Hot Best Seller

Batman and Robin, Volume 5: The Big Burn

Availability: Ready to download

The origin of Two-Face begins as Batman finds himself in the crossfire of a vengeful war between Two-Face and Erin McKillen! Both are hell bent on killing each other and anyone else who dares to step between them. Collecting: Batman and Robin 24-28, Annual 2


Compare

The origin of Two-Face begins as Batman finds himself in the crossfire of a vengeful war between Two-Face and Erin McKillen! Both are hell bent on killing each other and anyone else who dares to step between them. Collecting: Batman and Robin 24-28, Annual 2

30 review for Batman and Robin, Volume 5: The Big Burn

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jayson

    (B+) 78% | Good Notes: Flashbacks and inequity elicit sharp sympathy for personal villainy, while rooted uncertainty gives way to epiphany.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    Well, I'm really glad I didn't save this for Sidekicks Week, because there wasn't much Robin to go with Batman. I don't know what I was expecting with Damien being dead for now, but since the title of this one is still Batman and Robin, I sort of thought there would be some posthumous stuff in there. Alas, not so much. There is one issue in the back that has Bruce and Dick looking at a package Damien left for Nightwing. It mostly tells the story of Dick's first time working with Bruce as the Dynami Well, I'm really glad I didn't save this for Sidekicks Week, because there wasn't much Robin to go with Batman. I don't know what I was expecting with Damien being dead for now, but since the title of this one is still Batman and Robin, I sort of thought there would be some posthumous stuff in there. Alas, not so much. There is one issue in the back that has Bruce and Dick looking at a package Damien left for Nightwing. It mostly tells the story of Dick's first time working with Bruce as the Dynamic Duo. And it was good! It's just... The title says Batman and Robin, dammit! *pouts* Fine, fine, fine. Forget my silliness. I'm just assuming this, but I believe they've redone Harvey Dent's origin story a bit. And, if so, this was a decent addition to the Batman canon. In this, his wife was killed and he was mutilated in his home by crime boss Erin McKillen. I vaguely remember her, but I don't think she played much of a part in things before this. If I'm wrong, feel free to correct me, but I thought Two-Face got splashed with acid while in a courtroom. Anyway, this time around, she is considered the creator of Dent's alter-ego. The other Gotham crime bosses call her home from her self-imposed exile, and demand that she take care of the problem...herself. Several double crosses later, and Batman finds himself trying to get Harvey and Erin to work together for five minutes, in order to escape DEATH. And stuff. There are several big reveals in this that have to do with Two-Face, but since some people are giant whiner babies about spoilers, I'm not giving any clues out. This actually turned out to be a pretty decent story...even without Robin.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sam Quixote

    Has there ever been a good Two Face story? Peter Tomasi tries for one in Batman and Robin, Volume 5: The Big Burn - and fails. I’m not sure I even like Two Face as a character. He’s a wacky gimmick, like so many Batman rogues, but beyond the name and the image, there’s not much to him. So even though Ra’s Al-Ghul has stolen Talia and Damian’s bodies, Bruce decides to postpone the retrieval until after he’s dealt with Two Face’s latest nonsense and a bruhaha between the Gotham Crime Families. In Has there ever been a good Two Face story? Peter Tomasi tries for one in Batman and Robin, Volume 5: The Big Burn - and fails. I’m not sure I even like Two Face as a character. He’s a wacky gimmick, like so many Batman rogues, but beyond the name and the image, there’s not much to him. So even though Ra’s Al-Ghul has stolen Talia and Damian’s bodies, Bruce decides to postpone the retrieval until after he’s dealt with Two Face’s latest nonsense and a bruhaha between the Gotham Crime Families. In the New 52, an Irish gangster called Erin McKillen killed Harvey Dent’s wife Gilda and burned the left side of his face, turning him into Two Face. Erin’s back for some reason and Harvey’s gonna kill her - or try to. Batman’s gotta do something because it’s his comic. The story is this dreary battle between Two Face and Erin, neither very interesting characters, as Batman saves Erin from Two Face and the cops, and then saves Two Face from Erin and the cops, and I kept wondering what on earth this was doing in a Batman and Robin book. I suppose Damian’s dead (for now) so Tomasi’s gotta do something. Shame this story is so boring! Tomasi doesn’t do anything original with Harvey’s origin besides Erin McKillen. Oh, Harvey WASN’T the White Knight of Gotham everyone thought he was? You mean like in every Two Face origin? Come on, man! Erin’s origin story is just awful. Of course she went to private school with Bruce - EVERYONE went to private school with Bruce! Of course she was at the party where Bruce introduced Harvey to Gilda! Her twin sister Shannon (gotta hammer home the theme of duality!) dies in the most contrived manner and then she blames Harvey because she needs a shaky motive to go and turn him into Two Face. The plot is as corny as ever. Like when Two Face has Erin on her knees, gun to her head, he just blah blah blahs about how he used to dream about putting a bullet in her head - instead of actually just doing it! D’you think she escapes Two Face’s gun?! Duuuh! Tomasi stealing a page from the hack Bond writer’s handbook. While the plotting is shoddy, the writing is even worse. The script is riddled with cliches: Harvey: Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer, hmm? Harvey: Well, food for thought. Bruce: You’re either part of the solution or part of the problem, Harvey… only you can decide which one… because remember, for evil to flourish, good men have to do nothing. Those are all quotes from one single page! And why is there a convenient retractable roof on the courthouse?! AND a convenient water tower!? WHY!?!? Ohhhhhh, because Tomasi’s a hack writer! Surprisingly, there’s an actual Batman and Robin story at the end of this volume of Batman and Robin! It’s about Dick Grayson’s first time out as Robin and ties into a package Damian sent him before he died. It sounds sweet except for that conclusion which just leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. Tomasi strikes again! Patrick Gleason’s art is generally fine but, thanks to Tomasi’s script, he overdoes the duality theme: there’s a panel of Bruce in the shower, half his face in water, the other not; there’s Gordon shaving, half his face in lather, the other not, and so on. We get it, this is a Two Face book! Also, there was a sloppy error in one panel: Gleason moves the damaged side of Harvey’s face from the left to the right. It’s compounded by the fact that it’s a wide panel with Harvey’s face front and centre. Rookie mistake (it’s the bottom panel on p.10 of the final issue of the arc, Inferno). And the villain, Tusk, from Dick’s story - that character design was dreadful. It looked a turd in a suit with two tusks sticking out of that mess he calls a face! Batman and Robin, Volume 5 stinks. Tomasi spins a tedious yarn about a tedious character full of bad dialogue. The Big Burn? The reader for having read this crap!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Frankh

    When Villains Month rolled around, Peter J. Tomasi had the wonderful opportunity to write a decent Two Face story. Harvey Dent is one of the A-listers in Batman's rogues gallery--and Tomasi has certainly delivered. It was remarkably written and paced, with enough gore and lechery that balanced the entire piece beautifully. This five-issued Two Face storyline is called The Big Burn, and I was admittedly nervous as all hell. Tomasi created one decent villain so far, and that was NoBody at the begi When Villains Month rolled around, Peter J. Tomasi had the wonderful opportunity to write a decent Two Face story. Harvey Dent is one of the A-listers in Batman's rogues gallery--and Tomasi has certainly delivered. It was remarkably written and paced, with enough gore and lechery that balanced the entire piece beautifully. This five-issued Two Face storyline is called The Big Burn, and I was admittedly nervous as all hell. Tomasi created one decent villain so far, and that was NoBody at the beginning of the first eight issues of Batman and Robin. Can he handle writing something for a well-established A-lister Bat-villain? I think I finally have a better understanding of how Tomasi writes Batman stories. He always builds up a good premise and then the next issues will either be decent follow-ups or shaky ones. But he always sticks the landing when it comes to the endings of his arcs (except perhaps with trash like Terminus and zombies). For his writing for the new origin story for one of the Bat-villain A-listers Two Face, The Big Burn certainly ended as a phenomenal albeit an essentially incomplete story. With the first installment of this Two Face story entitled First Strike, there is more potential here that one who is a stickler for the old continuity (srsly, better calm those balls) should not overlook or undermine. The introduction of the villainess Erin McKinell is astute in scope. I kindda like that we get an Irish mob presence in Gotham City and that it's a woman who is taking those reigns. One thing that's lacking in New 52 Batman is the mob families in Gotham City which is also an integral part of that mythos. Gotham is an infested nest of all kinds of vermin which is the reason Batman is badly needed by the average citizen. We don't only have the rogues gallery threatening the status quo, but also your organized crime. Here we finally get that mob presence, and, impressively enough, an actually competent series of actions from GCPD led by Commissioner Gordon. Honestly, this issue is such a promising premise as long as you're not hang-up on the origin story being changed. By the second issue named Sparks, the story starts having a natural progression of events, as well as very compelling character exposition all throughout, particularly on Tomasi's villainness Erin McKinell who is starting to become a very fleshed-out character of her own right, not only because she was the one responsible for scarring Harvey Dent and thus unleashing Two-Face to the world; but also because she's also a childhood friend of Bruce Wayne (which would be too on-the-nose in theory but was something I actually think would enable Batman to have a more personal investment on this case like never before as well, seeing as he both had relationships with Dent, and now McKinell in a distant past). I quite liked that McKinell sought Bruce's help and yet antagonized him for his outright refusal like the bitch she truly is. There's a strong set of teeth on this woman and she is neither likable or sympathetic so far, but I'm quite curious and intrigued by her importance to the plot nevertheless. No one likes to change something that's been established quite amazingly, and Jeph Loeb's writing on The Long Halloween pertaining to Harvey Dent's transformation into Two Face was greatly done. But DC launched New 52 for a reason and one of those reasons is to re-imagine many of their stories, and therefore improve their characters along the way based on the dynamic trends for today's comic book reader--and this may include the origin stories, more or less, since it probably helps the new blood to get to know these heroes and villains better by not having to dig up old issues (which is a tedious task), and instead focus on what is current on the comics line-up these days, and hopefully--if we are lucky--it would offer something smart and refreshing as well. By the third installment of Peter J. Tomasi's entitled Ignition, a complete revamp of Two Face's origin story, I can honestly say that it is starting to shape itself into one of the best arcs Tomasi has to offer yet in his B&R run. We don't have a new Robin ready so it's a useful and excellent way of making most of his time writing a story that is villain-centered--though which villain is in focus is quite debatable at this point. Though the titular one, Two Face is hardly ever in an intimate focus here; it's Erin McKillen who really manages to steal the spotlight. Not that I have a problem with that because Tomasi is writing her quite entertainingly and with unexpected depth, but this is supposed to be Two-Face's origin story and yet Tomasi seems to pay more attention to his villainess and the effect of scarring Harvey Dent has on her instead of the other way around. But that complaint, a very miniscule nitpick, was the one I had in the first two issues of this arc, but Tomasi finally brings forth Two-Face into the fold by this point in the game. The grand finale Inferno is so good in pacing, execution and artistic style that you simply lose yourself in the pages therein. Readers are provided with the right balance of action and dramatic elements, even if we are still haunted by Tomasi's failure to characterize Harvey Dent as a White Knight in the flashback sequences from the last issue which I discussed in detail here. I also talked about how I believed Tomasi did not want any comparisons with his work here and with that of Nolan's film The Dark Knight when it comes to how he interpreted the trinity relationship of Batman, Gordon and Dent. However, that line "You were the best of us" was unmistakably a callback to said movie. But as I've expressed in my review of the last issue, this was not the case, is it? Harvey Dent was not that of a stand-up guy to begin with, it may seem, seeing as he was a criminal defense lawyer for the Irish mob family McKillens, and that his run for the distruct attorney's office felt like a self-serving move because he had no other options left. So that line did not have the kind of impact Tomasi expect it might have because his Harvey Dent was a callous and pragmatic man of law as opposed to the idyllic and optimistic one we have seen in the Nolan film. But this is not where my criticisms end, though I'm not sure if my next one should even be considered a critique, since it's the most wonderful highlight of this five-issued arc, to be honest, and that is no other than Tomasi's original creation of the villainess Erin McKillen who is the dark horse that certainly won a place as a formidable foe (that I have a feeling could appear in other issue of the B&R run soon enough). I really enjoyed her. I enjoyed her relationship with Bruce Wayne. I enjoyed her sadomasochistic tango with Harvey Dent/Two Face. And I enjoyed her personal backstory. She was the one who truly shone in this story--which defeats the purpose of the title. As great as the Irish rose was, The Big Burn shouldn't be more about her, but Two-Face. That growing unevenness between their character's appearances was the most confusing development for me because on one hand I like reading about Erin; but on the other I really wish we're focusing on Two Face because this is his damn comic book in the first place. And when we do zero-in on him, it's by this last installment which are rife with great character interaction moments between him and Batman as well. The top-notch illustrations of Gleason, Gray and Kalisz should pique your interest since I personally think that they can rival those of Capullo, Miki and FCO from Synder's Batman: Zero Year. I'm constantly pleased by how much Gleason is surprising me as an artist. His artwork has come far since Born To Kill, first volume of B&R. He has finally learned to be more expressive in his details of character's faces and the action panels. So his artwork for this issue may earn the biggest share of my rating for it overall. So in a nutshell: Peter J. Tomasi's The Big Burn was definitely one of his strongest arcs (which is saying something because we were served by his weakest before), and that fucking ending will thankfully be resolved soon enough. I'm also looking forward for whatever larger role Erin McKillen will take to what I assume will be the Gotham's mob rise to relevance in the New 52 Batman storylines. RECOMMENDED: 8/10 DO READ MY BATMAN COMICS REVIEWS AT:

  5. 5 out of 5

    James DeSantis

    This is probably the weakest arc of Peter's run so far. Saying that it was still enjoyable but a little distant from what I want from my Batman and Robin series. Now I get Robin being dead would make it a bit hard to have the dude in here but the title results to be just another Batman story. Actually, it's all about Two Face and his slow and dark tale into what he is today. Do you know Mckillen? No. Me neither. However, she royally fucked Dent in the ass. Not only did she burn his face but she This is probably the weakest arc of Peter's run so far. Saying that it was still enjoyable but a little distant from what I want from my Batman and Robin series. Now I get Robin being dead would make it a bit hard to have the dude in here but the title results to be just another Batman story. Actually, it's all about Two Face and his slow and dark tale into what he is today. Do you know Mckillen? No. Me neither. However, she royally fucked Dent in the ass. Not only did she burn his face but she killed his wife right in front of him. Pretty screwed up huh? Then when she gets out of prison two face wants her dead. Batman like "no go hoe" and the war begins. Also there's a one shot of Dick's first week working with Batman as Robin. Good: That one shot was REALLY good. I loved watching "week one" of Robin's adventure. I also enjoyed seeing a focus on Two face as I think he is a pretty interesting character. The ending sure was screwed up too. Bad: Mckillen family is so mobster 101 psycho I just didn't care for them. Also the way the storytelling was shown was a little off. The art sometimes also suffered from too cartoonish. Overall this wasn't as fun or emotional as the last few. Still enjoyable and can't wait to jump into volume 6 but this was the weakspot for me.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jesse A

    Well definitely a step back for this series. Batman and Robin with almost no Robin. I know it may not be the most popular opinion but I really like Damien and need him back. 3.5 stars.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    Like most readers, I was eager to see how Peter J. Tomasi would follow the heartbreaking Requiem For Damian arc, only to find a Two-Face story that has almost nothing to do with the rest of the series. Fortunately, the creative team make this stop-gap worthwhile. Admittedly, the best issue here is the Annual that does focus on Batman and Robin. Just like the first Annual in Vol. 3, 'Week One' is a five star issue. When Bruce Wayne finds a mysterious box hidden by his son for Dick Grayson, he call Like most readers, I was eager to see how Peter J. Tomasi would follow the heartbreaking Requiem For Damian arc, only to find a Two-Face story that has almost nothing to do with the rest of the series. Fortunately, the creative team make this stop-gap worthwhile. Admittedly, the best issue here is the Annual that does focus on Batman and Robin. Just like the first Annual in Vol. 3, 'Week One' is a five star issue. When Bruce Wayne finds a mysterious box hidden by his son for Dick Grayson, he calls Nightwing to Wayne Manor to explain the story behind it. What follows is an almost perfectly written tale of the original Dynamic Duo. The characterisation is spot-on, and as a huge Dick Grayson fan I had smile on my face throughout the issue. This was a joy to read, due to the fantastic writing and art. The Big Burn itself sees Irish gangster Erin McKillen return to Gotham at the request of the now-united crime families. With their union prompted by the freaks taking control of Gotham's underworld, Erin is tasked with killing the one she created, Two-Face. It's an action packed outing that builds to a huge crescendo with, appropriately, two huge twists. As always, the art team of Gleason, Gray and Kalisz go to town with all manner of creepy, striking and just downright awesome visuals. There's a slight hiccup here and there with the art and the plot, but for the most part this is another impressive outing for Tomasi and co. As much as I enjoyed this volume, i'm ready to continue with the Batman and Robin storyline. However, I can excuse a break from the main narrative when it's to tell a pair (heh) of great stories like this. If you're on the fence about this one, don't miss out.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Gavin

    This gets 3.5 Stars, bumped up for Gleason's artwork and the fact that we finally get HARVEY DENT! Took damn long enough...I felt ripped off until now. Tomasi does some very decent work here, building on the Requiem for Damien TPB. His Two Face is a bit different, no Sal Maroni in the courthouse with the acid, but Erin McKillen in the Dent home with the acid after murdering Gilda, Harvey's beloved. However, this is a smarter story, since we get flashbacks, showing that Erin had a twin sister Shann This gets 3.5 Stars, bumped up for Gleason's artwork and the fact that we finally get HARVEY DENT! Took damn long enough...I felt ripped off until now. Tomasi does some very decent work here, building on the Requiem for Damien TPB. His Two Face is a bit different, no Sal Maroni in the courthouse with the acid, but Erin McKillen in the Dent home with the acid after murdering Gilda, Harvey's beloved. However, this is a smarter story, since we get flashbacks, showing that Erin had a twin sister Shannon, both of the Irish Mafia in Gotham, but who went to private school with Bruce, and at least knew Harvey in college. We also see that Bruce introduced Harvey to Gilda, and that Harvey used to be the McKillen family lawyer, until he had enough after the McKillen's tried to kill Jim Gordon and his family. Bruce pushed him to run for DA under his support, in part because Harvey kept getting all the criminals off because he was so talented and technically astute, and part because he wanted him going after criminals instead. Shannon ends up dead, and Erin blames Harvey...what I mentioned happens, and that makes Harv into Two Face. So this Harvey isn't the Great White Knight of Gotham...and that's more believable. I like the tweak. I also love that Bruce is more invested in these people, and knows them, they're not just criminals to him. There's also some stunning art, and this book is doing a great job of going pretty dark on things... The ending is superb. There's then the Annual #2 issue, which focuses on Dick and Damien, and later, Bruce finding something Damien left for Dick, and the two of them and Alfred sit and reminisce about Dick's first outing as Nightwing. It's a nice companion piece to the Big Burn storyline, and we get 2 Robins! It's good to see that the death of his son still affects him so greatly, he doesn't want to lose more people, even Harvey and Erin he wouldn't want to die, just be in prison. It's a pretty strong book, and Tomasi should be holding onto that job for a while if he wants it...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Scott

    I was back-and-forth between 2 and 3 stars for this one. 'The Big Burn' (75% of the book, and not featuring an appearance by ANY of the past / present Robins) sort of overstays its welcome while also revamping / retooling character background (Harvey Dent pre-'Two-Face,' the McKillen sisters being close to young Bruce Wayne, etc.). While it was deliciously dark on occasion, too often Batman was stuck in just a supporting role. Also, I feel cheated that at the very beginning there was a great ful I was back-and-forth between 2 and 3 stars for this one. 'The Big Burn' (75% of the book, and not featuring an appearance by ANY of the past / present Robins) sort of overstays its welcome while also revamping / retooling character background (Harvey Dent pre-'Two-Face,' the McKillen sisters being close to young Bruce Wayne, etc.). While it was deliciously dark on occasion, too often Batman was stuck in just a supporting role. Also, I feel cheated that at the very beginning there was a great full-page illustration of Batman, flanked by trench-coated and shotgun-wielding Gotham cops Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock, with the trio in a no-nonsense 'ready for action' pose. It would've been nice if there was actually such a scene in the book, but it just doesn't happen at all. Better was the story closing the edition - Dick 'Robin' Grayson details his first week on the job!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Donovan

    "Third side's the edge, the spot the two sides come together, where heads meet tails--" Tomasi really outdid himself. This book is almost entirely about Harvey Dent/Two Face versus Erin McKillen of the McKillen crime family. Tomasi goes deep into Dent's psychology in a way that transcends all other books about him. We see not just both sides but a third moderate side, the balance, the good and the evil. The Joker is the big cheese with the dynamite, but man, Two Face really pulls you in. The way "Third side's the edge, the spot the two sides come together, where heads meet tails--" Tomasi really outdid himself. This book is almost entirely about Harvey Dent/Two Face versus Erin McKillen of the McKillen crime family. Tomasi goes deep into Dent's psychology in a way that transcends all other books about him. We see not just both sides but a third moderate side, the balance, the good and the evil. The Joker is the big cheese with the dynamite, but man, Two Face really pulls you in. The way that Bats, Two Face, and Jim Gordon all interact is so fascinating psychologically. Again we have another volume without Damian, but we get flashbacks and there's plenty of Dick, too (ha!). Here's looking forward to Volume 6.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Blindzider

    With the absence of Damian, Tomasi applies his talents to a Two-Face story that delves deep into his origin. The details of which I believe are new in this New52 story because I don't recall any of it from the original DCU. Either way, Tomasi creates these emotional motivations driving Two-Face, Bruce, and the villain, weaving them together in a highly charged story of revenge. The last story is mainly about Dick Grayson's first night as Robin and has a nice tie-in to Damian, both reminding you o With the absence of Damian, Tomasi applies his talents to a Two-Face story that delves deep into his origin. The details of which I believe are new in this New52 story because I don't recall any of it from the original DCU. Either way, Tomasi creates these emotional motivations driving Two-Face, Bruce, and the villain, weaving them together in a highly charged story of revenge. The last story is mainly about Dick Grayson's first night as Robin and has a nice tie-in to Damian, both reminding you of his personality as well as his absence.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    Wow. This was certainly a much darker entry than most of the other New 52 titles. Really cool to get Two-Face's origin story and to meet some new villains I've never seen before. Keeps it fresh when they're not just rehashing things over and over again. Wow. This was certainly a much darker entry than most of the other New 52 titles. Really cool to get Two-Face's origin story and to meet some new villains I've never seen before. Keeps it fresh when they're not just rehashing things over and over again.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lost Planet Airman

    SO... two stars -- what's up with that? The art was good, although some of the action sequences were unintelligible for brief moments (although action sequences can be like that, correct?) The color was a fantastic moodiness of dark shades of darks. The writing made sense in the small sense -- dialogues flowed well, communication and comments were informative and not overused. And even in the large sense, the plots and themes, they held together cleanly. This should have been a four-star read. But SO... two stars -- what's up with that? The art was good, although some of the action sequences were unintelligible for brief moments (although action sequences can be like that, correct?) The color was a fantastic moodiness of dark shades of darks. The writing made sense in the small sense -- dialogues flowed well, communication and comments were informative and not overused. And even in the large sense, the plots and themes, they held together cleanly. This should have been a four-star read. But (view spoiler)[ GIVE ME A FREAKIN' BREAK, THEY REWROTE HALF THE FREAKIN' ORIGIN OF TWO-FACE (hide spoiler)] and then to make matters worse they (view spoiler)[HAD HIM FREAKIN' KILL HIMSELF (and I'm pretty sure they weren't even clever enough to use a .22, which would have been SO apropos (hide spoiler)] . AND THEN (view spoiler)[IT MAY EVEN ONLY BE A BOTCHED SUICIDE SO THEY CAN RETROACTIVELY RETCON THE RETCONNED CONTINUITY (hide spoiler)] . ARRRRRRRGH! ARRRRRRRGH! ARRRRRRRGH! ARRRRRRRGH! If I actually claimed to hate anything, right now I would hate DC with the flaming passion of ten thousand dying suns. ARRRRRRRGH!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Chris Lemmerman

    After four awesome volumes of Batman and Robin, Batman and Robin becomes an almost unbearable snoozefest of a read. You know when a story opens with what is essentially the line 'My son's corpse has been taken but I have better things to do' that you're in for a wild, and not very interesting, ride. The idea of The Big Burn is that the mob boss that poured acid into Harvey Dent's face and created Two-Face has finally returned to Gotham, but for five issues they, and Batman, basically run around After four awesome volumes of Batman and Robin, Batman and Robin becomes an almost unbearable snoozefest of a read. You know when a story opens with what is essentially the line 'My son's corpse has been taken but I have better things to do' that you're in for a wild, and not very interesting, ride. The idea of The Big Burn is that the mob boss that poured acid into Harvey Dent's face and created Two-Face has finally returned to Gotham, but for five issues they, and Batman, basically run around Gotham getting shot at, with no resolution to the story whatsoever and absolutely nothing contributed to Batman and Robin at all. It's the final annual that shows why Peter Tomasi has been so good at this series - he understands the relationships between the Robins, and the relationship between the Robins and Batman. This annual reminded me why I liked this series in the first place, and gave me hope for the next storyline. It's not all doom and gloom, because Patrick Gleason's artwork remains excellent, and both he and Doug Mahnke gel very well in the annual. It's just a damn shame that this storyline has no place in Batman and Robin at all, because it's basically just a low-rent Batman stock story for a rainy day used as a filler arc to pad out this run. A damn shame.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Quentin Wallace

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Not sure where to start with this one. Overall I really enjoyed it. We got a cool new origin of Two Face. In this volume, the woman who murdered his wife and scarred his face returns to Gotham, and Two Face is hell bent on revenge. Batman gets caught up in the middle as usual. We have a deep, action packed, dramatic storyline with a very shocking ending. (Two Face commits suicide? What?? Is he really dead? What the hell!!??!?) Overall this is a can't miss volume, especially for fans of Two Face. Not sure where to start with this one. Overall I really enjoyed it. We got a cool new origin of Two Face. In this volume, the woman who murdered his wife and scarred his face returns to Gotham, and Two Face is hell bent on revenge. Batman gets caught up in the middle as usual. We have a deep, action packed, dramatic storyline with a very shocking ending. (Two Face commits suicide? What?? Is he really dead? What the hell!!??!?) Overall this is a can't miss volume, especially for fans of Two Face. If you like comics darker and deeper, you'll enjoy this one.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Joseph

    Really enjoyed this volume of Batman and Robin. Now that Damian is dead, Batman seems resigned to the fact and ends up teaming up with Two-Face to help save him from a vengeance-obsessed member of Gotham's many crime families. Nice new additions to the Two-Face story, plus new background on Bruce Wayne's early years. Really enjoyed this volume of Batman and Robin. Now that Damian is dead, Batman seems resigned to the fact and ends up teaming up with Two-Face to help save him from a vengeance-obsessed member of Gotham's many crime families. Nice new additions to the Two-Face story, plus new background on Bruce Wayne's early years.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Relstuart

    This one didn't have Robin and focused on a mob story with Harvey Dent. The end with Dent was unexpected. This one didn't have Robin and focused on a mob story with Harvey Dent. The end with Dent was unexpected.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sans

    So. Questions. 1. When did Harvey figure out who Batman is? 2. Didn't he just reveal Bruce is under the cowl to the whole of Gotham? They were on television during that fight, yes? 3. Why was the Two-Face story in the Batman and Robin series instead of Batman or Detective Comics? (Or was it a carry over from those and I just haven't gotten to it yet?) I did love the final issue in here. I stared at the full page of babyGraysonRobin jumping out of the helicopter for a couple of minutes. His absolute So. Questions. 1. When did Harvey figure out who Batman is? 2. Didn't he just reveal Bruce is under the cowl to the whole of Gotham? They were on television during that fight, yes? 3. Why was the Two-Face story in the Batman and Robin series instead of Batman or Detective Comics? (Or was it a carry over from those and I just haven't gotten to it yet?) I did love the final issue in here. I stared at the full page of babyGraysonRobin jumping out of the helicopter for a couple of minutes. His absolute unfettered joy in that panel was simply delightful.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Julian

    Batman and Robin volume five (a more suitable title would probably be Batman and Erin McKillen volume five) significantly revises Two-Face's origin for the New 52 but it does so in a muddled and confused way. I don't know why I hadn't heard much about this comic since the ending issue is full of huge ramifications for Two-Face's character as well as his relationship with Batman. Instead of the traditional knight-in-shining-armor Harvey Dent is portrayed as a vulturous defense attorney who knowi Batman and Robin volume five (a more suitable title would probably be Batman and Erin McKillen volume five) significantly revises Two-Face's origin for the New 52 but it does so in a muddled and confused way. I don't know why I hadn't heard much about this comic since the ending issue is full of huge ramifications for Two-Face's character as well as his relationship with Batman. Instead of the traditional knight-in-shining-armor Harvey Dent is portrayed as a vulturous defense attorney who knowingly attempts to help criminals and crime syndicates get away with their crimes which is why Bruce encourages him to run for District Attorney (ie. he knows all their tricks). Dent's relationship with the McKillen crime family is what eventually leaves his face scarred and his wife killed in retaliation since Erin McKillen believes that Dent's role in their prosecution 'killed' her sister in one of the worst cases of circular reasoning ever. By turning Dent into an accomplice to the city's villains a significant part of his origin is eroded. Throughout the book Batman refers back to the Harvey Dent who wanted to improve the city and worked to weed out corruption but, as far as I can tell, in this version of the story that person never existed. It is further implied that he decided to pick up the coin because he saw a bunch of them scattered on the floor where his wife was murdered - not because of childhood abuse at the hands of his father (which previously reinforced his conflict with the idea of free will). I don't actually mind alterations to backgrounds or characters contrary to many comic readers who can't stand any amount of change (a situation seen most recently in the death threats sent to Dan Slott for his writing on Superior Spider-man). Retelling and reinventing can provide a great new basis to take storylines and characters into new territory instead of treading over the same ground that has been traveled before. However, the revisions Peter Tomasi has introduced to Two-Face's background are redundant, uninteresting and ultimately make no sense. Batman continually pleads for Two-Face to return to his heroic past self (a self which didn't even exist in this timeline). Dent's break with reality and conflict with the idea of determinism is a lazy 'sudden-break-with-reality' brought on by the death of his wife instead of a deep philosophical struggle which emerged during his formative years. Then there's the reveal that Two-Face always knew that Bruce was Batman (really, another one of those?!). Plus, the ultimate spoiler: (view spoiler)[Two-Face's apparent suicide during the finale. (hide spoiler)] Everything about Two-Face and Harvey Dent is flipped on its side and not entirely for the better. In the Legacy of Kain series of video games the main character, Kain, says that all his time traveling was an attempt to flip a coin so many times that it finally lands on its side. I would be surprised if in all of the comics ever printed with Two-Face that no one had pointed out that coins, as three-dimensional objects, do have a side which is neither heads or tails. Entering this concept into the story was interesting but at the same time it seemed a little obvious and hard to imagine that he wouldn't have thought about it before (especially since this is not an uncommon observation). There was also a recurring Native American fable, most recently told in PBS' “We Will Remain” series, about two wolves fighting over light and dark. The fact that I had heard all of the 'philosophical' reveals in the story definitely lessened their impact and gave the book a feeling of those tumblr-text sayings which hover over romanticized landscapes. In the best comic books the interactions between characters cause them to evolve and become dynamic. In Batman and Robin vol. 5 the protagonist spouts off his truisms and the other characters say "Thank you benevolent bat-teacher" and go on their way. This book would be so much more interesting if these characters had witty quips from their own personal philosophies to contrast with Batman instead of "Damnit! Coins do have a third side!" Patrick Gleason is back (he took a short hiatus in the last book) and his work is as good as ever. This series is one of the two monthlies that I'm picking up from DC and the major reason is because of Gleason's artwork. His collaboration with Mick Gray on the inking is amazing as well. The reds, oranges and blues combined with Gleason's draftsmanship make for an incredibly visually appealing book (although his non-action scenes seem to lack the same quality of line and drawing). All in all it's another mediocre (but at least, this time, unfragmented) storyline held together with amazing artwork. The story is average (around 3 stars) but the artwork is above average (around 4 stars).

  20. 4 out of 5

    John Hefner

    In this all-new take on Two-Face’s origin (and possibly also his final fate), Batman finds himself caught in the middle between Two-Face and the vengeful Irish mob boss who murdered Gilda and inadvertently created Two-Face. As Bruce struggles to keep his old friends from killing each other, flashbacks reveal the new backstory for Harvey Dent, whom Erin McKillen blames for her sister’s death, and who may not have been entirely innocent. It all ramps up to major revelations and a shocking cliffhan In this all-new take on Two-Face’s origin (and possibly also his final fate), Batman finds himself caught in the middle between Two-Face and the vengeful Irish mob boss who murdered Gilda and inadvertently created Two-Face. As Bruce struggles to keep his old friends from killing each other, flashbacks reveal the new backstory for Harvey Dent, whom Erin McKillen blames for her sister’s death, and who may not have been entirely innocent. It all ramps up to major revelations and a shocking cliffhanger which remains unresolved nearly two years later! I’ll be honest: I expected to hate this story. Gilda fridged? Harvey possibly being corrupt as D.A.? The classic origin wiped out? There was not enough DO NOT WANT in the world. So color me surprised when I ended up really, really liking this new origin. It’s not my preferred take, but on its own merits, it’s a damn good story, one which makes a couple profound impacts on Two-Face as a character, especially in regards to his relationship with Bruce. And while Gilda’s fridging is still bad, it at least gives Harvey a “Mr. Freeze” layer of extra romantic tragedy, which seems to have resonated with some fans. That said, this story is something of a mess. It was obviously supposed to be a very different story, one which involved the origins of Carrie Kelly (who had just been introduced to the New 52 continuity), until these plans were scapped at the last minute. Frankly, it’s amazing that this story is as coherent as it is, and I would still love to know what the hell happened behind the scenes that changed the original version of this story, whatever the hell that was.  Regardless, “The Big Burn” was a very strong story with some revelations and twists that really should have led to greater attention and reaction from the apathetic comics press. It’s honestly bizarre to me that no one seems to care about that ending, much less that Two-Face hasn’t made any appearances since Spring 2014. Whether it’s Scott Snyder or someone else who finally brings Harvey back (because of course he’s coming back... right?), hopefully that writer won’t just sweep “The Big Burn” under the rug. This story is an EXTREMELY rare care of a New 52 origin actually being pretty damn good, and it deserves recognition.  Also, bring back Erin McKillen, preferably written by Tomasi. She’s a fascinatingly loathsome antagonist, a rare case of a villain I actually love to hate.  Recommended for fans of Two-Face, decent new takes on villain origins, fiery redheads, angst, pain, and feels.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    Aside from this being Batman and Robin but no Robin, the story was actually a cool bit about Batman, Harvey Dent, and a mutual enemy. Batman is the catalyst between all their lives, but is he gonna take responsibility? Damn. No idea of this is a definitive story regarding Harvey Dent, but I really liked it! The final issue is about a sweet story between the Robins, regarding their first week on the job. Might have cried there at the end.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jason M Waltz

    Back to being another great continuation of this series (though still had to find some completion (put some pieces together) by searching for and reading other issues online). The saga between Batman and Dent was interesting; also interesting is that this is the path chosen to disrupt Bruce's grieving. Good story overall. Back to being another great continuation of this series (though still had to find some completion (put some pieces together) by searching for and reading other issues online). The saga between Batman and Dent was interesting; also interesting is that this is the path chosen to disrupt Bruce's grieving. Good story overall.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Batastrophe

    In my past reviews of Tomasi's Batman and Robin series, my most repeated comment was how the whole series comes together to tell one story, unified by a common theme and connected into one long arc. Unfortunately in this volume, that no longer holds true. I suppose the best reason I can think of for that is that there's only so long you can go on talking about Batman and Robin without Robin actually being around. That being said, while this book doesn't really have anything to do with well...any In my past reviews of Tomasi's Batman and Robin series, my most repeated comment was how the whole series comes together to tell one story, unified by a common theme and connected into one long arc. Unfortunately in this volume, that no longer holds true. I suppose the best reason I can think of for that is that there's only so long you can go on talking about Batman and Robin without Robin actually being around. That being said, while this book doesn't really have anything to do with well...anything...that the series previously established, it does at least manage to stand on its own reasonably well. The plot essentially tells the origin of Two-Face. It's a passable story, and reasonably entertaining, but honestly? I was bored to tears half the time while reading it. It went on for far too long in my opinion, and I don't think it really fleshed out any of the characters any more than they already were. It's well-plotted and reasonably well-told, but honestly my biggest gripe is that I think it's pretty unnecessary. Batman: The Long Halloween tells the origin of Two-Face and in my opinion does a far better job of it. I know this is New 52 and so DC probably felt they needed to go at it again, but I just don't really think it was worth it in the long run. I far prefer Loeb and Sale's version of events to this one, even if I enjoyed Tomasi and Gleason's writing and art. Solid effort, but I'm just not sure what the point was. Within the story itself, I did have a few criticisms. I felt the plot was a bit unnecessarily convoluted: (view spoiler)[Batman wants villain jailed, then helps release villain, then wants her jailed again, etc..he sides with and against Two-Face and goes back and forth too many times for my liking. (hide spoiler)] It makes sense within the plot, but frankly just made the whole thing feel drawn-out and ended up really annoying me. Also, the new villain in the book, Erin McKillen, just didn't really appeal to me. She came across more as crazy than formidable compared to some of the other mobsters we see appear in Batman and was also rather forgettable to me. Also, her name's actually McKillen. If that's not on the nose, I don't know what is. The story also just feels really disruptive--like I said above, Batman and Robin was remarkable to me for how well it played the long-game and really tied each and every issue together into one long connected story. Not so with this arc. It feels as though it comes out of nowhere and really feels like it's part of a different series. Basically, it feels shoehorned into the series as a whole to me. We do, however, get a couple instances that call back to the original theme of this series, most notable this two-page spread, which actually came across as pretty poignant and was probably my favorite moment of the book: Last of all, we get the second annual, which I enjoyed more than the Two-Face arc, but still underwhelmed me a bit. It's an origin story for Dick Grayson, and much how I felt that The Long Halloween was a better origin for Two-Face, I thought we have other better examples of Dick Grayson origin stories out there in PreBoot, such as Robin: Year One or even Robin Annual #4. (view spoiler)[In this version of events, Batman is extremely reluctant to allow Dick to go out as Robin, and the level of his reluctance made it difficult to sell me on it actually happening. I'm also just not a huge fan of Dick being 16 when he becomes Robin in the New 52. It's just a personal preference, but I like it better when he starts younger. (hide spoiler)] Overall though, the annual was a pretty fun story that I largely enjoyed. We get some fun Dick Grayson moments as Robin, including a hilarious call-out to his PreBoot Nightwing costume: The annual also returns to Batman and Robin's roots a bit more by touching on Damian and his relationships with the batfamily, mainly Dick Grayson in this case. It ties back nicely to the end issue #14 in Batman and Robin, Vol. 2: Pearl, which is lovely to see. All in all, this volume is by no means terrible, but it is skipable. If you're reading Batman and Robin for Damian's character or his relationship with Batman and the other batfam, this volume has little to no bearing on it, except perhaps a smidge in the annual. I for one can't wait to dive into volume 6 and return to the heart of what this series is really about.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Henry Blackwood

    Two problems with this. First problem: The title is Batman & Robin. There’s no Robin in this book. Second problem: story is about retconning an entire backstory of an iconic Batman villain (Two-Face) just to inject a terrible psychopathic character. It’s fucking awful. I don’t know if we’re supposed to like her or not but woof.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Edward Davies

    An interesting reimagining of the origin of Two-Face, with some nice twists and some challenges for Batman's moral compass. An interesting reimagining of the origin of Two-Face, with some nice twists and some challenges for Batman's moral compass.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Azuma-chan

    For a comic about Batman and Robin, there was no Robin in here. But, I did enjoy this more than the previous ones.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ivy

    5 stars Glad to have a Harvey Dent / Two-Face origin story. The McKillens were interesting. The fact that Erin McKillen and Bruce Wayne were old friends was also interesting. Hope Erin can get the help she needs. Can't wait to read Batman and Robin, volume 6: The Hunt for Robin!!! 5 stars Glad to have a Harvey Dent / Two-Face origin story. The McKillens were interesting. The fact that Erin McKillen and Bruce Wayne were old friends was also interesting. Hope Erin can get the help she needs. Can't wait to read Batman and Robin, volume 6: The Hunt for Robin!!!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Tony Laplume

    Like a cross between The Dark Knight and Batman: Earth One Volume 2, Tomasi and Gleason were tasked with creating a villain-centric arc during DC's villain-centered Forever Evil event, right in the middle of the dramatic events surrounding the death of Damian (the, ah, Robin in Batman and Robin), and came up with one of their best stories. The villain in question is Two-Face, who was a significant part of The Dark Knight (even though most people will probably think mostly about the Joker) and whi Like a cross between The Dark Knight and Batman: Earth One Volume 2, Tomasi and Gleason were tasked with creating a villain-centric arc during DC's villain-centered Forever Evil event, right in the middle of the dramatic events surrounding the death of Damian (the, ah, Robin in Batman and Robin), and came up with one of their best stories. The villain in question is Two-Face, who was a significant part of The Dark Knight (even though most people will probably think mostly about the Joker) and which The Big Burn reflects in some ways even while it contrasts in others, much as the more recent Earth One story does. There's also Batman: Dark Victory, which predates all of them and to that point was probably the definitive Two-Face story. Where Tomasi most departs the beaten path is the one Harvey Dent takes to become Two-Face, introducing Erin McKillen as the last survivor of a Gotham mob family whose loss of a twin sister sent her over the edge, and she pinned the blame on Dent, becoming the culprit in the famous acid revenge origin in the process. It's subtle work, but Tomasi weaves Batman through all of this, with Bruce Wayne having grown up with the McKillens and thus having a vested interest in the outcome of the feud that is about to reach its culmination. His Dent, meanwhile, is not exactly Christopher Nolan's white knight, but he is still an important figure who along with Batman and Jim Gordon is the best hope for a better future in the city. The intriguing thing is that Two-Face spends most of the time waiting in the wings as McKillen's arc plays out, though his torment at the loss of his wife drives his arc and is thus a reflection and commentary on what weighs on Batman's mind throughout the volume. Gleason has a great deal of fun playing with duality and faces in profile, the rare artist who takes the challenge of depicting Two-Face in full, the only way possible you begin to realize as you read The Big Burn. He's also the first artist who seems to be aware that on the scarred side of the villain's face, there's no eyelid to close when he's asleep, and so Gleason indulges in his understated but impactful macabre tendencies in that regard with an image you won't be able to forget easily. It's a definitive story for Two-Face, with a true conclusion. Meanwhile, the collection includes an unrelated story featuring the late Damian as he gives the first Robin, Dick Grayson, an unexpected gift from beyond the grave. Tomasi, or perhaps just the editors responsible for putting this collection together, realized the relevant connection between the stories, however, as the Two-Face story ends with Batman and Gordon reflecting that the villain has gone off the grid, while the other story begins with a similar sentiment concerning the villain floating around its narrative. This is very much a volume consumed with absences, and the ways people react to them, no matter if they're superheroes and villains or not. It's good reading either way.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Wing Kee

    This is a fairly good pivot. When Damien died (we know that won't last cause it's comics) I was wondering where this series would go when there is no Robin to be found. So when this arc came out and it was Batman and Two-Face I was very intrigued, what I found here is actually a quite enjoyable tale. World: Gleason does not get to really get to strut his stuff in terms of gore and bodily fluids this time, but he did have fun with Harvey's face. The art is just as good and the splash pages are wond This is a fairly good pivot. When Damien died (we know that won't last cause it's comics) I was wondering where this series would go when there is no Robin to be found. So when this arc came out and it was Batman and Two-Face I was very intrigued, what I found here is actually a quite enjoyable tale. World: Gleason does not get to really get to strut his stuff in terms of gore and bodily fluids this time, but he did have fun with Harvey's face. The art is just as good and the splash pages are wonderful. The world building here is also top level. This is the New 52 and we've not really gotten a full Harvey Dent origin yet and this is where it's found. Also the pieces that Tomasi plays with in terms of building the crime families in Gotham was good, it's not super detailed, but the McKillen's was good, they serve their purpose and give this story a nice sandbox to play in. Story: The story is very enjoyable, it's well paced and the writing is strong. Dialog is on point and the tone good. The time jumps feel organic and don't feel choppy as sometimes they tend to be. However, this is also the area of the book where is also stumbles. The revenge plans are overly complicated and also and some of the logic to move the pieces for the action scenes make no sense (Bruce springing McKillen out comes to mind). It's a poetic ending and I think a good take on Harvey Dent, he's complex (and though I think a couple of more issues would be great to flesh him out), and this take on him is good. The Annual tale is also great because it hits on an emotional level and is a great little piece of world building. It's great to see Dick as Robin. Characters: This is first and foremost a Harvey Dent story and that's a good thing. His journey and motivations are good and I really enjoyed the quiet moments with only Harvey and his thoughts. Erin McKillen was also a great new character and her history with Harvey and Bruce were great. I love it when creators go back to the roots of the characters and use it as story. I don't want to go into too much spoilers but yes I really enjoyed the characters and their arcs for this tale. This is really meaty stuff to chew on. I liked this arc, I did not see it coming but this is a good pivot. I liked the ending but it also made me somewhat sad because...nevermind no spoilers. Oh and the Annual story is also AMAZING! Onward to the next book!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Xavier Guillaume

    It's funny that this is a Batman and Robin novel because Robin is not in at all, well, unless you count Nightwing, :) but even with the lack of our sunshiney morning bird, I was pleasantly surprised by this novel! I really don't want to spoil any of it because the story is so well written. All you need to know is that Two-Face is in it, and I learned more about Two-Face in this one book than I have ever known, and his character portrait is fascinating! I absolutely love the symbolism involved thr It's funny that this is a Batman and Robin novel because Robin is not in at all, well, unless you count Nightwing, :) but even with the lack of our sunshiney morning bird, I was pleasantly surprised by this novel! I really don't want to spoil any of it because the story is so well written. All you need to know is that Two-Face is in it, and I learned more about Two-Face in this one book than I have ever known, and his character portrait is fascinating! I absolutely love the symbolism involved throughout the novel that show the double aspect of Two-Face / Harvey Dent. The other thing I love is that the majority of Batman villains are outright monsters, but Two-Face is the only (as far as I know) half-monster. It really is fascinating, and even if you haven't read the other Batman and Robin volumes, you really should read this one. My only issue with the novel is there are several flashbacks throughout the novel regarding Harvey Dent (District Attorney) and Erin McKillen (Irish Mob Boss), and the flashbacks don't take a thematic order. If you were to organize a timeline to the flashbacks, they would look something like 5, 7, 4, 3, 6, 8, 3, 1, 9, 2. (<-not actual order, but just as random). I feel like they organized the timeline more on what they wanted to reveal to the reader. I suppose that makes sense because memories come back at you without a necessary order, but personally, I prefer my books to have a more defined structure. Even as a mature reader, it is easy to get lost in the flashbacks if you are unfamiliar with the story. All in all, I was not disappointed by this book, and I can't wait to read the next volume. Judging by the title, we will learn more about the future of Robin, or at least I hope! There are only 2 volumes left of the series! :)

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.