Today saw DC’s revelation of what’s happening at the publisher post-Convergence. They’re dropping the New 52 moniker from all their titles (but staying in the New 52 continuity) and will be launching 24 new titles to be joining 25 existing titles, some of which will be seeing new creative teams. But for an Omnibus Collector this means I have to see the potential for new Omnibus editions, and the first one that jumped out to me was Batman and Robin.
Peter Tomasi has been writing Batman and Robin since before the inception of the New 52. He began his tenure with a short, three issue arc on the first volume of the series shortly after Grant Morrison ended his tenure. The arc, titled Dark Knight Vs. White Knight, was the highlight of the post-Morrison stories, thus making it obvious the series was in good hands when Tomasi and artist Patrick Gleason would be returning to the title with the New 52 reboot.
The team started the series with a new #1 and a new arc that would highlight the relationship between Bruce Wayne and his son Damian, who prior hadn’t really had a team-up book of their own given that Damian had always previously been Robin to Dick Grayson’s Batman. The series worked to show how similar the two characters really were to each other and how something like that could lead to a serious butting of heads.
As the book went forward with Tomasi and Gleason’s uninterrupted run it would tie-in to the line-wide Batman events of “Night of the Owls” and “Death of the Family” before ultimately tying into the events of Morrison’s finale to his Batman epic in the second volume of Batman Incorporated. Damian would fall at the hands of one of his genetically engineered “brothers” and it would completely ruin Bruce emotionally.
For several issues we saw Batman and Robin lose the second half of its title in favor of various other characters. Batman and Nightwing, Batman and Red Robin, Red Hood, Batgirl, and Catwoman. Each issue represented Bruce going through the stages of acceptance over Damian’s death.
After that arc the title would change to Batman and Two-Face for several issues after the Two-Face #1 villains issue tying into Forever Evil. The arc would be titled “The Big Burn” and featured the two characters joining forces to deal with a common enemy.
As the series went forward it reverted back to the various characters taking the second name in the title; Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Frankenstein, and Ra’s Al Ghul. During the arc we saw Bruce hunting for the missing body of his son as it had been stolen from it’s grave as Ra’s was attempting to resurrect his grandson in a Lazarus pit. Bruce stops him from succeeding in his plan, but it also inspires him to attempt to resurrect his son by alternate means.
The title reverted back to Batman and Robin with issue #33 for the “Robin Rises” arc, which was bookended by the Alpha and Omega one-shot issues. By the end of the story Bruce would go head-to-head with Darkseid and other inhabitants of Apokalips before regaining the life of his son. However Damian was slightly different in the fact that he now had super powers. Flight, invulnerability, and super strength.
So the title is still in that arc now, introducing the newly super-powered Damian Wayne, and it’s set to run through issue #40 before ending and being relaunched after Convergence as “Robin, Son of Batman.” However, while Gleason will remain onboard as artist Tomasi won’t be joining him as writer, and Gleason will be taking on both duties.
In that I find that it would be the perfect instance to collect the entire series by Tomasi and Gleason in one huge Omnibus. So what would that mean it collects?
Batman and Robin (vol. 1) #20-22
Batman and Robin (vol. 2) #1-40
Batman and Robin #0
Batman and Robin #23.1 Two Face #1
Robin Rises Alpha #1
Robin Rises Omega #1
Batman and Robin Annual #1-3
So a total of 50 issues, which is pretty thick but not unheard of given that DC tends to publish a lot of collections with 50+ issues. I’d say that those first three issues, the ones from vol. 1, are optional, but it would definitely be nice to see them collected alongside the rest of the run. Also more optional would be the Forever Evil: Arkham War mini-series that Tomasi wrote. That would include the six issue miniseries itself plus it’s prelude in Batman #23.4: Bane and Forever Evil Aftermath: Batman Vs. Bane #1
So there’s my proposal. I’ve enjoyed the heck out of this title since it launched, and it’s one of the very few New 52 titles that has remained with the same creative team since it began. In fact, I think that after this point the only titles that’ve had a solid creative team all the way through will be Batman and Justice League (given that Red Hood and the Outlaws is relaunching as Red Hood/Arsenal after Convergence). Tomasi has really told a story that’s about the relationship between father and son, and showed us Damian evolve to the young brat who claimed his father was easier to look up to when he was still dead to the young man who would prove to be more important to Bruce than almost anyone or anything else. And my own second favorite Robin next to the original. If you agree and think this would be a good one for DC to publish then go ahead and sound off! Hopefully it happens!