Review: Batman Wedding Special-Robin vs. Ra’s al Ghul #1

Writer: Tim Seeley

Artist: Brad Walker

The first of the Batman wedding one-shots features Damian Wayne’s growing personal relationship with Selina Kyle in a fun, exciting way.

The premise of the wedding special is simple: how does Damian feel about Catwoman? Is it weird to him to have a string of criminals as his maternal figures? How does a strong-willed person like Damian interact with a similarly obstinate personality like Selina’s? The story offers a brief, but satisfying answer to these inquiries.

What helps make this story feel rewarding is that everybody is in-character. Writer Tim Seeley creates a character-driven plot that has a surprising, but logical conclusion. Seeley also nails the voice and attitude of Damian, a character who is difficult to write. The current Robin is often portrayed as an emotionally-crippled mini-adult, which can make him unlikable. Fortunately, Seeley infuses Damian with enough pathos to make him relatable and also some fun bits to remind us that he is still a child.

In fact, this special really gets into Damian’s head in a way that is unexpected. While he will never verbalize it, there are some insecurities and concerns that Batman’s upcoming wedding bring out. His reactions bounce off of Selina’s characterization well too. Damian and Selina have very fun chemistry together as a strange, dysfunctional familial unit.

What is not nearly as interesting is Ra’s al Ghul’s inclusion in the storyline. He does not really offer any new personal insight about Batman’s wedding, nor does he seem to have any real motivation to fight Damian. His role is purely perfunctory, as if he was present for an obligatory action sequence.

Artist Brad Walker does a nice job with the art in the comic. His characters faces are expressive. His style is more on the realistic side, but cartoony enough to give the action some flair. A particularly impressive example of his art is the hallucination dream sequence in the middle of the story. It mixed some trippy aspects with a nightmarish-quality. However, there are times when his face models are not great. For example, there are a few instances where Selina’s face is clearly off-model.

Conculsion

These one-shot specials can easily be boring cash-grabs. Fortunately, Seeley infuses Damian’s story with drama and action to create a nuanced look at Damian Wayne and his feelings about the Bat-wedding. While the art is spotty in some instances and Ra’s role was compulsory, the issue still was a great Damian character piece.

Eric Lee

Eric Lee

Eric Lee hails from San Francisco, California and has been one of the biggest fans of Batman since he was 2 years old when his dad showed him Tim Burton's 'Batman' on a fuzzy VHS. Currently, Eric is an avid comic book reader and writer and illustrator working on his own graphic novel. You can see his doodles at meeleeart.com.