Damian and Maya continue to return Robin: Son of Batman #4 written and drawn by Patrick Gleason, inks by Mick Gray, colored by John Kalisz.
As they navigate Alexandria returning this particular stolen Greco-Egyptian artifact Robin and Nobody encounter Deathstroke, who is after Nobody, but is caught off guard when Maya is not her father. After an impressive battle Damian ultimately negotiates with Deathstroke and essentially ensures Maya’s freedom from her Nobody duties. They then find what Damian suspected as to why the site was a hit for the Al Ghuls to begin with: a Lazarus pit (they just keep adding more and more don’t they!?)
There is some great juxtaposition, as they have been doing, between the past and the present and the change in Damian. This issue spotlights Damian’s art teacher, a disciple or monk who was very encouraging of his art and natural talent (which Tomasi pushed) but accidentally walked in on Ra’s performing a ritual. You can guess how that turned out. Luckily Damian like Grinch has had his heart grow exponentially and he is visibly sorry for what he’s done. Art, layouts and colors are fabulous as per usual and after some “good” paneling last issue Gleason looks like he’s back to his rampaging good self in full. Damian versus Deathstroke is a fantastic fight, wonderfully drawn. Kalisz routinely is my favorite colorist and I will never not recognize his work. Rich bright jewel-tones and atmospheric washes are his calling card and I wish more colorists would follow his example.
I wonder if Damian being controlled literally by Deathstroke like a remote control toy via his spine is still in canon because they don’t mention it here which is both a good and bad thing. I’m waffling if I wanted that beef to be there or not. Deathstroke has some cringe worthy dialogue that seems way out of character at times. Gleason is surprisingly adept as a writer, this whole premise has been wonderfully executed thus far but it might be a good idea to have someone jump in and help him polish some of his stuff a little more. Not that it needs a ton of revision but just a little reworking.
A great issue, not completely outstanding but it’s an important step in Maya’s arc and adds yet another selfless moment from Damian. I can’t wait to see where this all leads.