Friday, April 29, 2016

We Are Robin #11 Review and *SPOILERS*


Written By: Lee Bermejo
Art By: Jorge Corona, Rob Haynes, Trish Mulvihill, Jared K. Fletcher

Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: April 27, 2016

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

This series is one of my favorites from the DCYou and while I think it took a bit of a misstep in its Robin War crossover, besides that we've pretty much gotten gold every month and I'll be sad to see it go.  Luckily though, we're going out with style as the story has moved away from Nests and Talons to good old fashioned teenage angst.  Yeah, being a teenager is a pain in the ass and I've loved the way that Lee Bermejo has portrayed these characters to reflect that aspect, while piling being a hero on top of everything else.  It's just been a blast and with the introduction of the Jokers Gang in this story arc, we not only get the origin of the Jokerz Gang from Batman Beyond's time, but we finally get a foil for our heroes that seems right.  When we last left our Robins, Smiley and his gang had occupied Middletown High and man were they packing some serious weapons.  Let's jump into this issue and see if our Robins can start working together again to take this threat out before they or anyone else gets hurt in this delicate situation.  Let's check it out.

Explain It!:

Our issue picks up right where we left off last month, with Smiley and the Jokerz Gang coming into Middletown High with guns drawn and even though Lee Bermejo is calling this gang the "Jokers Gang" I'm going to stick with the Z at the end because I loved them in Batman Beyond and as everyone knows, you add a Z to something it's instantly cooler.  Immediately you get a sense in this issue that our main characters for all their hangups and attitudes towards everything that's happened to them since the Robin War came around and F'ed them in the A is completely forgotten in a sort of teamwork muscle memory that brings Duke and Riko back together to come up with a way to not only survive this assault, but to find a way to end it as well.  The message is sent out to all the Robins who were tardy to school that day, that shit is getting real and to hurry up.  This is mainly Dax and Izzy and for a moment in this issue I was really unsure if life had beaten Izzy down to the point where she was willing to let her friends and former teammates down and simply resign herself to the mundane situation that she's recently found herself.  This was played really well, but eventually Izzy gets on the trolley and joins Dax as they try to enter the school before the police send the SWAT team in and probably get all the hostages that Smiley had taken killed.

Another aspect of this book that I really enjoyed was the inner monologue of our different heroes and their view on guns.  Here they're confronted with one of the worst possible situations and something that I myself feared happening due to all the paranoia and worry caused by the attacks at Columbine when I was in High School and this moment, while it is something that still terrifies me, is used here as a real source of solidarity and motivation that will take these characters from simply being wanna-bes to actual heroes in the long run from facing this threat.  While we've had ten other issues of We Are Robin before this, this issue really feels almost like their origin story, a la how Bruce Wayne was confronted by the death of his parents from a man toting a gun.  This works exactly like that and it's done very well without having to shove it down your throat.

In the end, our heroes come together to save the hostages and we even get to see Dax showing off his new grappling guns so that Izzy and him can enter the school.  It's all cleaned up rather fast and as our issue closes, the Robins are confronted by The Nest, who had texted them earlier not to interfere and to let the police do their job, but we find out that it's time for these Robins to leave their nest and start doing things for themselves and this really works as an excellent ending and I actually wish this is how we would have ended the series............ even though I also wish this story arc would have been a issue longer.

That's it for this issue of We Are Robin and this is another fantastic issue of this series.  Even though I had a really good time reading this, my biggest problem with this issue and even this story arc is that it didn't go on for another issue because everything seemed to be wrapped up pretty quick and even though Smiley has been kind of built up to be more than just a punk kid, he's taken down rather easily and because of that, this story arc became a little anti-climactic.  The rest though with our Robins coming back together, their inner monologues and even their speech cutting ties with The Nest at the end worked wonderfully well.  As usual, I loved Jorge Corona's artwork on this book and I really feel that this series works as well as it does because of Jorge's contributions to this book because every time I see these characters when he's off a issue or when they're in another title they never look right to me.  This creative team has really taken a bunch of kids and made me believe that they could be heroes and I'm really going to be sad to see this series end, especially after issues like this.

Bits and Pieces:

Lee Bermejo takes real world terror and brings it to Gotham as he elevates these characters from simple teenagers to actual heroes in this issue.  Yeah, our Robins have seen some shit in their short time, but it's issues like this that really make this book work and make you believe that these characters could be sticking around Gotham for a long time and I really hope they do.  It's funny, the only real gripe I have for this issue is that this story arc would have lasted another issue because while this story is really enjoyable, it gets wrapped up rather quick.

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