REVIEW: ‘Robin,’ Issue #14

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Robin #14

Robin #14 means DC Comics’ ‘Shadow War,’ part seven, and sadly it’s back to the doldrums for this particular story. This issue is penned by Joshua Williamson, with art by Roger Cruz and inks by Norm Rapmund. Luis Guerrero provides colors while Troy Peteri lays out letters. Just when I was getting my hopes up during a previous arc of this storyline, especially considering what I thought of Robin #13. But as the story once progresses, the continuation appears to take a step backward.

So, Batman, Robin, Ghostmaker, and Batman, Inc. are all together, assessing the huge blowout battle from part six. This is great. Ghostmaker lays down what happened and how they’ve lost contact with the Hood. All Hell has broken loose. But also, all roads lead to Nepal…

We find yet another battle royale as Deathstroke and a Who’s Who of villainy tackle ninjas on their way to kill Talia. Yep. Again. Large-scale battle sequences are lovingly, expertly drawn, inked, colored, and lettered to please fans, but storywise, somewhat pointless and very much overdone, especially with this crossover. Deathstroke is determined to kill Talia. So he isn’t really her father’s murderer. He’s been seen as the perpetrator. He’s made it all this way. May as well make it a fatality. This story makes the character innocent only to allow him to make himself guilty. Talia is more than willing to oblige as she still believes him to be the killer. A bit stale for the supposed master strategist Deathstroke. And for Talia. But here we are.

And as for Robin, aside from really good dialogue between him and Batman, Robin retakes a backseat in his own series. This is sad. Surely the crossover could have been written in a way to make him the star when it creeps into his book. But here, Batman, Deathstroke, and Talia get the airtime. And sadly, it’s more ‘Batman makes mistakes’ plot while the other grownups play stupid and violent. There are some surprises here, but to me, they felt more like retreading old ground. Not sure how other fans will take to it; hopefully, they see things better than I. There was a lot of potential here. But it’s lost in a trap of mindless fights with notable villains who get nothing more than a panel shot at best, thoughtless deaths, everyone acting out of sorts, and only Robin seeming sensible. For what time he is allowed to affect the narrative.

Robin #14 has been one of my top books since it began. But boy, does this storyline dampen what it built up thus far. Williams is stretched thin these days as DC seems to want a few writers to cover a half dozen books apiece, but Robin had chops while giving us slam-bang action month after riveting month. ‘Shadow War’ shows what bad ’90s comics from Marvel were like. We did not need that particular corner of nostalgia revisited. The artwork is inky black, colorful, kinetic, and explosive in words and visuals, so the art team is fire hands down.

Robin #14 is okay. But personally, I want to get far away from this and get back to the stories that made this book amazing and see where they take Robin next.

Robin #14 is available now wherever comic books are sold.


Robin #14
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TL;DR

Robin #14 is okay. But personally, I want to get far away from this and get back to the stories that made this book amazing and see where they take Robin next.