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Written By: Patrick Gleason Art By: Patrick Gleason, Mick Gray, John Kalisz, Jeremy Cox Cover Price: $2.99 Release Date: July 15, 2015
Nobody Will Help You
Damian is on a mission to redeem himself from his Year of Blood that his mother and grandfather put him through before his time with Batman.......... and apparently that includes a big ass bat monster named Goliath. Yeah, that's right. Damian has a big ass bat monster, deal with it. In our previous issue, Damian was dealing with what he once was and trying to find a way to put his past where it belongs and after facing his trophy room from that year of his life, he sets out to make things right........well, as much as he can. There was a lot of murder involved in that year and I don't think that Damian has a bunch of Chaos Shards laying around to bring them back the way he was. If that wasn't enough story for you, we also had the daughter of Nobody find the remains of her father in the Gotham Harbor and swear vengeance against the Boy Wonder who killed him. Let's get into this issue and see Damian's Quest For Peace......... Well, inner-peace at least.
Our issue begins with a little flashback to Talia abusing the shit out of her child........ Yeah, she's really only training Damian to one day conquer the world, but you try and get away with beating your son with a dueling stick. After we called child services, we jump to Damian's indoctrination into the Year of Blood through a mumbo jumbo ceremony and then we jump back to the present in South America, where Damian is riding Goliath and Goliath his holding a big ass stone head....... who might have been occupying The Simpson's basement before this. It seems that during Damian's Year of Blood, he came to this village that was protected by a stone guardian and after having his ninjas distract the Guardian, Damian stole a mystical sword from within it's temple and used it to chop the stone giant's head off........... I think the craziest thing that I did when I was nine was skate across town to take on a rival street's hockey team........ and whoop their asses. That's right! Woo! Nine! Yeah, we aren't shit compared to Damian, but now that he's on this whole redemption kick, he's returned to this village to replace the head........ again, kind of like The Simpsons.
So after fighting off a cartel that has taken control of the village, thanks to them not having a gigantic stone guardian monster, Damian returns the head and immediately has to start fighting off the pissed off Guardian. That's gratitude for ya. It's during this part that I began having a hard time understanding the action that Patrick Gleason was throwing at us. Normally, I dig Patty Glee's art, but it was kind of rough here. What I did gather though is that the Guardian has the ability to unleash a hypnotic field and can turn suckers to stone and before our hero could suffer that fate, he's saved by the one person who wants to see him dead the most. The new Nobody........who's actually Nobody's daughter. She wasn't about to let her vengeance be taken by a big stone fool and saves Damian and even teams up with him to take out the rest of the cartel and save the villagers from the destruction that the fight with the Guardian and Goliath caused.
In the end, after seeing this boy return to make amends for the terrible things he did to in the past, the villagers decide that this Boy Wonder is to be trusted and with their judgement, the Guardian stops his Godzilla-ing and returns to the temple to continue his watch over the people. Seeing the villagers call Damian a hero really rubs Nobody the wrong way and she decides that something good should come from this spawn of The Demon, so she decides to help Damian with the rest of his atonement from his Year of Blood so once he's finished, she can finally end him.
That's it for this issue of Robin: Son of Batman and as much as I liked seeing Nobody join up with Damian to become a regular part of this story, this was an odd installment. It's not that it doesn't work as a story or that it doesn't make sense, it's just that it comes off feeling like it shouldn't be a part of Robin. We have giant stone guardians, mystical swords.......... but I guess since we have a bat monster front and center as a main character of this series, it all kind of fits. Maybe I just have to get used to this series and not think of it as a Robin story because of all the preconceptions I have about what a Robin story should be due to all the time my imagination spends in Gotham. So that's completely on me. It's a fun little mystical romp where we see Damian trying to do some good, but as much as I love Patrick Gleason's art, I found myself getting lost during the action scenes throughout this book and that took away from some of my enjoyment. I can see this issue being a toss up for people since like I said, it really isn't a Robin story and all the mystical elements. So people could really dig this with what it's adding to Damian or hate it because it isn't what they like about the character. I'm still on the fence, but I'm leaning more towards the favorable side.
Bits and Pieces:
Damian continues his quest for atonement and adds a lot of mysticism to the story along the way. While people going into this series who are expecting a more traditional Robin story might come away disappointed, I think this series could be really fun and I'm really interested to see how the dynamic of the book changes from here on out due to the new main character this issue introduces. While the art isn't as great as I'm used to seeing from Patrick Gleason, this issue is still enjoyable and should be given a chance.