[Editor’s note: Thank you for your patience waiting for this review while we updated our website host. This review may contain spoilers.]
Writer: Benjamin Percy
Artist: Jonboy Meyers
The title of this issue couldn’t be better: “Damian Knows Best.” The theme of the passage into adulthood plays a major role in this issue. Bar Mitzvah is the Jewish Babylonian Aramaic name for this time in a young man’s life. Now at the age of 13, Damian has become a man in his culture.
He has been surrounded by great men his whole life as he tells us a few times in this issue and has not let their lessons pass by. He now feels ready to be a man and take responsibility into his own hands.
Damian reminds me of that annoying kid in eighth grade who was a jerk but also smart enough to back it up. In the last issue, he kidnapped the former Teen Titans and is now holding them prisoner in the Batcave. He boasts his victory over them with such immature superiority, and yet, he defeated them in a mature and calculated way. Perhaps he’s more adult than we think, or is he just arrogant?
Contrasting his personality against Tim Drake’s also makes this character interesting. Where Tim was calm and smart about every decision, this new Robin is a lot more harsh and brazen.
This issue presents an interesting dynamic-to-be. Damian has been brought up by assassins, Ra’s al-Ghul, Talia, and finally Batman. But with Batman running off to fight crime or join the Justice League, Damian spends a lot of time alone or with Goliath (Who looks amazing when rendered by Jonboy Meyers). Now he has kidnapped four super powered teens. This series is starting off very well and readers can look forward to many heads butting between Kid Flash, Robin, and Starfire.
While this issue does a great job at introducing all the characters, it focuses so heavily on Damian that it feels like an issue of Batman and Robin, or Robin: Son of Batman. That doesn’t mean that the issue is bad. Giving readers more time to learn about the new versions of these characters would have made it feel a little smoother — especially Kid Flash, who has so much personality.
I enjoyed the dynamics between the characters, especially because everything is tense and everyone is ready to throw punches. The art and writing are memorable and assist in expanding the depth of Robin’s character. Seeing Raven, Beast Boy, Starfire, and Kid Flash adapt to Robin, or force him to adapt to them, will be really fantastic in the coming issues.