REVIEW: ‘Robin’, Issue #2

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Robin #2

Robin #2 is back, despite the main character biting it in the first issue. Joshua Williamson provides the plot and the resurrection. Gleb Melnikov illustrates this issue with colors provided by Luis Guerrero. Troy Peteri supplies the lettering. This series is brought out monthly by DC Comics, so naturally, a death in issue #1 wasn’t going to stick.

Obvious spoiler alert: Damian’s pitifully quick death at the end of the first issue was real but temporary. Lazarus Island, home to the nefarious League of Lazarus, is full of surprises. For one thing, the dead do not remain dead. Yes, this seems rather silly considering the fights that will be taking place are to the death, but the League has rules. The rules make things interesting, to say the least, and a newly resurrected Robin will need to stick to them to see the finale. But this is Damian Wayne, and listening to and playing well with others is not part of his repertoire.

Ravager, Daughter of Deathstroke, is here to help him out. If he accepts. Mother Soul, leader of the League, has laid out the ground rules. All fights to the death. But, you only get three deaths. The last one standing receives…immortality! Okay, that’s a fantastic prize to seize after getting beaten to death a few times. However, this means plucky Robin has died once already. He is one step behind the rest of the participants in the game.

Those participants get a little bit of spotlight shone on them in this issue. We get some degree of who the greatest fighters are and a bit of backstory about why they’re here. Ravager becomes intriguing. She was never a character that appealed much in the past. Still, her mysterious motivation for being on the island, plus her willingness to help Damian out, make her an excellent supporting character and less of a grim master of combat, a trope which this series already has in abundance. Looking forward to seeing how she develops and if other characters will join Damian in his quest to unravel the enigma that is the League of Lazarus.

Williamson has interwoven kung fu films, superheroes, teenage angst and drizzled them in light horror and fantasy elements to make Robin as fun as it is violent. He places Damian in a terrible position that the young man cannot correctly fathom due to his hubris, yet will no doubt challenge and change him, and that’s the foundation for an epic story. Truly hoping that Damian comes out of this a better, brighter hero, especially with the weight he carries around…like the ghost of Alfred, the pressures from his mother, the shadow of the Batman, etc.

As the writing of Robin #2 expands and deepens, Melnikov and Guerrero equal its pace with bold, dynamic lines and bold, bright colors. The fight scenes are fast and brutal, with strong outlines that allow every character to shine. Lazarus Island appears moody and sinister, with affectionate nods to Enter the Dragon and old 70s martial arts comics. Background combatants are given their own panels, showing this is as much an ensemble book as it is dedicated to the title character. And the costumes, bright and grim, tight-fitting with artistic flairs, really blend the gaudiness of superheroes with historical designs. Not a single character is dull. Everyone is appealing and a visual buffet. The same goes for Peteri’s letters as they further ornament each scene with words and colorful SFX. In particular, Mother Soul’s announcement of the rules stands out for the pencils, variety of colors, and how the word balloons and fire-orange boxes dance around her figure while some very well-designed supporting characters fill out the page.

This issue presented a worthy setup for what’s to come and is pulling other characters forward as readers piece together just what is going on with Damian, his visions of Alfred, and his choice of reading material. All in all, this character is getting a solid detailing, and the DC Universe is making use of a plethora of obscure characters. I am hungry for issue #3.

Robin #2 is available wherever comic books are sold

 

 

Robin #2
5

TL;DR

This issue presented a worthy setup for what’s to come and is pulling other characters forward as readers piece together just what is going on with Damian, his visions of Alfred, and his choice of reading material. All in all, this character is getting a solid detailing, and the DC Universe is making use of a plethora of obscure characters. I am hungry for issue #3.