Wow. This issue was damn entertaining. I had heard good things about Fabian Nicieza earlier run on Robin but nothing to suggest this book would come out of the gates firing on all cylinders like it did.
I am a big fan of this book. Along with Batgirl, I think its the jewel in ruff of the reinvigorated Batman line. It had a rough start but that was mostly because of Ramon Bachs atrocious art, which also ruined Azrael for me. However, once Marcus To was brought into assist Christ Yost, the book’s quality increased exponentially. I was sad to see Yost go but damn it if he didn’t leave us on a high note. As a result I have attempted to temper my expectations. It turns out that was quite unnessecary.
Not only does Nicieza gives us everything that made Yost original run spectacular and improves upon it by adding Gotham and the bat-family he also makes this transition feel seamless. It honestly feels like its the same writer from last issue. Not that Nicieza doesn’t have his own voice but rather that I feel that the integrity of Yost’s vision for Red Robin has been left absolutely intact.
- Loved the opening image of closeups on the Red Robin/Robin/Batman ‘s chest emblems.
- Damian has quickly become one of my favorite character’s in comics and its hard to imagine the Bat-Mythos without him. Nicieza has a really strong grasp of Damian as a character (and his quips) is this issue. There are so many good Damian moments from Tim admitting that everything feels right even Damian only to state that he hates Damian a page later because Damian fed him misinformation so as to make him look silly, to the Damian and Alfred breakfast exchange (someone really needs to right an Alfred/Damian story because those two just have such good chemistry together.)
- I found myself going through a weird cycle of being pleasantly surprised, disappointed and then relieved with Lynx. I thought she made an excellent foil to Robin and was excited about her beefing up Tim’s rouges gallery. The prospect of her being an undercover cop left me a bit cold. I feel that to often really good villains are done an injustice when they are made into heroes or even anti-villains as a result of tier popularity/chemistry. However, I was happy with Tim’s decision to screw her over and hand her off to the cops anyway. Even if she turns out to be a hero at least that act will make their relationship much more nuanced than a simple inside man deal.
- I am really happy the Tam storyline is being followed through on. I think she makes an excellent member of Tim’s supporting cast.
- For the most part I love Marcus To’s art here (I also have to give it up for colorist Guy Major). The look of this book kind of reminds me of Bruce Timm’s DCAU, which is definitely a good thing. My only very minor gripe is that To’s Gotham, while beautifully rendered, is a little to art-deco for my taste. I have grown really attached to Morrison’s vision of Gotham as this sprawling futuristic cosmo(dis)topia.
Final Verdict: B+ (This book is everything a fun superhero book should be)