BATMAN: PRELUDE TO THE WEDDING - ROBIN VS. RA'S AL GHUL #1 BY TIM SEELEY, ANDREW HENNESSY AND BRADLEY WALKER
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
BATMAN: PRELUDE TO THE WEDDING - ROBIN VS. RA'S AL GHUL #1. While Ra's Al Ghul takes him time to actually appear, the star of this comic is Damien Wayne. This issue dives in deep into this character as the son of Batman and Talia Al Ghul. His new relationship with his step-mother-to-be is a real standout. Robin and Catwoman bonding together is so heartwarming. Tim Seeley has written a good story here, I look forward to more pre-wedding day chaos in this series of one-shots.
80 %
FOR BETTER, FOR WORSE!

Forget about the Royal Wedding, the real wedding of the century is the upcoming union between Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle. Does anyone have any objections? Apparently, Ra’s Al Ghul does! In BATMAN: PRELUDE TO THE WEDDING – ROBIN VS. RA’S AL GHUL #1, Damien Wayne goes up against his grandfather, on the eve of his father’s wedding. Written by Tim Seeley, this is the first part of a series of one-shots dedicated to Batman’s upcoming nuptials and the chaos that ensues before the big day.

The Son of Two Warring Houses

BATMAN: PRELUDE TO THE WEDDING – ROBIN VS. RA’S AL GHUL #1 starts off with Selina Kyle and Damien Wayne preparing for the upcoming wedding. While at the tailors, he is pricked with a needle. Remember that, it becomes important later.

When Selina leaves to her bachelorette party, Damien suits up as Robin and sneaks into an arcade after hours. Suddenly, he meets a young man wearing a leather catsuit and carrying a bullwhip. His name is Aion and he claims to be the son of Batman and Catwoman, the true heir to the Bat-mantle. His fighting style is similar to that of Catwoman’s and the former Robins.

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Remember that needle prick before? Yeah, well… spoiler, it was poisoned. Robin begins to hallucinate. The terrifying illusion was definitely mind-trippy with the scene’s great visuals. Transported to a horrible future, where Damien is not worthy of being the next Batman because he is a bastard son.

These visions mess with Damien’s head for a moment until he is able to break free of this mental prison. As the hallucination disappears, Ra’s Al Ghul emerges, finally. Took him long enough. He reminds Robin that he is “the son of two warring houses.” Which is true, since he is the son of Batman and Talia Al Ghul. Also, Al Ghul disapproves of Batman marrying a “thieving lowborn harlot” because she will challenge Damien’s place in the Bat-family.

BATMAN: PRELUDE TO THE WEDDING - ROBIN VS. RA'S AL GHUL #1
BATMAN: PRELUDE TO THE WEDDING – ROBIN VS. RA’S AL GHUL #1 Page 2. Image Courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Left At The Alter by Ra’s Al Ghul

More than halfway through the comic, I was still waiting for Ra’s Al Ghul to make a grand entrance. Because “Robin vs. Ra’s Al Ghul” is in the title, I was expecting to see more of a fight between the two assassins. Robin does more fighting with a figment of his imagination than the leader of the League of Assassins.

Honestly, it is a bit of a letdown. Robin fighting hallucinations overshadowed his confrontation with Ra’s Al Ghul. I wish the story spent less time with Bat Cat and more time with one of the deadliest assassins in the DC Universe. The saving grace of BATMAN: PRELUDE TO THE WEDDING – ROBIN VS. RA’S AL GHUL #1 is the final scene.

In the epilogue, we see Ra’s Al Ghul standing among a bunch of dead ninjas with “Ha Ha Ha” spray painted on the wall. Such great imagery, by the way. This looks like a reference to The Joker. This also looks like Ra’s Al Ghul is not done interfering with Bruce and Selina’s wedding just yet.

BATMAN: PRELUDE TO THE WEDDING - ROBIN VS. RA'S AL GHUL #1
BATMAN: PRELUDE TO THE WEDDING – ROBIN VS. RA’S AL GHUL #1 Page 3. Image Courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Catwoman and Robin

What really surprised me in this issue is the connection between Selina and Damien. Since she is marrying his father, the two must navigate their new relationship. In the scenes where Damien and Selina are spending time together, it was heartwarming to see them bond. With both of them dealing with baggage from their pasts, they are able to relate to each other on a certain level. Selina carries her past as a villain while Damien is the heir to the Al Ghul legacy.

BATMAN: PRELUDE TO THE WEDDING – ROBIN VS. RA’S AL GHUL #1 ends with a sweet scene between Damien and Selina, where he asks her if she and Bruce plan to have children after they are married. Although she has her doubts about being a mother, she promises to look out for Damien. Not as a mother, but as a friend. Even though they both have complicated histories, towards the end, they seem to share a mutual respect and care for one another.

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Final Thoughts on BATMAN: PRELUDE TO THE WEDDING – ROBIN VS. RA’S AL GHUL #1

BATMAN: PRELUDE TO THE WEDDING – ROBIN VS. RA’S AL GHUL #1 is a mixed bag for me. Tim Seeley has brought us a good story. Overall, the pacing of the plot in this issue was a bit off. While the beginning and the end were both strong, somewhere in the middle, things just fell short.

Too much time was spent on the hallucination and not enough time with Ra’s Al Ghul. Incorporating the illusion of Batman and Catwoman’s son was slightly unnecessary. However, the moments where Selina and Damien were bonding were touching. The visuals by Andrew Hennessy and Bradley Walker were great.

The movement in the actions scenes was done well. The facial expressions of the characters were outstanding. You can really feel the characters’ emotions through the artwork. I’m looking forward to the rest of the one-shots in this new series. I have a feeling the villains of Gotham are going to cause more trouble for the soon-to-be newlyweds. Let’s just hope they can make it down the aisle in one piece.

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