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Childhood's End
Arthur C. Clarke
Brian Michael Bendis, Olivier Coipel
Scrivener's Moon - Audio
Philip Reeve
Batman and Robin, Vol. 1: Born to Kill - Peter J. Tomasi, Patrick Gleason, Mick Gray Possibly what stood out to me most about this collection is what a huge step backwards the character of Damian has taken. He'd made a lot of progress when Dick was Batman, and now he's back right where he started. I can, however, buy this, sort of. He thought his father was dead, and now he's not, and he's taken over his training. And Dick was, naturally, a lot less authoritarian than Bruce tends to be. If you explain it that way, I can get it. The writer didn't, but there you have it.

The storyline itself is pretty good, revolving as it does around Bruce's realization that being just a father (as opposed to a dad) is not what Damian needs. He starts out treating him as every bit the soldier that Talia had trained him to be, and that's where things go off the rails. Bruce can be almost over-the-top here, but there's moments when he struggles with doing better.

Better yet is Alfred. You expect Alfred to be the voice of snarky reason, and he shines in that role. And as the powerless would-be father figure. (Alfred must go through Tums like water.) He even has his moment as (remote controlled) savior of Bruce and Damian. Alfred is wasted when he just answers the phone and hands out bandaids, and he was not wasted here.

If Batman and Robin is meant to be a story about a father and son learning how to build a relationship, while fighting crime, that would be awesome. It's certainly where this volume looks like it's heading. But I've heard that later issues almost abandon that plot thread, and that's a shame.