REVIEW: ‘Robin’, Issue #3

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Robin #3

Robin #3 finds the Boy Wonder trying to fit in on Lazarus Island…sort of. Joshua Williamson keeps the series going on the writing front. Gleb Melnikov illustrates the issue, with Luis Guerrero providing colors. ALW’s Troy Peteri inputs the balloons and the letters. Thus far, DC Comics and the creative team have been doing well putting Robin and its title hero through the wringer. But now the story picks up where the last issue left off, with Damian introduced to the horrid world of socialization.

Ravager took Robin under her wing. However, the Boy Wonder didn’t expect to get a lesson in mingling well with others, especially when the others are the same combatants he must fight to the death. Make those deaths, as Lazarus Island allows each contestant to be resurrected twice. Damian, being born under the arrogant star of the League of Assassins, naturally snubs his nose at such trivial things as parties and fun times. However, there are some notable moments here in Robin #3. Ravager informs the young Wayne that kidnapping the Teen Titans and using them was definitely not friendly. Truth be told, he is wandering the world alone, alienating himself from everyone, including the Batman Family. And she finds that troubling. Damian is so goal-oriented that he doesn’t allow himself to have an actual life or the joy of being young.

His opponents can relax with ease, albeit in some rather flagrant and dangerous ways. But then again, most of the fighters are established DC villains, with Robin seen as a square…and a threat outside of the ring. But the most intriguing bits of this issue came in how Robin eventually interacts with them. The dagger stunt he performed was inspiring but expected. However, his defense of his father from Drakon showed a sliver of love. That’s the trick with this character. Robin is promethium grade hardness. Nothing moves this kid, for the most part. It would be very easy to suddenly have him become a nice guy and a true hero who never kills. But good writing recognizes the superior stubborn will of such a character and knows any change must be trickled out in subtle moments. The best example came from Flatline seemingly flirting with Robin, or at least trying to get a rise out of him. It works in a very tiny way, and that stood out. And with Robin’s visions of Alfred, the cracks are visible in the Boy Wonder’s hardened shell.

There are more emotional revelations for Robin as the issue progresses. We get to see more of Connor Hawke (Green Arrow’s son) to remind us that Infinite Frontier has brought back pre-New 52 continuity. This Robin has been around for many years, but this series is actually making him approachable for me while adding to DC lore and showcasing a host of lesser-used characters.

Williamson is hitting the right notes. Lazarus Island alone is a fun martial arts film nostalgia set, but he juggles a load of characters very well. Each gets a piece of dialogue and gets to be seen as a person, rather than merely one bad guy who was trounced by a superhero. The mystery of the island and Lady Swan is brewing. Connor Hawke and his status in the League of Assassins is very interesting. This will be a great year for reading Robin from issue #1 all the way through to see how everything blows open and how Robin comes out of it changed.

Melnikov keeps penciling and inking the bold outlines and striking figures that make Lazarus Island feel like a modern Mount Olympus full of mythic figures. His eye-catching panels ripple with fantastic action pieces and amazing costumes. In turn, he can easily illustrate Robin as just a small, puny kid wedged between larger adversaries to remind us that the great title character is potent but still a child. Guerrero makes the old four-color system of traditional superhero comics appear bolder, brighter, and more daring. And one can’t have a great comic without word balloons and SFX, which Peteri supplies both with flair. 

Robin’s personal development is wonderful to behold in its baby steps. I can’t wait to see more.

Robin #3 is available now wherever comic books are sold. 

 


Robin #3
5

TL;DR

Robin’s personal development is wonderful to behold in its baby steps. I can’t wait to see more.