He petitioned both Nightwing and Batman to give him a chance to fill the role of Robin after the death of Jason Todd. In the beginning Batman is wary about taking on another partner after the death of his former ward, but eventually accepts him into the role. After Batman’s apparent death at the hands of Darkseid, Tim takes on a new identity as Red Robin, and not believing that his mentor has died, heads off in search of evidence to support his theory.

Tim Drake, Robin #3 as Red Robin

Tim Drake, Robin #3 as Red Robin

The current holder of the title Robin, is Batman’s biological son Damian, mothered by Talia al Ghul (daughter of foe R’as al Ghul). Damian’s first ever appearance was as a baby in the 1987 story, Son Of The Demon. He didn’t appear again until 2006 in Batman #655, introduced as Batman’s son Damian Wayne, it wasn’t until 2009 that he fully took up the role as Robin.

Robin, Damian Wayne

Robin, Damian Wayne

Other characters have also occasionally taken on the role of Batman’s iconic partner, though usually only temporarily or in non-canon stories, Carrie Kelly from Frank Miller’s fantastic 80’s Dark Knight Returns mini-series is probably the most fondly remembered of the part-time Robins (and it is rumoured she may play a part in next years Batman v Superman film, portrayed by actress Jena Malone).

To celebrate 75 years of the world’s most famous sidekick, DC Comics are releasing a hardcover anthology that collects some his greatest ever stories, which also includes his adventures as leader of Super-team, The Teen Titans. This tremendous tome is brought to you by some of the greatest artists and writers in comic-book history including the likes of, Bob Kane, Jerry Robinson, Dick Sprang, Chuck Dixon and Bill Finger amongst many, many more. 

Robin The Boy Wonder: A Celebration Of Seventy Five Years, will be available to purchase from the 13th of May, weighing in at a respectable 400 pages.

New Comics Spotlight: Batman and Robin #37

Batman & Robin #37

Well this is the big one, a knock down, drag out fight between the Batman and DC’s premier Supervillain the immortal Godlike being Darkseid. This issue brings us the penultimate chapter of the Robin Rises storyline that has been running in Batman & Robin for the past five issues. Batman has been fighting to bring back from the dead his son and former Robin Damian Wayne, and his journey reaches its conclusion on Apokolips with a life or death struggle with it’s ruler Darkseid.

Bats vs Darkseid

This isn’t the first time these two titans of comic book lore have fought, though the last time they did Batman found himself on the wrong end of Darkseid’s Omega beams and got vapourised! (eventually coming back from the dead, as all good heroes do), but with the possible resurrection of his son riding on this fight, Batman is more than prepared to make sure that this time he comes out on top.

The Robin Rises story has kept me wanting more every issue so far, I am a big fan of the Damian Wayne Robin and have lamented his untimely death since he was killed by the Heretic (actually an adult clone of Damian) in Batman Inc in 2013. The story comes highly recommended and this issue in particular is a highlight of the series so far.

Batman and Robin #37 is available at your local comic book emporium right now, with the cover and interior art by Mick Gray and Patrick Gleason, written by Peter J. Tomasi with an alternative cover also available drawn by Darwyn Cooke.

Batman villain resurrected on Arrow.

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That’s right friends, Bat-villain..R’as al Ghul is coming to the wildly successful Arrow tv series. It was announced at the San Diego comic-con that one of Batman’s biggest and most dangerous foes will be joining the show in season 3, though no actor has been announced at this time. R’as al Ghul, whose name translates as ‘Demon’s head’ is the head of the league of Shadows (aka the league of assassins) and father of Talia al Ghul, and grandfather of Damian Wayne (Batman’s son). He has lived for centuries thanks to the rejuvenating powers of the Lazarus pit.

Robin rises again?

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Is Damian Wayne returning from the dead?…Batman has been grieving his son and former Robin for over a year now, after he was killed by ‘the Heretic’ in issue #8 of Batman inc, the Heretic is an adult clone of Damian created by his mother Talia al Ghul. Tomorrow marks the first issue of  ‘Robin rises:Omega’ and the story continues in this month’s Batman and Robin. Damian Wayne has been a fan favourite since he was introduced into Batman lore in 2006, it wouldn’t be the first time that a Robin has returned from the dead, former Robin: Jason Todd aka Red Hood was resurrected in Ra’s al Ghuls Lazarus pit after being brutally murdered by the Joker in the Death in the family mini-series in 1988.