Batman and Robin #18 hits today. The issue serves as one of the first “Requiem” books taking place after the events of Batman Inc. #8 and the untimely death of Damian Wayne. The story, titled Undone, is written by Peter J. Tomasi with pencils from Patrick Gleason. Mick Gray provides ink, John Kalisz handles colors, and Taylor Espositio tackles lettering. I’m not even going to give my usual teasing comment on whether or not the book is good. It is very good. Pick it up now if you haven’t.
Batman and Robin #18 is a very special issue that features no dialogue at all, not even a grunt or a scream sound. The first few pages consist of Batman in Wayne Manor reflecting on his lost son. We get a glimpse of an emotional Alfred as well. Batman does the only thing he can in a moment like this- he goes patrolling. As he suits up and heads out, we get some great moments where Batman is still seeing Damian beside him doing what he would be doing if he were there. All the time you can see Damian is absolutely enjoying his time as Robin. Batman is giving his attention entirely to patrolling. He’s stopping all the crimes he can find, it’s the only thing he can do keep his mind occupied. Back at the cave he finds something in Damian’s locker that completely devastates him. The last page is an incredibly emotional scene that will no doubt spawn countless tumblr posts about being punched in the feels.
With a completely silent issue, Tomasi still crafts a powerful story. There are no words, but you have one of the best issues you’ll probably ever read. The issue lives and dies by Gleason’s pencils. The artist does an amazing job at delivering an incredibly pointed issue complete with a punch in the emotional gut almost every panel. Tray’s inks and Kalisz’s colors help to make the full page and double-page spreads hit hard.
Bottom Line: This issue deserves all the praise it will undoubtedly receive. I go as far to say this is the definitive issue for the fallout surrounding Robin’s death. You have Batman and Alfred completely devastated, but carrying on because they have to. Pick this one up. Easiest time I’ve had giving a grade in a while 5/5