Wednesday, July 22, 2015

We Are Robin #2 Review and *SPOILERS*

Written By: Lee Bermejo
Art By: Jorge Corona, Rob Haynes, Trish Mulvihill, Khary Randolph, Emilio Lopez
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: July 22, 2015

Making Friends

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

I was shocked by the end of the first issue of We Are Robin at how much I loved it.  I really dismissed this as a throwaway book that was just trying to get younger readers by showing cellphones and young heroes with bad attitudes.  I'm so happy that I was wrong and somehow I completely missed the fact that Duke Thomas was going to be the main character.  This might not mean much to some, but having Duke in this book is a real connection to the rest of the Batman world that easily allowed me slide into this story because I had someone I recognized there to hold my hand.  In that issue we saw that Duke Thomas has been having a hard time since Batman: Endgame because his parents are still missing from when everyone was jokerized and in between being sent to different foster homes, Duke has been secretly searching for his parents.  This eventually leads him to go checking in the Gotham sewers because word on the street was that people are still being found down there.  Too bad that Duke came across a rat faced preacher man instead, who with his army of hobos, plans on setting off bombs across Gotham to show the people that live above......... Well, I don't really know what they want to show them, but whatever it is, I'm sure it has to do with them being dirty hobos and being pissed about it.  Let's check out this issue and see if Duke Thomas can survive his underground encounter with the help of some Robins.

Explain It!:

Our issue begins with Duke and the rest of the Robins holding their own against this horde of horrible hobos, but only just barely.  Even though we see that these kids can take care of themselves, eventually they are out numbered and start taking a pummeling.  This includes one of them getting hit in the head with a brick that made me cringe so bad.  After blinding the hodgepodge of homeless with a flare, our Robins make their escape back to the street, but they won't be getting any information about bombs planted across the city because Duke is a bit out of it and before they can have a "welcome to the team/what's going down" moment, the Robins get a text from "The Nest" telling them to leave Duke behind as a cop car shows up.  Yeah, it's a bit of a dick move with them leaving Duke behind, but they seem to have been at this for a little while now and I guess they know better than going against The Nest.

When Duke comes to, he's sitting in a interrogation room, being questioned by a police officer.  Right from the get go though we realize that something is up because this cop is asking weird questions and using words like "we" when talking about how to stop the bombs and eventually we find out why the whole interaction was so weird, when Duke is left alone for awhile and finally goes out the door to find that it's just a lone room in the middle of a warehouse...... kind of like Evey in V For Vendetta. Now, I'm going to throw out a theory here because it's my review and I'll do what I want....... and really it might be obvious to most folks who aren't me, but this whole cop interaction was made even weirder because the dude looked like he was wearing a disguise the whole time and it looked like it could have been Alfred.  To add a little bit of weight to that theory, the whole time that we saw this character, he kept his right hand behind his back and as we saw from Batman: Endgame, Alfred lost that hand when the Joker cut it off.  That's all I got for you from this issue in the theory department.  Outside of the faux interrogation room, Duke finds a motorcycle, a Robin leather jacket and a phone telling him to meet up on a rooftop at a location........... and where I would be completely scared shitless and simply go back to my awful foster parents, Duke does the hero thing and rides off to meet his destiny.

In the end, we see that the rest of the Robin crew are on top of the building waiting as well and after complaining about how long they've been there and that they're breaking curfew, Duke finally shows up and we get what feels like a real teenage interaction.  Everyone thinks they're the top dog and don't want to budge an inch about it.  They swap stories about Batman and how they think that "The Nest" is really the Bat and how this mysterious figure came to each of them to recruit them into this vigilante team.  Eventually we get back to the issue at hand and Duke tells them about the bombs and our We Are Robin issue ends with the group going to the first location and trying to defuse the bomb.........But that's not all!  We also get a epilogue showing that the mysterious Nest figure has infiltrated the homeless brigade in the sewers and is trying to collect data on who is really running the show.

That's it for this issue of We Are Robin and I know it's a terrible thing to say, but I spent this issue just waiting for it to let me down, but it never did.  This continues to be a great book, that really has me intrigued about where these young heroes will go from here.  The biggest problem that I have with the book is that even though we went through the roster of Robins during the initial fight, by the end of the book I had no idea what the character's names were.  This might just be because I have a shit memory, but maybe a splash page showing the full body of each character as they run into action with their names above them might help me out because I want to know who these people are and I want to start deciding who my favorite street Robin is.  I love the portrayals of these characters though and they really come off as actual teenagers in a sort of Breakfast Club-esque division of personality types.  You know, the jock, the basket case, the criminal and I love that.  I really love the art in this book and as you can probably tell, I really love this book.  If you haven't checked this title out yet, you're really missing out.

Bits and Pieces:

While I was waiting for something to happen in this book that would tell me that the love I had for the first issue was simply a fluke, by the end I found myself still completely in love with this title and will continue to say that this is probably the best new book that came out in June.  I love the portrayal of the street Robins and I love the art that depicts the story....... Pretty much, I'm in love.  Another great issue that moves the story along, while setting up clues to to who the mysterious person behind "The Nest" is.  Do yourself a favor this week and pick up this issue and the first one if you happened to miss it.

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  1. All signs DO seem to point to Alfred as The Nest. In addition to everything else, he's also a, previously, professional actor... the different guides he's been approaching the kids under seem like a natural extension of his skills.

    Except, the idea of Alfred enlisting kids as vigilantes reads as out of me, at least (then again, maybe he's changed. Aside from a depressing panel or two we haven't really seen enough of post-Endgame, one-handed, PTSD Alfred to gauge his state of mind). With the sense of responsiblity he expressed over both Damian's death and Bruce's "death", putting innocents in the line of fire strikes me as very un-Alfred-like.

  2. You know, I didn't even think it was Alfred but he is always hiding his right hand which was cut off at the end of Endgame. I'm betting it is Alfred, acting slightly out of character but still a cool idea.

    1. He's wearing a costume you'd see on a stage and he's acting. Sounds like Alfred to me.

    2. I just mean in terms of throwing kids into danger. But desperate times call for desperate measures, as he would probably say.

    3. I feel bad because when I replied to your comment I didn't even see that Jacks commented. I just pushed a button and it took me to the comment section at the bottom. I do agree that Alfred getting a bunch of kids to put their lives on the line for a kind of Batman cult where he makes them believe that this is the best possible course for their lives comes off a little odd, but like you said, desperate times and all. Maybe him getting his hand cut off........... if it indeed is him, could have affected him a lot more than any of us really thought.

    4. Absolutely. We've seen nothing but a panel or two of PTSDAlfred...

      (and my first comment should read "the different GUISES he's been approaching the kids under...", not "guides" as the predictive text published.


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