After a short stint running a jury during the Mr. Freeze trial, and a break from the costume – Bruce Wayne has returned to the tights in Batman #54. Tom King and Matt Wagner team up to give us an up-close look at the relationship between Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson.
After returning the cowl back to Bruce, Dick has decided to stick around with him for a while to help him get back to his normal self. Throughout the issue, we travel into the past; we see an abundant of memories the two heroes share while Bruce was raising Dick.
Fighting Through Pain…
Batman #54 begins with a flashback to the night Dick lost his parents. Jumping ahead to the current day we find Batman and Nightwing facing off the joke of a villain called Crazy Quilt. This tends to be a theme throughout the story. Batman and Nightwing face off against – what I think even the most generous person would rate – D-list villains.
While Batman is clearly still struggling with his return to action, Nightwing constantly provides a ray of sunshine. With his jokes and laid back attitude, Dick can put a smile on anyone’s face. Nightwing is seemingly just repaying Bruce for when he was there for him as a child.
“Like Father Like Son”
Throughout the issue, we see the struggles Dick had as an orphan after he had lost his parents. Bruce was there to comfort him and they got through it together. It is rather touching to see Dick returning the favor to Bruce after all of these years later. Bruce, still struggling with being left at the altar, hasn’t been his same self since. Dick, during the entirety of the issue, reassures Bruce he is there for him whether he wants him to be or not.
Despite Bruce Continuingly claiming he is fine and keeping all of his emotions bottled up. This is a rather common issue for people struggling with depression. Since the wedding, Tom King has done a great job of showing how Bruce struggles emotionally, which isn’t showcased often with the character.
Matt Wagner and Tomeu Morey team up as the art team in Batman #54 and bring us on an emotional rollercoaster. Wagner gives us great shots of both Dick as a child and Bruce now, going through emotional agony. We also get to see Batman dawning the classic suit again which is always a pleasure.
Morey gives us a boatload of pages filled with bright colors. This is contrary to what we are used to for Batman comics; yet, for this issue, it seems very fitting. With Bruce’s struggles dealing with losing Selina, and Nightwing doing his best to brighten the day for him the entire time – it makes sense to use bright tones.
Final Thoughts On Batman #54
Batman #54 gives a chance to see Bruce and Dick together again, and get a better understanding of where their relationship stands. Bruce and Dick haven’t always had the closest relationship. There have been plenty of times where the two have butt-heads. Tom King does a great job reminding us that they are family.
Seeing the different stories of Dick as a child and Bruce in the present day, it felt as if the two stories were looking at each other in a mirror. No matter how dark things may get for the heroes they are always there for each other. Even though this issue felt like filler, it still hit a good note with the reader. And with Bruce back in the suit, it is exciting to think about what lays ahead.