Batman, Robin and Howard is an incredibly wholesome book about rivalry and friendship. It’s written by Jeffrey Brown and is aimed towards a younger audience, but has the teachings and humour for all.
It sees Robin (AKA Damien Wayne) start a new school and quickly become the rival of a very well liked boy named Howard. Meanwhile Batman investigates several schools linked to Robin after a series of events that have become suspicious to the GCPD. The story follows the pair as they both express their hunches and feelings toward each other to their families and friends, until something brings them much closer together, allowing them to fully understand each other and abandon the stereotypes that they’ve set for one another.
Batman, Robin and Howard teaches many lessons in such a wholesome and pure way, the writing is easily accessible for younger readers, whilst remaining engaging for those older readers. It highlights some of the key teachings and problems youngsters at school and also parents can face, making this book extremely relatable to its target audience.
I love the more realistic digs which will definitely resonate with the target audience for this book, for example “this is coming out of your allowance”. Writer Jeffrey Brown really has struck gold with this one, it’s such an quick, easy and enjoyable read. I always love the whole “one of us could be Robin” scenario, it’s something that’s quite often played out in the golden age Superboy books, and it’s something I never tire of reading. It’s such an obvious idea, but one that can be played out in many scenarios, and I love how it is executed in this book.
I love the whole concept of Batman, Robin and Howard, like I said it’s depicting scenarios that are all real thoughts that go into our minds and our children’s minds. Rivalry, that feeling of someone always trying to one-up you, feeling you aren’t quite good enough or feeling like you just can’t do something right. It takes those common narratives wit this age groups and flips it around to be a positive and I adore that.
I love the perspective from both Batman and Robin in regards to their relationships, Batman has a huge responsibility as a superhero, as does Robin, but it’s great to see that their personal relationships take precedence during this story. Quite often we see Batman as a very straight cut character and father, but this is a fresh new take on him and their relationships. I also love how it’s Robin and his new found friend that goes to save Batman, allowing him to really prove himself to Batman and his father.
The artwork is by Jeffrey Brown is great, it’s very cartoonistic, expressional and simplistic, which works perfectly for the age of readers that this book is targeting. Though I will say the Gotham skyline looks absolutely gorgeous in this art style. The colours provided by Silvana Brys reminds me of a hand coloured piece, which again works perfectly for this age group.
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