An important member of the Bat-Family makes a surprising return in the preview of Batman vs. Robin #1. Father and son go head-to-head in the upcoming five-issue miniseries from writer Mark (Batman/Superman: World's Finest) and artist Mahmud Asrar (Conan the Barbarian), who is making his return to DC. Batman vs. Robin spins out of Waid's Batman/Superman title and the "Shadow War" crossover between Batman, Robin, and Deathstroke Inc. As the preview reveals, Bruce Wayne's longtime butler and confidant Alfred Pennyworth appears to be back from the dead, though the magical nature of the series casts some doubt on the proceedings.
The Batman vs. Robin #1 preview begins by recapping the events between the Dark Knight and Boy Wonder, with Damian Wayne leaving his father to go off on an adventure of self-discovery at Lazarus Island. Next, Bruce Wayne returns to Wayne Manor, which he abandoned during James Tynion IV and Jorge Jimenez's "Joker War" storyline in Batman. Bruce isn't sure why he's come back to his ancestral home, and yet he feels as if a force is keeping him there for some unknown reason. It doesn't take long to figure out what is behind that unnatural feeling, after a knock on the door reveals Alfred Pennyworth alive again.
Damian blamed himself for Alfred's death at the hands of the villain Bane, which caused a rift between Batman and Robin. The Caped Crusader and other members of the Bat-Family have tried to reassure Damian that he isn't to blame, however. If Alfred truly is back from the dead, then it will have a major impact on both our central characters.
"Something is horribly wrong in the magic realm, and it seems like Damian Wayne might be the cause of this somehow," Waid says in the Batman vs. Robin trailer. "Zatanna is obviously a big part of Issue #1. Constantine, The Demon, Felix Faust, Tannarak... You're going to be seeing as many of the magic characters as we have in the DC Universe. With Batman/Superman: World's Finest, we've made no secret that the devil Nezha, who was the villain there, is also going to be one of the big villains in Batman vs. Robin."
The prolific writer then teased how the conclusion of Batman vs. Robin will have major ramifications across the publishing line. "Batman vs. Robin ties very strongly into the future of the DC Universe," Waid teased. "There's something that happens in the climax that will affect dozens and dozens of DC characters, minor and major."
The description of Batman vs. Robin reads, "Deep in the heart of Lazarus Island, the demonic legacy of the al Ghul family line has at last been freed, and the Devil Nezha is out for blood. To reclaim his total domination over planet Earth, Nezha has supercharged magic—anyone who dares use it is overcome by a demonic evil that supercharges their abilities to dangerous, unpredictable, and in some cases deadly levels! With Damian in Nezha's clutches and Bruce haunted by the return of an old friend, the Dark Knight and the Boy Wonder are pitted against one another in the battle of the century!"
You can check out the preview of Batman vs. Robin #1 below. Let us know your thoughts in the comments! The issue debuts September 13th.