REVIEW: ‘Robin,’ Issue #13

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Robin #13

Robin #13 from DC Comics falls into the ‘Shadow War’ crossover hard. Joshua Williamson runs nonstop as the series writer, with art chores carried out by Roger Cruz on pencils, Norm Rapmund on inks, Luis Guerrero on colors, and Troy Peteri on letters. ‘Shadow War’ struck with a reformed Ra’s al Ghul wanting to heal the world, only to get killed by Deathstroke. Except, it wasn’t really Deathstroke, but that doesn’t matter. Batman believes it. Talia believes it. Robin and Ravager believe it. So in the fourth part of this crossover, Deathstroke is still on the run while in combat mode, only this time, he faces off against the Boy Wonder and his young lady counterpart.

First off, from the first issue, Robin has been about the fights. While we’ve gotten a ton of character development for Robin out of Willaimson (and thank you very much), this book has been deep into fisticuff territory. So, this is once again a fight issue. It’s well-choreographed, handled with animated flair and brightness by Cruz, Rapmund, and Guerrero. I love Peteri’s letter SFX as usual. It’s the pacing and the plot of ‘Shadow War’ I could do without. And that’s not just because I’m not a fan of comic book crossovers. This one hit wrong from the start and lacks details of the character struggle Damian had last issue. Despite some surprises and progression later in the issue…it falls flat.

Robin #13 gets Damian right as usual. He has righteous fury leveled at who he believes killed his grandfather. And it’s all the more poignant once you consider Damian has tried so hard to get his demonic family to talk and act like they have some sense for once in their lives. But the ease with which all players involved never question anything, nor suspect a more significant game is being played out, is disappointing, especially on the Batman’s end. Thankfully Slade Wilson gets to do more than run this issue, and he has things to say, but we are four parts into this story now, and it’s finally moving. Throughout this, Ravager, who has been built up nicely in this series, gets very little dialogue or involvement, and that’s sad. I’ve grown to like the character, and I figured this story would get her more backstory and gravitas, but alas.

Artwise this issue keeps slaying. Cruz and Rapmund deliver powerful characters. Even small, thin Damian has a lot of panels where he appears dominant. Everything is flavored in bold musculature and inked lines. Colors are bright as ever, in step with the art. Lettering is orderly and, when required, explosive. The eyes will get treated well this issue, and fans of Robin will be pleased. If you love big fights and crossovers, this story should entertain, but I’m still waiting for it to end because I feel this delays us seeing what Damian meant to do after Lazarus Island. He seemed poised to lead his own squad of fighters to greatness and become his own man. ‘Shadow War’ distracts from that.

Robin #13 is good. Not great, and not stellar. But it’s a visual fun fest that grants ‘Shadow War’ some much-needed plot direction despite the slow pace and limitations on certain characters. I still recommend it but would love to get past this story.

Robin #13 is available now wherever comic books are sold.

 


Robin #13
3

TL;DR

Robin #13 is good. Not great, and not stellar. But it’s a visual fun fest that grants ‘Shadow War’ some much-needed plot direction despite the slow pace and limitations on certain characters. I still recommend it but would love to get past this story.