REVIEW: ‘Robin,’ Issue #12

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Robin #12

Robin #12 returns Damian to Gotham, but what happened on Lazarus Island definitely will not remain on Lazarus Island. Joshua Williamson remains as series writer with Roger Cruz on art and Norm Rapmund on inks. Luis Guerrero is this issue’s colorist with ALW’s Troy Peteri on letters for the DC Comics title. Damian has bested his great-grandmother and even one-upped his mother, Talia last time around. There was even some info that Mother Soul was letting resin of the Lazarus Pit fluid get out on the black market. And this piece of information leads us to this issue’s premise.

Robin #12 is a setup piece with one cool plot twist: Damian wants to resurrect Alfred Pennyworth. Admittedly I didn’t expect this at all when I reached the end of the last issue, and it made for a sweet surprise twist. We find Damian on the island, watching the fighters go their separate ways while getting into a brief dialogue with Connor Hawke. Not too sure about everyone leaving, but hopefully, we will see them later on. Through some clever and funny happenstance, Damian makes his way back to Gotham and Alfred’s grave.

So, what follows next involves some terrific pencils, inks, colors, and words by Cruz, Rapmund, Guerrero, and Peteri. There’s nothing wrong there in the slightest, and I don’t think Robin #12 is problematic. But the problems with Damian and Talia keep rolling on, and some of it feels like it was covered way back in other series and especially the last issue. The same holds for Ra’s and his mother, still in social conflict. It feels like issue #11, even #10, but set in different locations, so despite some more great growth for Damian, this feels like Williamson has taken set up for the next storyline (the crossover event ‘Shadow War’) and made it a bit long in the tooth.

Yes, I did state the plot is about whether or not Damian will revivify Alfred. And this plays out with no issue. As I said, it’s done with the brilliance of the entire creative team. But the situations around it with the al Ghul family drama have droned on for three issues at this point. Maybe their problems aren’t as intriguing to me, but it feels as if we could have done more with Damian back in Gotham than continue the same debate from Lazarus. But there is considerable strength chronicling how Damian navigates himself and the comparison/contrast of his elders. It’s refreshing introspection handled well and hones in on Damian’s youthful rebellion while showing he is capable of deducing truths close to home. Williamson made me love this Robin, so I know we’re in great hands.

Williamson never loses touch with Damian, Flatline, or the behaviors of the characters he writes about. I could follow his subtle shifts in Damian’s maturity for years. Cruz returns to the book with a clear eye for showing Damian as a youth around so many adults. He pencils the graveyard scene so well. It’s gothic, fresh, animated and the inks by Rapmund, colors by Guerrero keep this book on an even keel of moody dark yet technicolor old school bright. Black thought boxes with a stylized Robin symbol are but one of the tricks up Peteri’s sleeve for making the words stand out, as coloring creeps over into some of the lettering this month. Lots of visual eye candy as usual for the book that will please Robin fans.

I recommend this book highly despite my rating. Get it and enjoy it because the steps Robin takes never miss a beat. Though I may or may not end up patiently waiting for ‘Shadow War’ to come and go, there is never enough Robin.

Robin #12 is available now wherever comic books are sold.


Robin #12
3

TL;DR

I recommend this book highly despite my rating. Get it and enjoy it because the steps Robin takes never miss a beat. Though I may or may not end up patiently waiting for ‘Shadow War’ to come and go, there is never enough Robin.