My review for the previous issue had an astonishing amount of comments, each one providing fun or insightful viewpoints that I am happy to share here before we start the review!
The comments for the last issue were teeming with new ideas as many made their disappointment in DC known. There were lots of complaints and open questions as to who should leave or join certain comics. I’m not gonna share those discussions here so I recommend checking it out yourself!
Since the previous issue of Tim Drake: Robin was all about getting more familiar with Bernard and Tim as a couple, there were lots of insightful comments ready to pick apart the lack of foresight from the comic’s team. One major issue being that for a comic whose founding premise centers around Tim forging an identity for himself the romance between Tim and Bernard is practically nonexistent. A commenter did a great job of showing how everything Bernard likes about Tim is really just a reflection of Robin: “I think a noticeable flaw is how for the intention for Bernard to be a relationship with Tim not tied to Robin….this issues shows how it does boil down to Robin. Like Tim making him feel “safe” has largely been shown through him saving him multiple times as Robin. Tim being his “lucky charm” has also primarily been shown through saving him as Robin as well. Tim also being “special” is also through Robin as well. And the thing that saves their relationship is Bernard knowing Tim is Robin, which again boils down to Robin.”
Others have also pointed out how awkward it is to make Bernard this irreproachable character with a word vomit of different qualities that were never explored. Not only does Bernard have the “moral high ground” but he’s also able to find out Tim’s secret identity without having Tim find out. While the dialogue chews up panels the content of what the characters are actually saying boils down to compliments and convoluted context.
Everyone in the comments showed some level of support for the new direction that the art style has taken but one massive mistake made certain fight scenes unbelievable. The villain’s flames consuming the entire restaurant barely made an impact on the main characters; what was supposed to be a visual marker of intense danger became a joke.
Sadly I can’t talk about the comments anymore because it’s about time I start my review but please feel free to write your opinions below! Maybe you’ll be the next person to be highlighted!
In this issue Fitzmartin tries to make the story wrap around neatly but only barely manages to stick the landing. The opening desperately wants the reader to pay attention to the overarching theme without making it subtle or cohesive with the rest of the story. We just get this awkward conversation about fixing a boat that goes nowhere and only makes a bit of sense when you compare it to the end of the issue.
I’m also really bothered by the way that Batwoman is dealt with in the beginning. Her falling from the sky finally has Bernard react in a way other than apathy and Tim just shrugs it off and we cut to the investigation. This is incredibly sloppy. Of course Bernard found out Tim was Robin when this is how Tim decides to do his “cover-ups”!
After this opening though the story takes a better turn and starts to pick up. I actually enjoy some of the more subtle elements in this issue. My particular favorite being the blood covered gloves. Instead of washing your hands of the situation like Pilate or Macbeth the blood stays and the entire point becomes finding out what happened. The fact that the blood is on gloves and not her actual hands even reinforces the mystery as we aren’t sure who killed. The gloves mask the murderer and create a physical boundary between Batwoman and her memories of what happened.
It’s crazy to me that we only got a single issue of new art before changing up the style again, this time with Nikola Čižmešija. While I think Čižmešija does a good job it’s still very sad to see such a drastic change happening to the aesthetic. A big reason why the comic becomes exciting stems from Čižmešija’s fight scenes. The panels aren’t always the most intuitive (with one double page spread in particular being a bit style over substance) once you make your way through it (and ignore the frustrating amount of dialogue) you get to see some great action shots with a break neck speed of blows and story beats.
- You want to see some fun action
- The new art style isn’t distracting
- You can’t quit this series until it’s finally over
This issue starts off so rough and already carries with it the many failures of its past. So even though the art isn’t terrible and the second half is a bit more exciting I just can’t imagine people being that excited to check out the rest when this is one of the best issues of the series. It’s still overly wordy and self congratulating. It’s still lacking development that feels natural or characters with interesting dynamics. All in all, I just don’t feel too strongly about any of it.
Disclaimer: DC Comics provided Batman News with a copy of this comic for the purpose of this review.
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