The Lazarus tournament is coming to an end this week with Robin #9, but is Robin ready to fight a super-monster with all his extra lives lost? Roger Cruz and Josh Williamson aim to wrap up a story that offered major new reveals for the Al’Ghul family while developing Robin’s constitution a bit more. Expect lots of fighting in what has become one of the best action comics today.
At its core, this issue is about Robin finding within himself a solution to an impossible battle. So far, Damian Wayne has been a bit of a brat and a loner in the Lazarus Tournament. Robin is heroic and brave which is evident from the start, but when just punching the Lazarus Demon burns your fists, what can you do?
Robin #9 shows there is more to him if he gained a bit of guidance, which we’ve seen through a ghost of Alfred that speaks to him. We even saw him help Robin in the recent Annual issue and he does so again here. In some touching moments of reflection involving Batman, Williamson makes a strong point about how Bruce became Batman in the first place. It’s a heroic connection that fans will appreciate.
The action is tightly drawn by Cruz with colors by Luis Guerrero. Lettering and sound effects continue to be as bombastic as ever by Troy Peteri. The key to the action working well in this issue is how the panels move around the scene. There’s a lot of teamwork going on and each character gets a lick in, but it also needs to make sense in relation to each blow.
The central realization of Robin does feel a bit obvious, especially for a seasoned hero like Damian. Yes, he’s been a solo hero who is stubborn for ages, but is not the revelation the book needs to make the tide turn satisfying. Younger readers will delight in the development, but if you’re a seasoned comic reader it’s a pretty mediocre revelation. The ending is quite exciting, however, and sets up another story arc that promises even more revelations around the Al’Ghul family.
Robin #9 is a good finale to the Lazarus tournament that wraps up the final threat while giving the various tournament attendees a way to contribute. Its connections to Alfred and Batman are heartfelt and meaningful while the cliffhanger is an exciting turn you won’t see coming.
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