Gems of the New 52: The Robin Rises Saga

I hate being a Nega-Nerd (A nerd who is super negative) however, I often complain about DC Comics’ New 52.  Trashing decades of established history, tradition and storytelling and transforming beloved characters into easy to market products just seems wrong to me.  When storytellers are beholden to the whims of corporate executives, share holders and focus groups, the end result rarely ever yields any creativity, originality or imagination.  The jokers in the business boardrooms know nothing beyond making money…screw storytelling.

"Did somebody call for Business Joker?  And what's wrong with making money?"

“Did somebody call for Business Joker? And what’s wrong with making money?”

 

However, even with the storytelling by committee model, there are a few great adventures that squeeze through the cracks.  Robin Rises has shaped up to be one of the coolest Batman stories since the confining New 52 project began.  Like everything else related to the New 52, Robin Rises is attached to a little unnecessary confusion.  As I mentioned in the previous post, the New 52 boiled down the careers of all the heroes to just 5 years.  So here are the stats for the first five years of New 52 Batman: In Five years: Batman is killed and resurected, has 4 Robins (Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Damian Wayne) , 2 spin-off female allies (Batgirl/Barbara Gordon, Batwoman/Kathy Kane), 2 Robins killed (Jason Todd, Damian Wayne), 2 Robins Resurrected (Jason Todd, Damian Wayne), 3 Robins take on other aliases (Grayson is Nightwing, Jason Todd is Red Hood and Tim Drake is Red Robin) 

That’s a lot in five years.  So here is the quick back up story for Robin Rises.  Damian Wayne, Bruce Wayne’s son and sidekick is murdered by his mother, Talia Al Ghul because he defected to his father’s side.

Batman butters his bread  Butter side up while the League of Assassins butters theirs butter side down....the sure sign of EVIL.

Batman butters his bread Butter side up while the League of Assassins butters theirs butter side down….the sure sign of EVIL.

Robin Rises sees Bruce Wayne go on an insane search for a way to bring his son back to life. Batman discovers that Damian’s body has been stolen by his arch foe, Ra’s Al Ghul (And Damian’s grandpapy).

 

My Grandpa just wanted to make us laugh...he never went on evil crusades...that we knew of.

My Grandpa just wanted to make us laugh…he never went on evil crusades…that we knew of.

Ra’s seeks to use his knowledge of Lazurus Pits and ancient resurrection techniques to bring Damian back and brainwash him. This leads to an awesome series of “Road Trip” Style of adventures pairing Batman with the likes of Batgirl, Red Hood, Aquaman, and even Frankenstein’s Monster as they try to stop Ra’s.  The adventure takes a crazy turn when Glorious Godfrey, the elite assassin of Darkseid, the alien from Apokolips whom had previously sent Batman’s consciousness on a trip through time shows up to steal Damian’s body.

The Batman/Frankenstein hour of power was sadly canceled in 1978.

The Batman/Frankenstein hour of power was sadly canceled in 1978.

This leads Batman to take on the Justice League and steal and experimental suit and the Boom Tube teleportation devices that can take him to Apokolips.

A fight like this breaks out every time the Justice League argues about what to order for dinner.

A fight like this breaks out every time the Justice League argues about what to order for dinner.

Eventually Batman and his whole crew end up on Apokolips where they go toe to toe with legions of aliens bent on death and destruction.   The whole story is just as fun and entertaining as the comics I grew up reading and never once does the story seem like it was dictated by share holders.  There is no way this sprawling mega epic (Spanning 23 issues in total if you count Damian’s death and the Road to Resurrection story line….and you should!)  could ever be made into a movie and that’s part of what makes it so great.  These are comics made for comics sake.  This story was designed for original fans, not just some schmuck who saw Dark Knight Rises and wants to see what all this Batman Comic Book fuss is all about.  Personally I would have tolerated the Nolan films more if they didn’t have Christian Bale in them….maybe Adam West.

With Joan Collins as Talia Al Ghul and Sammy Davis Jr. as Bane!

There is a lot to love here for Batman fans.  I highly recommend reading the whole saga as well as going back before the New 52 and checking out the Grant Morrison stories that brought the world Damian Wayne.  I hope that you enjoyed this installment.  I shall see you  Next time when we shall be checking out Grant Morrison’s Multiversity. 

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