“All-star Batman and Robin” is a graphic novel written by Frank Miller and drawn by Jim Lee. It is part of the “All-star” edition with which DC Comics tried to compete against Marvel’s “Ultimate” saga. The main objective of the edition was to associate the main characters of DC Comics with writers and artists of well-known reputation.

Each artist has at his disposal all the elements to present the characters to a modern public. Their jobs weren’t limited by canon or by a continuity of stories, and the only objective was to give new representations to the most “iconic” faces of the editorial.

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Yet, the concept was not to reboot the characters (the only one who got a reboot was Robin), but to show them in a new story without any obstacles in it.

The plot behind the 'all-star' saga

Introduced as “All-star Batman And Robin: The Boy Wonder” the comic shows a Batman in his climax as a superhero and the origins of Dick Grayson as Robin. The first thing we must say about the story is that it clearly takes place in another world, and that it must be treated as such.

To start with, Batman is an ultra-violent character, psychologically unbalanced, and shows no restraint in terms of beating up the corrupt police elements of Gotham City. He even laughs while running over them with the Batmobile. He also kidnaps the 12-year-old Dick and shows no empathy whatsoever for the recent loss of the boy. Still, this Batman does resemble the original one. In fact, the story presents many situations in which we will be able to see this, especially while showing sadness and remorse.

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Other characters are also presented differently, including Green Lantern (ridiculed from time to time) and Wonder Woman (with a strong hate for men), and we cannot forget Superman who seems irresolute and powerless against the problems of the human condition. Also, commissioner Gordon is very far from the law-abiding man, even to the point of justifying the attacks against his own men. In contrast, the Joker is interpreted well, and his madness often turns into very disturbing psychopathic behavior.

The main problem however, is that the story wasn’t finished and that there seems to be no plans to continue it. Worst of all, there is no common link between any elements of the story and a possible conclusion whatsoever, and the plot really goes nowhere at all.

Thoughts on the saga

It is certainly not a recommended comic for those who are new to DC Comics, since the characters are not true to their original essence, and may lead to confusion. Regarding the plot, it has all the elements of a Frank Miller work.

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Jim Lee’s work shows the psychological issues of each character.

Rating: 6/10.

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