Batman and Robin and Howard by Jeffrey Brown Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Two young boys find themselves becoming fast rivals after one joins a new school, and they compete to be the most athletic and most educated student in the class. Little does Howard know that the boy he’s competing against is Damian Wayne, son of Batman and known as the costumed hero Robin, in author Jeffrey Brown’s “Batman and Robin and Howard”. 

The Synopsis

Sidelined by a crime-fighting field trip gone wrong, Damian Wayne must refocus his attention on his life as an average student and learning how to be a team player–especially when he meets his match in his new rival, Howard.

To Damian Wayne, there is nothing more important than protecting the streets of Gotham City as Robin. But when he makes a critical mistake while out on patrol, Damian finds himself benched. And what’s more, Damian’s dad, Bruce Wayne–a.k.a. Batman–decides that starting over in a new school will be just the distraction Damian needs from his superhero routine.

Certain that Gotham Metro Academy has nothing to teach him, Damian is completely unprepared for the challenge he finds in Howard–the smartest and most athletic kid in school. The boys’ rivalry is instantaneous and fierce…and both are sure only one of them can be the best in their class.

What follows is a funny story of rivalry, friendship, and mystery from bestselling author and illustrator Jeffrey Brown.

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The Review

This was such a fun and humorous dive into the life of Damian Wayne. From the fumbling father/son relationship he has with Bruce Wayne, aka Batman, to the competitive nature and lone-wolf style mindset he has carried into every facet of his life, and even the detective mindset that he inherited from his father as he is forced to step up to help solve the mystery crimes surrounding soccer teams at schools. The inclusion of Batman lore and mythos into the children’s book narrative and style (as well as incredible children’s artwork), made this story feel equally balanced and engaging for both DC Fans and children’s book readers alike. 

The balance with this humor and lore came with the educational and moral lessons that the story brought upon young readers. From showing how we often don’t get along with those who mirror our worst impulses and instincts, to finding common ground with frenemies and becoming friends instead, to finding balance and letting go a bit of the control we have over our lives, these themes and messages found in the relationship developed between Damian and Howard were amazing to watch unfold and would keep readers enthralled with the growing narrative. 

The Verdict

A thoughtful, entertaining, and brilliant children’s read, author Jeffrey Brown’s “Batman and Robin and Howard”, the latest children’s book in association with DC Comics, is a must-read children’s book of 2021! A gripping and educational read, the book is filled with personal and warm imagery and does a great job of developing their characters so that readers are not only entertained but see themselves in the characters as well. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Jeffrey Brown was born in 1975 in Grand Rapids, Michigan and grew up reading comic books with dreams of someday drawing them, only to abandon them and focus on becoming a ‘fine artist.’ While earning his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Brown abandoned painting and began drawing comics with his first autobiographical book ‘Clumsy’ in 2001. Since then he’s drawn a dozen books for publishers including TopShelf, Fantagraphics, Drawn & Quarterly, McSweeney’s and Chronicle Books. Simon & Schuster published his latest graphic memoir ‘Funny Misshapen Body.’ In addition to directing an animated video for the band Death Cab For Cutie, Brown has had his work featured on NPR’s ‘This American Life’ His art has been shown at galleries in New York, San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles and Paris. Jeffrey’s work has also appeared in the Best American Comics series and received the Ignatz Award in 2003 for ‘Outstanding Minicomic.’

He currently lives in Chicago with his wife Jennifer and their son Oscar.

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