Review: Robins #3
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writers: Tim Seeley
Colors: Romulo Fajardo Jr
Letters: Steve Wands
Artist: Baldemar Rivas
Reviewed by: Carl Bryan
Robins #1 – The Robins run face-first into a group of copycat villains decked out in high-end tech giving them the powers and battle prowess of Batman’s greatest enemies!
As the former wonders face down these threats, they deduce that whoever’s behind the assault on them has hacked into the Batcomputer.
As hard choices are made, the five ex-partners of Batman realize that going their separate ways and leaving the Robin mantle behind might be their only option!
Issue #3 is pretty amazing if you look at it from a an older lense like mine. Those of you that remember the Saturday morning cartoon SuperFriends. You may also remember that there was a great run of this comic circa 1976. Some of those issues focus on the “sidekicks” like the ones featured in Robins.
I love it that Tim Seeley visits this in a way that the sidekicks (arguably all the Robins and all the villains) are trying to live up to the reputation of their senior hero and villains. Holy Therapy Batman! Lots to unravel here as the Robins are confronting issues from their first cases…mistakes and all… and the villains are using tech to make up for their perceived deficiencies.
Seeley provides this in dialogue as the sidekicks battle that they are all suffering from an inferiority complex. Again, in the 1970s, it was very cool to see these junior members of the Super Friends and the Legion of Doom. Now, Seeley has enriched the playground a bit more with his script.
The confrontation between the Robins is an psychological onion…”Why does Tim get to have his revenge?” Brutal confrontations between the Robins… Dick confronts Bruce over this and while Bruce arguably dismisses it, his body language and actions speak very loudly towards Dick. This psychological drama really is deep and full of pain! We thought that Alfred’s demise was bad….
Baldemar Rivas’ art is really sharp. The battle scenes are very colorful, but I really appreciate the homages to the White Knight series as the art is very similar. Battles are not gory, but the posing and anatomical positions are really clever!
Batman has some work to do. There are some real family issues here and it appears that writers are now acknowledging the real deep psychosis that each of hte Robins have endured at such young ages. This is not a Burd Ward comic. It is pretty serious on a lot of levels. You can read it light if you so desire, but really hunker down, and you have a pretty depressing tale of kids not living up to their mentors or parent expectations.
What is Batman’s Gauntlet Zero? How did the first Robin get out from Batman’s nest? This book may change everything in canon in terms of Dick being the first Robin. How did Alfred let all of this happen? It’s a dark read, and akin to a “What If…” story. What started for me as a “Look it’s all the Robins…” has turned into “Will Bruce’s world ever be the same?” Awesome writing from a helicopter view…. but it can be depressing in the nest!