Story: Tim Seeley
Art: V. Ken Marion, Sandu Florea
Colors: Andrew Dalhouse
Letterer: Troy Preteri
What They Say:
Every current and former Robin has been captured by a mysterious villain! Will these distinctly different students of Batman be able to stand each other long enough to fight off a horde of their greatest enemies?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The newest installment of this series brings us a full-issue story that clocks in at fourteen pages with Tim Seeley writing. I’ve enjoyed a lot of Seeley’s works over the years but they’re ones that I kind of have to work on a bit to connect with as sometimes the dialogue just doesn’t flow for me, which happens here a bit. This time, he’s paired with V. Ken Marion on the artwork with Sandu Florea inking it and it looks great with a lot of details and neat elements to it with all the Robin’s. It’s also one that Andrew Dalhouse really gets to shine with in bringing them all to life with their unique coloring demands and the general pop while set in a dank room going through all the questions and answer material.
The story here is one that plays out well if a little convoluted at times. We’re introduced to the group of five or so various Robin’s over the years that have worn the name that have been abducted mid-fight and taken here. They were all asked to protect the city by Batman but upon going to help out Luke Fox at one point they were individually stopped and captured by various opponents, such as Deathstroke, Clayface, and so forth. With Nightwing kind of taking charge, which Red Hood grumbles against, they work through the things they all learned while working under Batman over the years and trading their stories on how they ended up here. It’s got a lot of similarities but it’s all missing that central reason for all of this.
That does kind of come up toward the end with the bigger goal but it’s almost a McGuffin at this point. The real challenge is watching the group go through all the details and to realize that there’s one in their midst that doesn’t belong. They’re all such strong personalities in their own way so that when they start saying small things that are out of character, it’s very noticeable to the rest and it shifts the way the conversation goes. It plays out well and when it all comes together it’s fun to see how the group reacts and the fight that unfolds as the numbers change and it gets a little wonky. It’s not the main focus of the book but the fight definitely works well and coming on top of the more psychological elements it’s a welcome release to bring it to a close.
I definitely prefer the full-length stories to the two-in-one issues that we get but those are definitely the way to do some quick-hit storytelling that can be a good challenge for both writers and artists in how to use space, pacing, and layouts effectively in new ways. This issue coming in at fourteen pages including the cover gets right to the story, fleshes things out well, hits us with a twist, some action, and a decent resolution to it all. I like the use of all the former Robin’s here and it looks great in seeing their various designs and styles all in one place. It’s a good ready that holds up well on the second and third time through as well.