Hey, remember when this was gonna be a book about the Robins getting together, sitting down, and talking about whether or not being Robin was good for them?
Haha, yeah. Me too. Anyways,
I don’t really have anything to say about this other than I am disappointed
I will give Tim Seeley credit in that he has finally decided to commit wholesale to the underlying mystery, but only insofar as he seems to have dropped the personal connection to the Robins. In fact, the two plots of Jenny Wren and Anarky (don’t worry, I forgot about that too), while technically reconciled in this issue, still somehow feel like two separate ideas that the writer remembered he had to connect eventually. Jenny Wren, had she not kidnapped Tim at some point, would be entirely a Batman villain. we’re 4 issues in to this 6 issue mini, and there’s no hint yet of why Jenny is doing what she’s doing, no hint of who she even is. She was set up as this diabolical secret The First Robin™, and then we heard zilch from her for an issue, then suddenly she’s kidnapped Tim Drake and hacked the Batcomputer.
Well, at least we know she’s not a Republic serial villain.
This whole thing comes off like a 13 year old showing off his Super Cool OC Pls No Do Steal!!!11!1!1, and it’s not even interesting. This is all territory that’s been tread before in stories like Batman & Robin Eternal, and it was done better in those stories, purely because it managed to invest me in the characters involved. This book launches from the assumption that you love the Robins, and leaps immediately to the conclusion that, because you love the Robins, you will automatically care about this story because it involves the Robins.
This is flagrantly untrue. I don’t.
Especially when you’ve essentially just been writing the B plot to a Batman story.
That’s right, it’s time to talk about how this issue ends!
Spoilers will be kept to a minimum, but I have to post a minor one to talk about this absolutely gorgeous splash by Baldemar Rivas and Romulo Fajardo Jr.
IT’S SO PRETTY LOOK AT IT
I’ll never stop shilling for Fajardo Jr’s colors, and Rivas actually puts out a fantastic collage of superhero antics, which is pleasant after some of the… other panels in this book.
The “Kubrick Stare” is one of Stanley Kubrick’s most recognizable directorial techniques, a method of shot composition where a character stares at the camera with a forward tilt, to convey to the audience that the character in question is at the peak of their derangement.
Sorry, I had to. Also, as an aside, I had 100% forgotten that Gotham was in a heat wave until I read this issue, so seeing sweat on EVERYONE’S faces was incredibly unsettling.
I can’t really tell how I feel about Rivas’ art on this book. I usually love his art (seriously, go check out his portfolio on his website, it’s incredible), but something about Robins just feels… off. Certain shots, like the one above, are really exciting and dynamic, but there are points where faces, designs, bodies just kind of melt and bend in weird ways that take the reader out of the book.
Anywho, back on track, let’s talk about Mr. Escape Artist up there. Cormac Dodge is yet another original character invented for this book, purely for the sake of having a twist villain. I want to make it clear that my problem with characters like Jenny Wren and Escape Artist is not the fact that they’re new, or that we’ve never seen them before. What bothers me is that, while WE’VE never seen them before, BATMAN has known about these guys, and reacts like they’re the worst thing he’s ever dealt with, a horrible secret that has been unseald from some dark, dank tomb of horrors. The audience is just as much in the dark as the Robins are, and it’s incredibly frustrating. This was absolutely not the way for Seeley to approach this type of story, it just doesn’t work.
- Don’t make me do this
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DISCLAIMER: DC Comics provided Batman News with a copy of this comic for the purpose of this review.