Robin: Son of Batman #5 review

Robin 5

Have you ever had a time in your life when you had good intentions and thought you were doing right and it totally blew up in your face? Well that’s what happens in this month’s issue of Robin: Son of Batman. Damian is still on his redemptive quest to right his wrongs, but things take a drastic turn when his mother, Talia returns to greet her son. Talia’s murder occurred in Batman’s cave, and all hell breaks loose when she visits Robin’s lair. I think we all know who the common denominator is here.

A simple note would've sufficedA simple note would’ve sufficed

Talk about just getting dealt a bad card. I feel like Damian has done really well from when he first arrived in Gotham.  You can see him becoming a noble preteen, missing tooth and all. This issue and the al Ghul island itself, for me served as a reminder of what occurred between Talia, Bruce and Damian. Talia can be quite vile. She became very vindictive, launching a total war against Bruce Wayne and Gotham City that claimed the life of her son. Now it appears that her encounter with the ancient Lu’un Darga has perhaps removed some of that ill intent. However, Robin did not receive that memo.

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Talia manages to briefly explain the purpose of the Year of Blood. It’s a twist hearing about Ra’s al Ghul serving as the hero against  another family more wicked than his clan. The way Talia explains the Lu’un Darga. Her opinion of ancient family is how I felt about Talia and Ra’s. Although, judging from the look of Den Darga, Talia could very well be telling the truth. With this much focus on the sins of their past, maybe we’ll get another Ra’s al Ghul flashback pretty soon. His history has always been a pleasure of mine to view obviously because of his “immortal” nature. If I remember correctly, there was a plan by Ra’s to place his soul in the body of Damian. To see that he used Damian as a pawn to seal away his enemy is pretty believable.

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There are a few pages where the panels dipped in quality. I know the team probably had to rush to get the issue out, but you can that a lot of effort was put into it to deliver a great story. The hues chosen John Kalisz are always fitting and really make this a standout, colorful book. Pat Gleason and Mick Gray. I know that Gleason can and likes to do the inking himself, but having that level of understanding with Gray and Kalisz gives a well achieved look to the title. This allows Pat to really focus on the writing aspect, which I can assume he’s enjoying. The direction of the story has me feeling that they’re trying out a few ideas that have been lingering around for some time. Great touch having a significant scene involving Robin’s deformed “brothers”. Their sequence was my favorite of the issue by far.

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Expectedly, Talia’s entrance was as grand as ever. She always like different in any and every variation I see of her, but you can always tell it’s Talia with her exotic look and her ability to quickly change into some expensive, one of a kind outfit. The tone shifts once Den Darga enters the scene. The shade of red signified the danger and urgency of the situation. The book still looks stellar despite a few hiccups.

Recommended if:

  • You want to see the full return of Talia al Ghul
  • You wondered what the true significance of the Year of Blood was
  • You knew that the predictions were right that Damian would bring the end of times to the world

Overall:

There was a lot of detail in the art and the story, so I can see why there was a delay. The issue through me for a spin by changing up the formula. I thought we were going to have to sit through a number of adventures as he returned the many stolen items from his Year of Blood. Now that the premise was established, Gleason and Co. turned up the heat and revealed an enemy of the al Ghuls. You know the person has to be someone serious to be a feared enemy of Ra’s. Maya Ducard still has the dilemma of avenging her father’s death, but overall I think she’s a good person and she can see the redemption that Damian is fighting so hard for. Ready to give his life for the cause, Robin is one tough cookie, and I can’t wait to see where this leads. Reuniting with his mother is sure to add a bit of drama in the next few issues. Maybe this will be the catalyst to bring Robin back to Gotham. He’ll be surprised to see what’s going on there (an amnesiac father and a bunch of kids wearing his logo). With a very touching moment involving the “Sons of Batman”, this title proves that it has the action and heart that we expect from a Damian-centric story. Kudos

SCORE: 9 / 10

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