COMICSCENE REVIEW – “ROBIN” #1 (2021)

Sometimes it’s interesting to go into a book blind, and I freely admit that I’m not up on whatever twisted shite is going on in the Batman Universe these days. What this means is that I can grab a new comic and if I can get into it then other casual readers can as well. Think of me as a comics canary, down the mineshaft of convoluted continuity.

“Robin” refers to Damian Wayne, son of Bruce Wayne and Talia Al Ghul. I last read about him years ago, and it seems he grows quite slowly as he seems to still be a kid. He’s Robin, though, and has, it seems, been traveling the world like his father once did, learning how to fight from the best.

The reason is he wants to fight on a once-every-hundred-years tournament arranged on an island by the League Of Lazarus, sort of like Dead Or Alive with less jiggle physics. That’s your basic set up, whilst in the background Batman is looking for him. Obviously, Damian gets to the tournament, and the issue ends with a VERY interesting cliffhanger that I am looking forward to seeing resolved.

Writer Joshua WIlliamson gives us a Robin that doesn’t like to chat, or throw down witty banter. Instead, he’s all focus, brooding intensity and punching (or kicking, natch). I’ve always loved a good fighting tournament storyline, as they’re often cheesy but fun, and issue #1 sets it all up very well indeed. Art is provided by Gleb Melnikov, a new name on me, and boy does he do a good job. At times a blend of Sean Murphy and Frank Miller, he really helps the book come alive, with clear but not over detailed illustration.

Overall I can happily recommend Robin #1, even to lapsed readers looking for a way back into the BatVerse. This little bird might just have the wings to fly high.

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