REVIEW: ‘Robin’, Issue #4

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Robin #4

Robin #4 gets Damian off Lazarus Island and into a slew of character drama and deepening mystery. Joshua Williamson keeps us coming back for more with excellent writing. Jorge Corona is the artist for this issue. Luis Guerrero continues as colorist with Troy Peteri as letterer. DC Comics publishes this monthly series. Damian is on another island after the beating he took from Connor Hawke in the last issue. But he’s not alone. His nefarious grandaddy, Ra’s-al-Ghul, is on the scene to…help him calm down?

Nothing says caring like the help from a supervillain. Though Ra’s has healed Damian or at least did what he could for the injuries,  it definitely doesn’t gain him any points. Our young hero is in an uproar over his grandfather’s continued survival and whatever secrets he might hold about the League of Lazarus and their chaotic fight club. The rage comes honest, as Ra’s has hands down committed almost every atrocity known to humanity. However, just as the enigmas of Lazarus Island are slowly changing Damian, it seems Ra’s is also a different man after his latest loss to Batman. Or so he claims. Whether or not this is true, he makes it a point to prepare Damian to grow and stop allowing his anger to govern his actions. This is a fairly in-depth issue of family dynamics, matters of trust, and deepening mystery for a comic that centers on old-school fighting.

This is what is making Robin such a well-written series right from the beginning. Williamson perfectly gives readers the hardened, arrogant little runt Damian is while expertly revealing the subtle changes in behavior. This issue begins with pages from the manga Damian is reading, and I think it parallels the character growth in a way that makes it nuanced, a great thing in a character that is quite forthcoming and bold. Willaimson treats us this time around with a broader view of the underworld the Leagues inhabit, Damian’s struggle, and more enigmas on Lazarus Island with a cast that is long overdue for further fleshing out. He also did a tremendous job on Ra’s, a villain that never moved me. His change in persona, whether long-lasting or not, was a joy to read, and I hope it takes the character to new places.

On the visual side of things, this issue turns pencils over to Corona, whose hyperkinetic character builds are worth the price of admission. Damian comes in highly animated and a bit more grimly determined in expression. Damian’s skin tone is darker and there are subtle changes around the eyes that make him appear more Arab. Considering how often the Boy Wonder was whitewashed in past books, this is a nice touch I hope sticks around in this book and any others he appears in. Also, there’s a bigger crunch in the lettering SFX that is noticeable here.  Every panel in Robin #4 pops and delights.

Robin #4 keeps enriching my love for this series, all the combatants and hungry for answers about Lady Swan, Lazarus Island, the League of Lazarus, and League of Assassins backstory, Damian’s progress, and how this tournament will play out once it truly begins. I expect lots of blood, gore, and sinister revelations. But I’m here for the growing love for the young hero Damian Wayne, and no previous book really succeeded in getting me to like him. Until this one. Robin creative team, keep showing us whatcha got!

Robin #4 is available now wherever comic books are sold

Robin #4
5

TL;DR

Robin #4 keeps enriching my love for this series, all the combatants and hungry for answers about Lady Swan, Lazarus Island, the League of Lazarus, and League of Assassins backstory, Damian’s progress, and how this tournament will play out once it truly begins. I expect lots of blood, gore, and sinister revelations. But I’m here for the growing love for the young hero Damian Wayne, and no previous book really succeeded in getting me to like him. Until this one. Robin creative team, keep showing us whatcha got!