DC Comics 2021
Written by Joshua Williamson
Illustrated by Gleb Melnikov
Coloured by Luis guerrero
Lettered by ALW’s Troy Peteri
Robin reunion! Nightwing, Red Hood, Tim Drake, and Spoiler guest-star as they track Damian down with a plan to bring the young hero back to Gotham. Back to his family. But the son of Batman plans to win the Lazarus Tournament and refuses to return. What starts as a happy reunion quickly turns into a Robin rumble!
I don't know if it’s ironic or not but elsewhere, see other current DC titles, Damian isn't being written the same way and I like him a lot less than I do within these pages. Don’t get me wrong he’s an insufferable twat on his best days but somehow seeing the way Joshua is able breathe life into him through different avenues and perspectives than I was prepared for makes him a much more interesting character. I was a tad skeptical that all the Robins would be appearing this quickly in the series and with him having been on the Island taking part in the Lazarus Tournament to boot. Turns out there’s a reason I trust what Joshua does and he keeps their encounter short, sweet and to the point. Though we do learn a few things that once again change how we see the characters, in a good way mind you.
I am a fan of the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information is presented exceedingly well. The character development we see through the dialogue, the character interaction as well as how they act and react to the situations and circumstances which they encounter really does a marvellous job in bringing these characters to life. The pacing is excellent and as it takes us through the pages revealing the story we’re caught up in the whole subterfuge of what we see.
How we see this being structured and how the layers within the story continue to emerge, grow, evolve and strengthen is done in such a magnificent way. With the revelations, characterisation and how we see all these events unfold they add this great depth, dimension and complexity to the story. How we see everything working together to create the story’s ebb & flow as well as how it moves the story forward is achieved exceptionally well.
The interiors here are a bit more all ages than I normally care for but it does fit with some classic Young Justice or Teen Titans style of artwork. How we see the varying weights being utilised to create the detail work we see throughout is well achieved. How we see the costumes and the contestants on the island showcases some great creativity and imagination. The way that backgrounds are utilised to enhance and expand the moments are well done, we could always use more though. How they also work within the composition of the panels to bring out the depth perception, sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scope to the story is well rendered. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see angles and perspective in the panels show a talented eye for storytelling.
We’re still in the midst of the first arc and so far I’m into this book a heck of a lot more than I had ever expected I could be. Damian isn’t the greatest charaterr find but he’s certainly one of the more complex and frustrating ones to have made an appearance in the DCU. The whole dichotomy of his lineage and his desire to find his own way in the world that straddles both sides of his family is definitely relatable to, though never in one so young. With some superb writing and intriguing characterisation that’s wrapped up in these more all-ages style artwork certainly makes for an incredibly interesting read.