Thursday, September 27, 2018

Throwback Thursday: Robin War #1 Review (2015)

For The Birds

Written By: Tom King
Art By: Khary Randolph, Alain Mauricet, Jorge Corona, Andres Guinaldo, Walden Wong, Emilio Lopez, Chris Sotomayor, Gabe Eltaeb, Sandra Molina, Rob Haynes, Carlos M. Mangual, Tom Napolitano
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: December 2, 2015
Review by: Eric Shea

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
I've been waiting for this event for awhile........ Hell, I've been waiting for this event before it was even announced because I just love the idea of a book dealing with all the Robins.  Even though it might sound like heresy, I love Robin way more than I love Batman....... maybe it has something to do with that whole thing where imagining myself as Batman is way harder than imagining myself as a young partner next to him..........even though I'm not that young anymore.  Still, I love the idea of this book and with the added attraction of having the We Are Robins crew involved, well I couldn't be happier because that book came out of nowhere and became one of my favorite new titles that came out in June...... That's right, everything's coming up Milhouse.  Let's jump into this issue and see if all my excitement was worth it.  Let's check it out.

Explain It!:
For this event to work, well we're going to need a war....... which in most cases calls for some fucked up situations to happen in order for things to escalate to that level.  Good thing this issue starts out right at the catalyst for just such an event to take place.  Our issue begins with a random Robin taking out a robber at a liquor store and it really starts out quite positive........ except for the Robin holding the criminal's gun to him, but besides that, it's still pretty positive.  All of that goes away though when a cop shows up and does the responsible thing and tries to get both the Robin and robber to lie down on the floor.  It's at this moment though, when the Robin tries to explain himself that the robber uses the situation to go after the cop, which leads to the Robin shooting both the cop and the robber....... shit just got bad fast.  After the story breaks on the news about what went down, things moved pretty fast in Gotham in enacting a "Robin Laws" act, that turns the police into a vigilante strike force that's bent on taking down any kid that may or may not be someone in the Robin movement.  We get to see this first hand in a brutal montage showing kids getting rounded up and when a cop arrests Duke Thomas for simply having red shoes....... because red means Robin apparently and even though this cop happened to be right on this occasion, it's pretty screwed up.  Duke uses his skills to get out of the situation though and that leads us to the big setup for this book.  Duke calls a meeting for every kid out and about rocking an "R" for that night...........what could go wrong with all the vigilante kids that the city hates all gathering in one place?

Yeah, I set that up a little wrong, but fuck it, I'll go with it because it's nothing life threatening...... to a degree, but Jason Todd and Tim Drake find out about the kids' meeting and they really want to be at this meeting because they found out that Damian is back in town and that could be a problem. 

So yeah, Damian shows up and thinks that all these posers are a joke and that they should all just go home and then proceeds to beat the holy hell out of all of them until they start seeing things his way. 

This leads to the police being called and Batman being called in personally to deal with the situation.  I was originally really excited to see Jim Gordon take on the mantle of Batman, but after having issue after issue of the character just not being interesting or having anything really interesting to do, I have to say that I was delighted to see Damian just kick the shit out of the Robats.  

In the end, the Robins scatter and Red Hood and Red Robin finally show up.  Initially, I thought that Damian was going to beat the hell out of them too, but cooler heads prevailed and they decided to call Dick Grayson instead so that they could understand and help the Robins through this situation and city outcry to see them taken down.  Throughout this issue, we see that Council Woman Noctua, the woman that enacted the Robin Laws is actually in league with the Court of the Owls and wants in on their organization for her efforts to see their Robin War begin.  If that wasn't enough, we also see that as the issue closes that the Court's plan is bigger than getting the city against these kid vigilantes, when they send a Talon to kill the Robin who accidentally killed the cop at the beginning of the issue and that they were hoping that the real Robins would call in Dick Grayson because for whatever reason, this all has to do with Dick coming back to town and what seems like him becoming Nightwing again.

That's it for this issue of Robin War and with it, the start of this exciting ass event.  This is a really strong start to the series and lays out everything that we're going to be dealing with perfectly.  We've got our street Robins, our Bat Family Robins, our villains and even the city turning against our heroes ..........which personally, even though I love both teams of Robins, for some reason the outcry of the city to see them brought to justice was the thing that had the most impact on me in this issue and I hope we continue to see that throughout the tie-ins.  Even though I found myself not digging all of the art in this book because of the multiple artists and the erratic way they switched pages, there is still an incredible amount of strong art in this book and as cliche as it sounds, at times the colors were so well done that they seemed like they wanted to jump right off the page.  Yeah, cliched or not, that's exactly what you need in this book, especially since it emphasizes the Robin colors as something to be on the lookout for in taking these dangerous kids down.  Just a great story and even though I was already excited about going in, those tie-ins can't come fast enough because I want the rest of the Robin War now.

Bits and Pieces:

Being a huge Robin fanboy, this is an event that I've been crying out for..... well, for years and thankfully, it didn't let me down.  This issue sets the entire stage for this event so perfectly that I don't have any nagging questions going forward, only excitement to see what's to come.  I would have liked to see fewer artists on the book because of how abrupt the changes in styles were here, but for the most part, it was still strong and had some really powerful panels and pages.  Go on and get yourself some Robin War because right now it seems like a gift from DC just in time for the holidays.


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