The Family Made Along The Way: Reviewing ‘Robin’ #13

by Scott Redmond

Overview

‘Shadow War’ hits Robin’s solo title in an overall engaging entry that is connected to the rest but continues to do what this book has always done well, tackle deep character moments with most of them centered on family. Just a fun and colorful story that adds a bit to the crossover and moves a few pieces forward for that book but mostly moves forward pieces for where the series is sure to go after the event.

Overall
8/10
8/10

Multi-series crossover stories can be very tough when a reader may only generally read one of the given titles, finding themselves pulled into the middle of a story already in progress. Robin was one of two titles doing a lot of the foundational work for the Shadow War event and now fully joins the event for the fourth chapter in the Deathstroke vs the al Ghuls story.

What helps is that Joshua Williamson, the writer of the whole event and regular writer of this book, structures this issue in a way that skews more towards character development and pay-offs of some elements set up in the previous twelve issues. It makes it easier for general readers to pick up as there are some good explainers of the event while the book still remains mostly a Robin story. Respawn’s identity is revealed to Robin (after it was revealed outside of this book, over in Deathstroke Inc.).

Deathstroke getting his own Damian essentially (Respawn being a created child of Deathstroke and Talia al Ghul) after the storyline a few years ago in Deathstroke’s book that was centered around him believed to be Damian’s real father is kind of hilarious in many respects. It very well could be where Williamson got the inspiration for this twist.

Overall, it’s an intriguing addition to the series and the event, with some great action sequences as the Bats and the Deathstrokes come to blows and Talia al Ghul’s assassins deal a blow to Deathstroke. One of the best parts is that we finally get Batman and Robin getting a chance to talk and seemingly (at least for the moment) mending some fences to work together again.

Roger Cruz, Norm Rapmund, and Luis Guerrero just have such great energy when they work on this book together and it’s great to see it still going. As usual, we get a lot of the usual great facial expression/emotional work and solid smooth dynamic action scenes, that are presented in such fun paneling layouts that maximize the potential of every piece of a scene. Everything has a hefty weight and depth to it, and the overall shots of the city and just any setting are so detailed and immersive.

Even with the book taking place mostly at night, it’s still a boldly and bright colorful series as Guerrero blends color and shadows expertly. Night scenes that feel accurate and real to what night would be like in any given place, here it being a lit-up city, are so great to see. Any touches of ‘realism’ to coexist with the fantastical of comic books are always welcome.

Troy Peteri is still onboard handling the letters, as he’s done so well for this series in the past. There are some awesome mega SFX found throughout the story while the exclamations, such as screaming one’s own name, are blown up in size with bright colors added to their massive bubbles for such great effect. It’s another aspect of how Peteri alters font in ways that allow us to know what tone/volume should be used for this moment.

DC Comics’ Robin #13 is now available.

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