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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 12 July 2012
By 
Arron (Dunfermline, Fife) - See all my reviews
Apart from Scott Snyder's "Batman" (Court of Owls) and Geoff Johns "Green Lantern" (Sinestro), this is probably my favourite story.

A quick summary for those who aren't familiar with current continuity: Bruce Wayne has a son named Damian, his mother - being Talia Al Ghul, current leader of the League of Assassins - raised and trained him to be a cold-blooded and ruthless assassin. After a series of events, Bruce Wayne got shot back in time and eventually came back. During that time, Damian became Robin and worked alongside Dick Grayson (the first Robin and second Batman). Now that Bruce is back, he has started a new faction of Wayne Industries known as "Batman Inc." where he personally funds Batman and aims to have a Batman for every nation...

...so now we begin. "Batman and Robin - Born to Kill" is simply brilliant. The plot involves a ghost from Bruce's past coming back to terrorise him in the murderous form of "Nobody". "Nobody" also attempts to influence Damian into abandoning his role as Robin and embracing the slaughter. During it all we explore the wonderfully dysfunctional father/son relationship between the two, and from that there are some oddly touching moments.

So there you have it. A new, murderous villain. Exploration of Batman's past. Plenty of father/son moments. Alfred acting as a father to both Bruce and Damian. And lots of action.

All in all, alongside the "Court of Owls" storyline, you should definitely give this a read. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Born to thrill, 22 Aug 2012
By 
Sam Quixote - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
In this book Bruce Wayne is the Batman of Gotham with his son Damien as Robin; Dick Grayson has gone back to being Nightwing, and there's no mention of Batman Inc. The book explores Bruce and Damien's complex relationship as Bruce struggles to be a father to a son who's had a very unusual upbringing, and Damien fights conflicting ideologies: the conditioning of the Al'Ghul's bloodiness or the Dark Knight's code of honour.

Though there is the obligatory villain to defeat (a guy with a robot spider mask called NoBody), the book's focus on Bruce and Damien's relationship is what makes this book the success it is. Bruce is learning (with the patient hand of Alfred) to be supportive and encouraging to his son while doing what he can to protect him from a hostile world of villains who would exploit Damien's closeness to Bruce to destroy Batman.

Peter Tomasi writes some excellent scenes that subtly show the dark depths to which Damien's mind has been taken that really underlines the horror of his reality. I'm thinking especially of what Damien's been up to in his room when Bruce hasn't been paying attention.

The scenes between Bruce, Alfred and Damien (and a new addition to the Wayne family) out of costume were the best though. Ever since Grant Morrison included Damien into continuity there's been a distinct lack of ordinary family moments between Bruce and Damien which is addressed here and we see a father and son doing something mundane - but necessary - like playing in a back yard. If Bruce is ever going to undo the damage of Talia's training he needs to ground Damien, strengthen their relationship, and show him why they fight for Gotham and its citizens. Plus throwing in some everyday scenes heightens the drama when the cowl comes on.

"Born to Kill" is an excellent start to this new series that has enormous potential to bring heart and soul to Batman that's been lacking amidst all the upheavals of the last couple of years. It's well written, well drawn, and an all-round brilliant book. Batman fans won't be disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nature versus Nurture, 21 Feb 2014
By 
No More Mr. Mice Guy (London, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This storyline runs through issues #1-8 of the ‘New 52’ Batman and Robin title. This features Bruce and Damian Wayne as the Batman and Robin team. Bruce is concerned about Damian’s attitude to violence and killing; Damian is unconcerned about his family heritage: “Just names and dusty frames on walls to me”; Alfred is his usual self: “I take exception to that. There’s not a speck of dust collecting on those portraits”.

This is an excellent story, with superb scripting and artwork. It is a character-driven story – despite being full of action – as Bruce sees Damian struggle with the same forces that a figure in his own past also had to contend with, and that didn’t work out well. That figure has reappeared, now known as the assassin ‘NoBody – for he leaves no body behind as evidence. He has taken umbrage to the operation of Batman Incorporated, and has come to seduce Damian to the Dark Side… We get to revisit Bruce’s days in training to become the Batman under NoBody’s father, a bounty hunter; their falling out; and NoBody losing his father’s respect after failing to kill Bruce. Now he’s hoping to return the favour. Bruce and Alfred are concerned about the ‘nature versus nurture’ argument, and how it applies to Damian, and whether his mother’s training can be overcome. Bruce tries to create more of a family life for himself and Damian, even buying a dog… This is a story about Bruce’s struggle to understand his son, Damian’s struggle to overcome his nature and earn his father’s respect, and Alfred’s struggle to get everyone to stay still long enough for his stitches to take effect. Everyone is mostly successful.

PS: Batman didn’t check for a pulse before leaving the ship. Remember that “I didn’t kill them” statement from issue #1… technically, he didn’t: he just didn’t stop them from killing themselves…

THE SPOILER ZONE
THE SPOILER ZONE
THE SPOILER ZONE

Issue #1 opens in Moscow, where the Russian operative of Batman Inc. meets the new assassin NoBody for the first and last time. In Gotham, it is the anniversary of the death of Bruce Wayne’s parents, and he and Damian go to pay tribute for the last time, as Crime Alley is to be redeveloped, and it is time to look to the future instead of dwelling on the past. They are interrupted by a robbery at Gotham University’s reactor room. While Batman struggles with the reactor, Robin chases the fleeing criminals, who have stolen the Batmobile, and disables it, causing it to crash. There is no sign of the criminals in the wreckage. Batman suspects the worst. Damian denies deliberately killing them. NoBody reveals why he is so called, as he disposes of the Russian.

Issue #2 has Batman and Alfred worrying about Damian’s upbringing, interrupted only by an outing to take down an arms smuggling operation. NoBody shows up afterwards and kills the tied-up smugglers, then shows up in his civilian guise, Morgan Ducard, to talk to Bruce, who is buying a dog for Damian…

Issue #3 has Bruce upgrading the security of Wayne Manor, and grounding Damian, who goes out on patrol anyway, but is bugged by Alfred. Damian beats up some muggers, but is captured by NoBody; Batman interrupts but is also captured.

Issue #4 starts with a long discussion over the rights and wrongs of locking up the costumed loonies just so they can escape and kill again, interrupted by Alfred’s remote controlled Batplane. Back at the cave, more discussion of respect and trust. Damian storms out, and NoBody is waiting for him, and makes him an offer…

Issue #5 opens with a goodbye note from Damian who has run off with NoBody. Batman goes on the hunt for them, while recording a message for Damian, filling in the history of Bruce’s relationship with the Ducard family. Meanwhile NoBody has broken up a people-smuggling ring run from an embassy, and given Damian a gun to kill the ambassador…

Issue #6 opens with Damian pulling the trigger, but the gun is not loaded. However, it proves to NoBody that Daman is willing to follow him. The ambassador is taken back to NoBody’s hideout for questioning. Bruce continues recording his message, telling how his training with Ducard ended when he refused to execute a bounty-hunted target, and Morgan Ducard was sent to kill him, and how Morgan was disowned for failing. Gordon gives Batman a head start on tracking the missing ambassador, a Damian reveals what he has been up to all along.
NoBody: “I was setting you free. Why would you throw away all I had to offer?
Damian: “Why? Because he’s my father, you idiot”
NoBody then broadcasts the sound of him beating Damian over Batman’s radio.

Issue #7 opens with Damian getting beaten by NoBody, until Batman breaks in and a big fight ensues. Eventually peace returns and Damian is rescued. Damian kills NoBody.

Issue #8 begins with the escape from NoBody’s sinking ship. Damian is taken to the Batcave for Alfred to work on. Bruce gives him the recorded message he has been working on to listen to while he is recovering. There is reconciliation and recovery, until the Bat-signal calls…
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nature versus Nurture, 8 Jun 2013
By 
No More Mr. Mice Guy (London, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Batman and Robin Volume1: Born to Kill TP (The New 52) (Batman & Robin) (Paperback)
This storyline runs through issues #1-8 of the `New 52' Batman and Robin title. This features Bruce and Damian Wayne as the Batman and Robin team. Bruce is concerned about Damian's attitude to violence and killing; Damian is unconcerned about his family heritage: "Just names and dusty frames on walls to me"; Alfred is his usual self: "I take exception to that. There's not a speck of dust collecting on those portraits".

This is an excellent story, with superb scripting and artwork. It is a character-driven story - despite being full of action - as Bruce sees Damian struggle with the same forces that a figure in his own past also had to contend with, and that didn't work out well. That figure has reappeared, now known as the assassin `NoBody - for he leaves no body behind as evidence. He has taken umbrage to the operation of Batman Incorporated, and has come to seduce Damian to the Dark Side... We get to revisit Bruce's days in training to become the Batman under NoBody's father, a bounty hunter; their falling out; and NoBody losing his father's respect after failing to kill Bruce. Now he's hoping to return the favour. Bruce and Alfred are concerned about the `nature versus nurture' argument, and how it applies to Damian, and whether his mother's training can be overcome. Bruce tries to create more of a family life for himself and Damian, even buying a dog... This is a story about Bruce's struggle to understand his son, Damian's struggle to overcome his nature and earn his father's respect, and Alfred's struggle to get everyone to stay still long enough for his stitches to take effect. Everyone is mostly successful.

PS: Batman didn't check for a pulse before leaving the ship. Remember that "I didn't kill them" statement from issue #1... technically, he didn't: he just didn't stop them from killing themselves...

THE SPOILER ZONE
THE SPOILER ZONE
THE SPOILER ZONE

Issue #1 opens in Moscow, where the Russian operative of Batman Inc. meets the new assassin NoBody for the first and last time. In Gotham, it is the anniversary of the death of Bruce Wayne's parents, and he and Damian go to pay tribute for the last time, as Crime Alley is to be redeveloped, and it is time to look to the future instead of dwelling on the past. They are interrupted by a robbery at Gotham University's reactor room. While Batman struggles with the reactor, Robin chases the fleeing criminals, who have stolen the Batmobile, and disables it, causing it to crash. There is no sign of the criminals in the wreckage. Batman suspects the worst. Damian denies deliberately killing them. NoBody reveals why he is so called, as he disposes of the Russian.

Issue #2 has Batman and Alfred worrying about Damian's upbringing, interrupted only by an outing to take down an arms smuggling operation. NoBody shows up afterwards and kills the tied-up smugglers, then shows up in his civilian guise, Morgan Ducard, to talk to Bruce, who is buying a dog for Damian...

Issue #3 has Bruce upgrading the security of Wayne Manor, and grounding Damian, who goes out on patrol anyway, but is bugged by Alfred. Damian beats up some muggers, but is captured by NoBody; Batman interrupts but is also captured.

Issue 4 starts with a long discussion over the rights and wrongs of locking up the costumed loonies just so they can escape and kill again, interrupted by Alfred's remote controlled Batplane. Back at the cave, more discussion of respect and trust. Damian storms out, and NoBody is waiting for him, and makes him an offer...

Issue #5 opens with a goodbye note from Damian who has run off with NoBody. Batman goes on the hunt for them, while recording a message for Damian, filling in the history of Bruce's relationship with the Ducart family. Meanwhile NoBody has broken up a people-smuggling ring run from an embassy, and given Damian a gun to kill the ambassador...

Issue #6 opens with Damian pulling the trigger, but the gun is not loaded. However, it proves to NoBody that Daman is willing to follow him. The ambassador is taken back to NoBody's hideout for questioning. Bruce continues recording his message, telling how his training with Ducard ended when he refused to execute a bounty-hunted target, and Morgan Ducard was sent to kill him, and how Morgan was disowned for failing. Gordon gives Batman a head start on tracking the missing ambassador, a Damian reveals what he has been up to all along.
NoBody: "I was setting you free. Why would you throw away all I had to offer?
Damian: "Why? Because he's my father, you idiot"
NoBody then broadcasts the sound of him beating Damian over Batman's radio.

Issue #7 opens with Damian getting beaten by NoBody, until Batman breaks in and a big fight ensues. Eventually peace returns and Damian is rescued. Damian kills NoBody.

Issue #8 begins with the escape from NoBody's sinking ship. Damian is taken to the Batcave for Alfred to work on. Bruce gives him the recorded message he has been working on to listen to while he is recovering. There is reconciliation and recovery, until the Bat-signal calls...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I like Damien Wayne now, 7 Jan 2013
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Ever since Grant Morrison introduced the character I have disliked Damien, this arc has changed my mind entirely.
While he established himself with the Dick Grayson Batman Damien really needed his father to actually explore the characters issues. Damien is still petulant and annoyingly defiant but at least we have now looked into why with a bit more depth.
This book also addressed my thought that being a real father should change Batman. It's nice to see that Bruce at least wants to walk away from crime fighting to care for his boy, even if circumstances won't let him.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wasn't sure if I was going to like this as I never really liked Damian Wayne as ..., 2 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Batman and Robin Volume1: Born to Kill TP (The New 52) (Batman & Robin) (Paperback)
Wasn't sure if I was going to like this as I never really liked Damian Wayne as a character. But this is the New 52 and some subtle changes have been made and WOW, this book is great. The struggle of fatherhood for Bruce, Damian's tough upbringing by the League of Shadows and their conflicting ideologies on life make this a great read where Alfred plays an important role in both their lives. Of course there is also a villain that needs dealing with but this new villain, known as Nobody, also plays an important part in the relationship between Damian and Bruce. This might possibly be Peter J. Tomasi's best piece of work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!, 2 July 2014
By 
M. Paulo Bracais "Book master" (Fátima, Portugal) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Batman and Robin Volume1: Born to Kill TP (The New 52) (Batman & Robin) (Paperback)
Very good story! The writer and artist transmit a powerfull "ambient" of Gotham and caracterize very well batman and robin! Fantastic!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Batman and robin are back, 12 Feb 2014
By 
Miss K L Moynes (Erith, Kent United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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The first batman and robin story I've read in years and it was superb great adventure cool villain, good back and forth between Alfred and Bruce highly recommend.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Batman and robin get deep!, 21 Nov 2013
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Great stuff. This is a well written story about a son who follows his father into the family business. The characters are surprisingly well written and the plot is much more coherent when compared to that of the recent detective comics book. I would recommend it to you, even if you think that batman and robin are a bit cheesy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A little unsure to begin with, 31 Oct 2013
By 
This review is from: Batman and Robin Volume1: Born to Kill TP (The New 52) (Batman & Robin) (Paperback)
I was a little dubious about pick up Batman and Robin. Not sure what I was to expect. I'm new to comics and have been working my way through the New 52. This collection is excellent. Well paced with an exciting story line. The action moves from page to page at quite a lick.

If you are wavering about this purchase don't. I read it in one sitting and cannot wait to read Vol. 2.
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