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Batman vs. Robin #5
DC Comics

Comic Books

‘Batman vs. Robin’ #5 is a heartfelt tribute to Gotham’s greatest defender

We are Batman!

Batman vs. Robin #5 takes place right where Lazarus Planet: Omega left off. If you haven’t read Lazarus Planet: Alpha or Omega, there’s a two page recap of the events of those issues before we return to Robin’s current predicament.

SPOILERS AHEAD for Batman vs. Robin #5!

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Robin has been captured by the Devil Nezha and held captive in the Batcave. Nezha has transferred his soul into the body of Batman and is searching for his son, King Fire Bull. Through some quick thinking and persuasion, Damian is able to escape the Batcave on his motorcycle, but Nezha is in hot pursuit with one of the Batmobiles. Luckily Monkey Prince drops in to help Robin and they are able to escape. Robin then starts formulating a plan to take down Nezha and save his father.

Batman vs. Robin #5
Robin is in a bind.
Credit: DC Comics

The next day Robin springs his trap. Using the Bat-Signal he lures Nezha to a Gotham City rooftop where the Bat-Family is waiting. The choreography and action on these pages is fantastic. Each member of the team has their time to shine. Nightwing going in fast and strong draws first blood, Red Hood making a well placed shot to Nexha’s arm, the Batgirls using their athleticism, and Robin (Tim Drake) coming from behind. With the help of Monkey Prince’s hair cloning ability, a flock of Damian Wayne Robins is finally able to subdue Nezha just long enough for Zatanna, Enchantress and Pigsy to arrive and transfer Nezha back to his old body.

Batman vs. Robin #5
Bat-Family variant cover
Credit: DC Comics

There’s always a catch though. The Devil Nezha’s spirit was the only thing keeping Batman alive. His body is weakened and he is on the verge of death. Damian is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, transferring his soul into his father’s body in order to save him. But when Enchantress informs him his soul won’t be enough on its own, Damian quickly comes up with another plan. Using the technological prowess of Oracle, Damian broadcasts a message to all of Gotham. A heartfelt plea to the citizenry to help Batman in his greatest hour of need. If enough people join in and give just a small piece of themselves, then Zatanna and Enchantress will be able to revive Batman. Damian’s words are punctuated with visuals of Batman saving everyday Gothamites, from burning buildings, flooded streets, or back alley muggings. It seems the entire city joins in shouting “We are Batman!” and of course it’s enough to bring Batman back from the brink of death.

It would be difficult for even the most cynical Batman fan not to appreciate the tribute to Batman that Damian gives. It’s obvious that he isn’t speaking as his crimefighting partner, but as his son. Waid’s excellent writing provides an earnest voice for Damian that conveys the gravity of the situation without being oversentimental or hokey. Even though we can probably guess how the issue is going to end, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment of the comic and shout along with the people of Gotham, “We are Batman!”

Asrar and Bellaire are at the top of their game with art and colors on this book as we’ve seen from the previous four issues. The extra-sized issue really gives them room to stretch their creative muscles and provide some stunning splash pages. The whole Bat-Family is rendered beautifully, though they don’t have much dialog.

There’s been a lot of discourse about how this series wasn’t meant to be stretched out into the whole Lazarus Planet event, but after a two month wait for the final issue and once everything is said and done, the Alpha and Omega issues of Lazarus Planet did add interesting moments and developments to the overall story. I’m always a fan of giving creators more space to tell their story, and it shows how confident DC is in Waid and his collaborators to give them the opportunity to tell such a wide-ranging story and let it be the springboard for a new creative era at DC. So often a series is defined by whether or not it can “stick the landing” in the final issue, and it’s safe to say that Batman vs. Robin #5 did just that.

Batman vs. Robin #5
‘Batman vs. Robin’ #5 is a heartfelt tribute to Gotham’s greatest defender
Batman vs. Robin #5
Waid's excellent writing provides an earnest voice for Damian that is emotional without being oversentimental or hokey. Asrar and Bellaire are at the top of their game with art and colors on this book and create some stunning splash pages. So often a series is defined by whether or not it can "stick the landing" and it's safe to say that Batman vs. Robin #5 did just that.
Reader Rating1 Votes
8.9
Excellent art by Asrar and Bellaire
Provides a satisfying ending to the series as well as the Lazarus Planet event
Would have been nice if the rest of the Bat-Family had more dialog
8.5
Great
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