And so ends the first arc on “Batman and Robin” as Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely wrap up the threat of Professor Pyg and his attempt to make Gotham just as sick as he is. It’s a visual feast as Quitely turns in some career best art, full of energy and flair, matching Morrison’s odd script wherever it goes, including one twisted scene where Pyg lays it all out for the former new Boy Wonder to music described as “sexy disco hot.” It’s a lurid, twisted cabaret performance that will leave you remember that fantastic “Futurama” line “Once you see it, you can’t unsee it.” Part of me wishes I could unsee it, but it’s just too good to forget.
With Damian, who quit being Robin last issue, captured by Professor Pyg, Batman investigates what’s going on by dragging one of Pyg’s henchmen through the streets. Pyg, meanwhile, prepares to turn Damian into another one of his perfect Dollotrons and delivers the shocking, stunning, beyond-what-words-can-really-describe performance that shows off just how creepy Morrison and Quitely can both be. They have created another, twisted, sick bad guy for Gotham City and this one is creepier than nearly all that have come before. Hopefully, the next creative team to use him can match the standard set here.
The climactic fight scene and capture of Pyg is where Quitely really shines as the pacing accommodates the lightning-quick action, dividing panels up by words, a fantastic way to show just how fast Damian is in hand-to-hand combat. While Pyg may look like a fat old man, he’s also rather formidable against the young fighter – until Batman enters the scene, fully armed with the knowledge of who and what he’s up against. The dual approach against Pyg by Dick and Damian shows off each’s personality clearly and effectively, and their reunion has a nice throwback to the first issue and ends with a familiar scene that we’ve seen twice already during Morrison’s run.
“Batman and Robin” #3 serves its purpose by bringing back together the new Dynamic Duo, clearly cementing their partnership with both having gained some newfound respect for one another. With two such different personalities, the conflict was inevitable, but Morrison manages to bring it full circle by pushing that all aside so they can defeat the crazy guy in a pig mask. He also manages to create another new threat for Gotham, setting up next issue’s beginning of “The Revenge of the Red Hood” story, someone with a connection to Damian, making her the perfect sidekick to the Red Hood.
While this issue moves quickly, barreling towards the conclusion of the opening “Batman Reborn” story, Morrison and Quitely still find room for the small moments like Batman and Commissioner Gordon talking things out or Alfred going about his duties. It’s hard to believe that this issue is only 22 pages they pack in so much. “Batman and Robin” #3 is an excellent comic with twisted writing, art that more than keeps pace, and all of the excitement you want from a Batman and Robin comic book.