Friday, December 26, 2014

Best of 2014: Graphic novel

One of the many items [old and new] enjoyed by Burbank Public Library staff during 2014, recommended for your consideration:

Batman and Robin Vol. 4 – Requiem for Damian, by Peter J. Tomasi, Patrick Gleason and Mick Gray

Superheroes and comic books have long provided readers with inspiration to overcome the obstacles that life presents and the determination to make the world a better place to live in. [Okay, fun, action and entertainment may play a part, too!] What sets this particular Batman and Robin collection apart is the focus upon the grieving process that Batman must go through when his most recent Robin--his son, Damian Wayne--is killed in action.

Batman works his way through the various stages of grief with the help of other members of the “bat family” as he comes to terms with the dual loss of a crime-fighting partner who was also his son. Since Batman had a prickly, contentious relationship with the willful and headstrong Damian, his feelings are pulled in many directions. Powerful, moving, and worth seeking out, this is a rare series of stories with something to say about difficult subjects. Batman fans may want to read the first three volumes to understand the full nature of Batman and Robin’s and Bruce and Damian’s partnership/relationship. It is not necessary for the casual reader, but the whole series is quite good, so why not?

A particular highlight in this series is the first issue (#18), which is totally wordless, a truly special example of comic book storytelling that fully realizes the old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words. Those 20 pages of exceptional storytelling alone are worth a mention for my Best of 2014 list.

Chosen by David P., Technical Services Supervisor

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