I’m constantly having new “epiphanies” about comic books, which is to say, my opinion about what makes a good comic book changes all the time. One day it’s the action that gets me. Seeing some of my favorite characters of all time duking it out in different situations is fun! On other days the action seems a bit chaotic and I’m tired of it and need some emotional depth. Being fully vested in a character and seeing them come through a certain tragedy fulfills that need. After reading Robin Rises: Omega (Red Dawn Omega?) I’m left with not so much as an epiphany this time, as a gentle reminder: sometimes comic books are what you want out of them.
Robin Rises: Omega has plenty of action if that is your thing. It has fights and duels and team-ups and surprise guests all battling it out. It has two fathers who’ve lost children (Ra’s lost his daughter too, and we all know that but this issue reminded me of that fact), and what can be more emotional than that? We see friends and foes, familiar faces and strange ones, all with agendas and secrets that we are only beginning to understand. If you come to read comics and want to see big stuff happen, then you’re in the right place. If you come because you want heart, well, it’s here too. If you come, like I sometimes do, worried about spending $4.99 on a comic that shouldn’t exist because you think it should have been a normal sized issue taking the place of Batman & Robin #33 this month so you wouldn’t have to spend any more than you have to on a story that won’t move much further than last issue, well, then you’ll spend this whole issue being a sour puss and missing out on some very fun fights, detailed (though sometimes confusing) artwork, exciting spreads, and epic adventures.
Sorry. Now on to the issue.
Robin Rises: Omega begins with an incredible recap of Damian’s involvement in Bruce’s life. I absolutely loved this opening section. We see bits and pieces of Resurrection of Ra’s al Ghul, Batman and Son, Final Crisis, Return of Bruce Wayne, and several of the major Batman story arcs in the New 52. It’s a great job on all accounts. If you haven’t read anything from Batman & Robin, this will catch you up to speed and bring you right to the brink of where last issue left us: Glorious Godfrey appearing before Batman and Ra’s in the Himalayas.
The showdown between Glorious Godfrey from Apokolips and the men from earth takes center stage throughout this issue. Godfrey and his crew are after a piece of something called a Chaos Shard. Now, you might recognize that item if you’ve been reading Batman/Superman. It is a wicked powerful energy amplifier that was destroyed (broken to pieces) and this is what Godfrey is after.
Some of the fighting between the factions is hard to follow if you try to fly through this issue. It’s an extended romp for sure, but it’s nice if you pay attention to details. Andy Kubert is a fantastic artist, but I felt like some of what we see might have been an indulgence by Tomasi to allow Kubert some pages to draw. Or not, I don’t know. But for the sake of story and progression I think this could have been contained in fewer pages. It’s not a bad thing, especially later on in the issue.
Godfrey and crew has Batman and the others on the ropes when something cool happens.
- You love Andy Kubert’s artwork with Jonathan Glapion’s inks.
- You’ve been waiting for a Batman/Superman reference.
- You’re hyped about Damian (potentially) coming back.
This issue will be what you make it. All the elements of action, heart, and epic-ness are here. Decide now that you want to enjoy a good Batman comic that costs $4.99 and you will enjoy it. True, this issue doesn’t push the story much further, but remember: sometimes a comic is what you make it. I, for one, enjoyed this it.