Robin War Part One: With the Greatest of Ease
Written by: Tom King
Art by: Khary Randolph
Colors by: Rob Haynes
Cat’s TidBits: Robins everywhere! Damian is back in Gotham and he’s trying to put things back together as there are kids everywhere donning the ‘R’ and claiming they are “Robin”; Not only are these Robins trying to help out GCPD, but Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, and Tim Drake are back in town, let the war begin.
I don’t even know where to start. I applaud King for the amazing writing that was put into this special issue. I have to admit that I felt as if I was reading Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, especially the beginning section. There was a quote that Jason Todd says during the bar fight scene that went well with the introductory frames on this young ‘Robin’ boy who was only trying to help: “I don’t know. Certain kind of kid. Kind that feels he wants to hit people all the time. Suppose Batman could help that kid find someone he’s supposed to hit.” The only problem with this Robin, he hit the wrong person which started the movement that this Robin issue needs to be taken care of. And ASAP.
The centralized theme throughout the entire issue is “I am Robin”; this is perfectly constructed around the emphasis on how much an influence Batman has developed over Gotham and the role models that he brought into the city with just a name. Robin doesn’t only mean Batman’s sidekick, but ultimately “Gotham” as Damian Wayne puts it. I love how these Robins do not live up to the standards of Batman’s trained actual Robins; Obviously, we would not want to see these Robins actually doing well, because that would just throw the entire system off that anyone can do this. Which yes, anyone can, but not everyone has the mental capacity to deal with this. Proven by the first introductory frames and at the end where he finally gives in and admits that he “was scared.” Imagine what this can do to a child psychologically? Many things, I tell ya.
Robin War has a dark tone that hovers around everyone’s character, but that doesn’t stop King from adding humor when it’s appropriate and necessary. This balances the writing and gives an aesthetic overview of the storyline that is leading up to the ending where we finally see this Robin War beginning. Jason Todd, Tim Drake, and Dick Grayson are written perfectly when they each have their own Robin background that gives them an identity different to each other. Like in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, “As a man, I’m flesh and blood, I can be ignored, I can be destroyed; but as a symbol… as a symbol I can be incorruptible, I can be everlasting.” Robin as a symbol gave meaning to Gotham and protected the city, but when you have many of those symbols, it can be quite chaotic. League of Assassins anyone? (Just Saying.) The symbolism that these Robins can give to each other is not supposed to be in a bad way, but it’s getting out of hand and Batman wouldn’t approve (and I’m not talking about Jim Gordon Bat, the real one, ha.)
The Good: Honestly, there a was a lot of good in this issue. Dick, Jason, Tim, and Damian all in one issue? That’s awesome! Not only that, but because King made their own personalities flow so well with each other that only contributed to Randolph’s art.
The Bad: Although I did like the art, I did have to admit that it was at times ‘cartoony’, but I didn’t mind it so much, because the writing was just really well-written. Gordon as Batman… still not liking it. And when did we start obeying the rules, Batman? That fight scene with Damian could’ve been avoided, but I felt it was necessary for it to happen.
- The thought of having Tim, Jason, Dick, and Damian in one story is mind-blowing, but makes you crave more all at the same time.
- You secretly want to call yourself Robin too.
- You like Miller’s TDKR and don’t mind some similarities in this storyline.
Overall: Robin War started in an intense way, but one that makes you crave even more. This Robin Movement is affecting Gotham and these memorable Robins need to fix it. But can they withstand the Robin War? Especially when certain people are helping these individuals in the Robin War. Ahhh, really though. The continuation of this story will proceed in Grayson #15 and if I were you, I’d start catching up, because this stuff is getting juicy.