Sarcophagi, Godfrey and parademons oh my!! ROBIN RISES: OMEGA #1 written by Peter J. Tomasi and art by Andy Kubert, Johnathan Glapion and Brad Anderson, is a raucous start to the new arc launching Batman against Apokolips for the fate of Damian and a crystal shard.
I’ve been clawing at the walls waiting for this since the shocking ending to BATMAN AND RA’S AL GHUL #32 with Godfrey and a parademon hoarde interrupt as Bruce and Ra’s were about to dispatch of each other. Oh and Frankenstein is there too. No big deal. So now Bruce and Ra’s have to team up against Godfrey and the result; awesome.
I love deep reaching stories. Stories that call back to things that happen way back when. This is probably why I actually have liked quite a bit of Morrison’s work on Batman; dredging up the obscure and reinventing it. At least in theory. This is also why a lot of the reboot rings hollow; a lot of those stories are now unclear what’s canon or not with the now ridiculously squished timeline.
Tomasi has always been a solid writer and he’s a pretty good one to continue threads that Morrison left (whether it was in a huff or not, while Damian was always marked to die I’ve speculated INC was not meant to end the way it did). I’ve always liked much of what he’s done; in particular his stellar Nightwing run. The fact he’s still writing Talia’s Man-Batified flying ninjas, first introduced in that series, about seven years later is amazing. If you think about it, barring the reboot, this entire run reaches that far back. And that is an actual surprising part; ROBIN RISES: OMEGA keeps much of the Morrison timeline in place; retconning Bruce and Talia’s tryst yet again to consensual (sans drugs but with ulterior motives). Bruce still faced Darkseid and was still zapped and send back through time. Dick was still Batman. How this was possible and how it fits into the current timeline? I don’t care. It’s canon.
This is fun stuff; it’s heavy, but also, not. Tomasi knows how to write adventure and his comedy here is effective; most notable when the Justice League coming to Batman’s aid. Shazam (Captain Marvel, I don’t even care) and Aquaman take top cameos here; mainly for the following to your left.
It’s very energetic and dynamic stuff. Elements like Batman beating up Billy after he stops Bruce from going through the portal Godfrey escapes through with Damian’s sarcophagus and the chaos shard therein is a bit much. They play it for laughs and that’s what Shazam has always been about so I guess I’m okay. They know he’s a child now right? Right? I’m not even following most of the regular comics. I just like seeing Billy being utilized.
Anyway; this is top notch stuff, that ties not only to Morrison’s run but into BATMAN/SUPERMAN concerning the chaos shard that was to be used in Damian and Talia’s resurrections. I’m so excited to see where this is going. It has a purpose and an end goal, and yet I’m still guessing. Me guessing is a good thing.
I know he’s comics royalty, but Andy Kubert is not my favorite artist. Something here is just not as good as what we’ve been getting with Gleason and Mick Gray over on Batman And…
Don’t get me wrong; it’s competent art but something’s just a bit too stiff. Gleason’s gothic dynamism is surely missing and I can’t wait to get to him and Mick (and John Kalisz) back on BATMAN AND ROBIN #33. Kubert already had to mimic many Gleason panels already in this issue during the wonderful flashback “get us up to speed” recap anyway. Had Gleason done this issue it would have been pure perfection. However even without it still comes pretty darn close.
Bruce now really wanting Damian back alive is sort of a nose dive back down into the depths that he had just crawled out of; but being smacked left and right by parademons and them trying to take your adolescent son’s body is a bit…further traumatic. It’s mental, but it’s still very much Bruce. And I can’t wait to see what he does.
You need this. It’s a no brainer. If you’re a superhero fan this is exactly what you need to be reading for Batman goodness.