Damian Wayne will meet his match in the halls of his local middle school in the upcoming graphic novel Batman and Robin and Howard, by Jeffrey Brown.
The story will feature Brown’s trademark style, which has appeared in books like Incredible Change-Bots, the Sulk trilogy, Space-Time, Lucy & Andy Neanderthal, Clumsy and the Darth Vader and Son line of books from Lucasfilm.
According to DC, the project “offers a down-to-earth look at Gotham’s two most famous heroes packed with laughs, whimsy and clever life lessons sure to please fans of Batman and Brown alike.” DC’s library of titles aimed at middle school kids has been growing exponentially since it was announced a few years ago, and Brown seems like the perfect creator to recruit for their efforts on that front. If this isn’t followed by a Batman and Son book, I’ll be crushed. Money on the table, DC!
“I actually had the basic story kicking around for years—two all-star teenagers who start as rivals but end up becoming friends to save homecoming,” Brown told dccomics.com. “When I had the chance to do a book with DC Kids, that story finally came together in my mind. Robin seemed like the perfect character to throw into the situation—someone used to being the best, only to realize sometimes they were only second best.”
Here’s the description from DC:
The still in-progress graphic novel focuses on Robin after the Boy Wonder finds himself benched by his dad and enrolled in a new middle school where he soon strikes up a rivalry with the smartest and most athletic kid on campus, Howard. Damian is used to confronting super-villains and patrolling the mean streets of Gotham, but navigating the pitfalls of middle school social life? Well, let’s just say it’s not his strong suit. Still, how can he possibly expect his father to let him return to being Robin if a non-powered, completely ordinary kid can do everything he can do and more? Isn’t Robin supposed to be the best?
Aimed at middle school readers, but offering plenty for older fans as well, Batman and Robin and Howard is Brown’s first book for DC. Like much of his earlier work, it blends his colorful, kid-friendly art and gentle storytelling style with a franchise that’s better known these days for its darkness and action, resulting in a Batman and Robin book unlike any other. To find out how it came together, we spoke with Brown about the idea, who filled us in on what we can expect from Howard, whether we’ll be seeing any of Batman’s famous super-villains and what it would be like to have the Caped Crusader for a dad.
Brown also shared his thoughts on what’s worse: the streets of Gotham or the halls of middle school. “I still think the streets of Gotham are slightly more frightening. At least in middle school you can hang out with your friends without your grades being decided by Two-Face flipping a coin!” Brown said.
Batman and Robin and Howard will arrive in November. Check out some preview pages from it below: