Batman and Robin has been relaunched as part of DC’s New 52, and it certainly takes Batman to an interesting place.
Batman and Robin takes place years after many of the other titles, seeming to be in the timeline which is furthest forward of those which are not specifically designated as being in the far future.
Bruce Wayne’s son, Damian is now taking the role of Robin. Ten years old and only recently reunited with his father, Damian is quite different from Bruce, and presents a challenge in training and control for Batman.
Having been trained as an assassin from a very young age (although not by Batman), this Robin does not have the aversion to killing that Batman has, and needs to be kept on a short leash, which creates tension between the two.
In this first book, criminals have broken into a nuclear storage facility to steal depleted cores for an unknown purpose. In the fights Robin seems more of a hindrance to his father than a partner, with potentially disastrous results.
The arc seems as though it will add some interesting new points to the mythology of the Batman stories, but how many time-lines do we need? At least this one seems to be in about the same place and time as Batman #1, though that means that the two titles will have some overlap, which could potentially confuse the stories of both.
The arc also doesn’t work too well for new readers (which, after all is the entire point of this whole relaunch, right) because understanding what is going on with Robin requires quite a bit of background information.
Here the reader learns nothing of Damian’s Mother and grandfather, and gets no hint as to how Batman even ended up with a son, something a bit confusing to anyone who has only known Batman through the films and cartoons, since Damian has never been part of the canon of either of those media.
It’s not as bad a failed relaunch as Green Lantern #1, but new readers might want to give this one a miss in favor of more accessible titles.
Batman and Robin #1 is available where you buy comics, including the ComiXology store.