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Written By: Lee Bermejo Art By: James Harvey, Diana Egea, Alex Jaffe, Jared K. Fletcher Cover Price: $2.99 Release Date: September 23, 2015
*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
All of us who read his book will know that in the previous issue......we lost one of our Robins. No, this isn't a huge deal like when Damian died, but I'm getting pretty into this book and seeing a kid who put on a mask to try and do the right thing blow up in front of my eyes, well that's a pretty messed up day. Yeah, I've been having trouble in remembering who these specific Robins are, but in this issue I finally get the thing that I've been asking for since day one and that's a character list with their names, pictures and a little bio to help all of us get to know these Robins a little better. The Robin that I liked the best was of course the one who died last issue and I won't lie....... I went into this issue a little somber knowing that I wouldn't be seeing "Shoulder Pads" this issue...... or as he's actually known, Troy Walker. For this series to rise above the rest of the new titles for me with a bunch of characters I can't say that I actually know is a damn miracle to me so know that the creative team must be doing something right. Let's dive into this issue and see if they can keep it up.
For all my excitement going into this issue, I have to say that I was a bit disappointed right off the bat because of the art style of James Harvey, who's filling in this issue. I really love Jorge Corona's art in this book and not having him here immediately showed me how much he contributes to the tone and feel of this book because when I finally got to the end of this........ my eyes hurt from all the shit going on and just the splatter of bright colors everywhere........ hell, this seemed more like a display of what a teenager would have as his pop art project in a gymnasium art show. It's just not very pleasing to look at and I hope I never have to see it again. That being said, we have ourselves a decent story here as long as you're more forgiving than me and can get past the art portraying it.
Our story begins in the wake of Troy Walker's death and the entire community is feeling this loss, while also discussing the dangers of the city's teens putting on masks and taking matters into their own hands. Our story is centered around one of our Robins named Riko, who on top of being a "Street Robin" also seems to have an over active imagination and this is made quite clear when she begins daydreaming about Batgirl and what Batgirl would think about her and the other Robins doing what they're doing after the death of Troy. This is a really cool callback to seeing Riko in previous issues where she's talking about someone and the other Robins remarking about her imaginary friend......what I'm guessing is she really needs some friends. Now, I'm not saying that I don't suit up and go out on the town while talking to myself, but........ wait I don't know where I was going with this. This issue really reminds me of the movie Pump Up The Volume and how the town in that movie dealt with a pirate DJ after the suicide of a listener..... yeah, it's a stretch, but if you imagine the Robins as Christian Slater and Troy being the kid in the movie that killed himself, you'll see what I'm talking about, especially with how the parents react to both scenarios because we see Riko's mother try talking to her about Troy's death and if she's heard of these Robins and what they're doing.......just like Christian Slater's parents. You know what? Go watch Pump Up The Volume...... it's one of those movies that helped inspire my personality growing up and helped create the America's Sweetheart that you all know.
In the end, we see Riko suit up and go out on the town and try to shut down a rooftop bonfire, started by a bunch of kids who's whole deal is trying to get superheroes' attention. Well, they don't much care for Riko and her Robin costume and after she continuously tells them to put out the fire, things get physical, but luckily before things could get out of hand, Batgirl showed up and made Riko's day, while teaching the other kids what happens when you waste Batgirl's time. I find this part kind of weird........ Yeah, it kind of makes sense from what we've been seeing from Bagirl, but she actually gives Riko permission to continue what her and her team are doing as long as they take it seriously because as the city has seen from Troy Walker's death, this life is deadly serious......... but really, she should have told her to hang up her cape because shit is dangerous and Gotham is no place to be wearing a mask and an "R".
That's it for this issue of We Are Robin and for all the things that this title has done right with it's first three issues..... this feels like it's doing the opposite. We've been dealing with a team dynamic throughout this series so far and taking a break from that so we can focus on a single character's reaction to the death of a teammate seems kind of wrong....... especially since our main character here Riko comes off kind of emotionless towards the whole situation. So far, this series has been something that I find full of emotion and after having an actual emotional plot point happen and having no emotion at all is just so strange. There's just not a lot going on in this issue especially since Riko seems to be an introvert and having Batgirl involved simply to tell her it's okay to be a hero and that's all just feels like a missed opportunity. If that wasn't enough to bum you the hell out, the art is just not pleasant to look at and doesn't do this story any favors. Definitely the weakest that this series has offered and I hope that in the next issue it can get back to what initially brought me to it.
Bits and Pieces:
This issue definitely hurts the overall positive experience that I've been having with this title. After what we dealt with in the previous issue, you'd think that this would offer an abundance of emotion, but with us dealing with a pretty much emotionless character that seems to live inside her own head, the impact that this issue should have had just feels like a missed opportunity. On top of that, the art in this book is just not for me and really clutters the pages with every pop art inclusion that it tries to force in the panels...... it's just not something that I want to look at.