Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Robin 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1 Review

Happy Anniversary, Boy Wonder!

Written By: Marv Wolfman, Chuck Dixon, Devin Grayson, Tim Seeley, Tom King, Judd Winick, Adam Beechen, James Tynion IV, Amy Wolfram, Peter J. Tomasi, Robbie Thompson
Art By: Tom Grummett, Scott Hanna, Adriano Lucas, Tom Napolitano, Scott McDaniel, Rob Hunter, Protobunker, Carlos M. Mangual, Dan Jurgens, Norm Rapmund, Hi-Fi, Troy Peteri, Mikel Janin, Jeremy Cox, Dustin Nguyen, John Kalisz, Steve Wands, Freddie E. Williams II, Jeremy Colwell, Rob Leigh, Javier Fernandez, David Baron, Damion Scott, Brad Anderson, Andworld Design, Jorge Jimenez, Alejandro Sanchez, Ramon Villalobos, Tamra Bonvillain
Cover Price: $9.99
Release Date: March 18, 2020

It's time to celebrate our favorite side-kick in an over-the-top 100-page spectacular that will take a look (some longer than other) at the people who have taken up the mantle of Robin over the years.  Now, this just tickles me in all the right places because I've said for years that as much as I like Batman, I like Robin even more so celebrating the Boy Wonder is the perfect way in my mind to start off this comic book week.  Let's jump into this issue and see what all these creative teams have in store for us with this big ol' book.  Let's jump into this issue and check it out.

For this spectacular, we have ten stories featuring different wonders that have raced next to Batman over the years and while you would imagine that a big portion of them would feature Dick Grayson, with him being the first and in a lot of people's minds, the best Robin, not to mention he had the longest career as the side-kick extraordinaire, but he's given four stories, while Jason Todd is given one, Tim Drake is given two, Stephanie Brown is given one and Damian Wayne is given two.  That might not be a terrible amount to give to each one, especially for the amount of time they were all Robins, but it's the way they are presented that made me shake my head a bit.

For whatever reason, the creators (who for the most part are great choices here, both old and new for the characters involved) decided that they were mostly going to tell stories around the Robin character and focused more on the secret identities of our heroes with the plots focused more on remembering their time as Robin instead of getting actual Robin stories (for the most part).  For Dick Grayson you get his final day as Robin, two Nightwing stories and an Agent 37 story, Jason gets a Red Hood story thinking back to when he was Robin (which is actually pretty good), Tim has a guidance counselor telling him he needs more extracurricular activities and a prologue to the Detective Comics Gotham Knights story, Stephanie has the beginning of her time as Robin, which fills in some gaps to her Robin War Journal entries, but this is played up for laughs a lot and Damian has a weird Super Sons entry and a tie into what's coming up in Teen Titans currently.  There are some fun stories throughout that will make old and new fans smile, but they don't feel really all that fresh and since we're jumping around the continuity it feels out of sorts at times.

Check out our Robin 80th Anniversary #1 Video Review

All in all, if you're a Robin fan there's no reason not to pick this up since it is a celebration of the character, but I expected a bit more out of this in actually dealing with Robin and not just remembering when certain characters were the Boy Wonder.  Hell, the Nightwing Teen Titans story feels like it focuses more on Damian Dahrk than actually Dick Grayson, but it was still pretty fun even with that aspect.  The writing, like the art, is going to be a mixed bag because of the amount of creative teams we have on this book, but overall they were all fine with the stories they were trying to tell, I personally just wanted more out of this book and can't help but feel a little disappointed with the final outcome.  Don't fret though, even with my criticisms, this is still a fun read, I just don't know if it's worth $10 price tag.

Bits and Pieces:

If you've read any over-sized anniversary or celebration type issues you know what to expect out of this spectacular, you have a bunch of short stories, where some are going to be better than others, but my biggest complaint is that we don't actually deal enough with Robin stories and focus more on the characters who have been Robin simply remembering their time as the Boy Wonder and putting those skills to present-day situations.  It's still fun overall, but by the end, I wanted more.


1 comment:

  1. I loved the first story for the fact that it reunited Marv Wolfman & Tom Grummett. Reminded me of the early 90s New Titans run. And the Devin Grayson story reminded me of how stoked I was in the late 90s when I heard the original Titans were getting their own book. I loved that series. Even at its worst it was still better than most stuff that came after it. I'd have preferred more of Tim Drake maybe a Chuck Dixon story for him but what we got was still good.