Batman and Robin #1 is, in its way, one of the stranger reboot titles. Mostly because it doesn’t feel like a reboot at all. Like the other titles in which Batman Inc. exists, it feels like there’s continuity with the pre-reboot universe. Clearly this title is many years down the line from say, Justice League or even Detective in that Damian, Batman’s Son, is Robin. Batman has to have existed for at least as long as Damian has been around, plus 9 months, plus time for Talia to have become infatuated with Batman.
Tim, Jason and Dick are all referenced as previous Robins, so there has to have been time for each of them as well. Sadly, Stephanie’s brief time as Robin was not referenced. It’d be sad if they got rid of her stint, but kept Jason’s in canon. Jason’s only alive because Superboy Prime got mad and punched the multiverse. The sooner that’s done away with the better. If they did get rid of that nonsense, then either Jason never was killed by the Joker, removing his best moment, or he’s dead, which would be fine with me. They haven’t seemed to know what to do with him since he came back. He’s Red Robin! No, he’s Red Hood! No, he’s just a jackass! Cut him loose and be done with it.
They have some new, invisible supervillain kill off the Russian Batman in the opening pages, evidently just to establish that this villain is badass and sick. I’m hoping the villain is revealed to be Vladimir Putin, but I doubt DC has the guts to do that. Sad, it’d be funny. Despite the lengths they go to to show how bad this bad guy is, and despite a possibly related heist gone wrong that Batman and Robin mostly foil, the real focus of this issue is that Bruce is Batman again and Damian is a handful.
Despite Damian’s time with Dick, he’s still impulsive, arrogant and makes bad decisions like any pre-teen would. The problem is his arrogance and anger and much of his training comes from his mother and her army of ninjas. Batman is going to be spending much of his time teaching Damian right and wrong. Much of the early part of the issue deals with Batman introducing Damian to his world and being frustrated that the kid doesn’t want to listen, show reverence to the things Bruce has reverence for or admit that Bruce knows best. In other words, a normal parent-child relationship, this one is just played out in life-threatening ways every day.
That’s the other reason this doesn’t feel like it is part of the rebooted universe: In addition to the litany of all the previous Robins and how Damian isn’t like them, Dick was also Batman for awhile. Was Bruce still dead/In the past? If he was, then how did Flashpoint, a change in relatively recent history, affect that whole sequence? If the whole Death of Batman thing didn’t happen, why was Dick Batman? This series, perhaps more than most of the rebooted titles, has a lot of explaining to do.