Robin has been an exciting fight comic first, but also rife with drama involving the al Ghul family. Josh Williamson continues to add new layers to Damian’s lineage, and in Robin #10 he’s literally interacting with them in the past. It’s a trippy issue that adds new context to Ra’s al Ghul and his mother.
This issue works well to play against your expectations. The last issue ended with Robin being transported to the past where his father is still young and hasn’t yet figured out the Lazarus Pits. Through these scenes, and Robin connecting with his grandmother, we learn more about how the pits work and how she ended up on the island. Williamson has been adding new layers to the al Ghul family and in many ways has reinvigorated them as an interesting family that’s been fairly quiet for a few years. It also adds just enough new stuff that feels natural to the characters without changing them.
This issue gives readers a lot of new information too, like adding context to the Lazarus Tournament as well. Speaking of, there’s some action in this issue, but not as much as previous issues. The strength of the issue lies in the telling of stories.
Artist Roger Cruz, with inks by Norm Rapmund and colors by Luis Guerrero, do wonders montaging Ra’s al Ghul’s backstory. There’s an adventure element to his focus on his science, a war he fights for his beliefs, and a story about a young man doing what he thinks is right. He lived a life not as a supervillain, but as a man inspired by his mother to prove her wrong. There’s one panel with Ra’s using magic that uses lettering in a cool way, with a good glow effect, that gives the story a mystical vibe that’s epic in nature.
The character that gets the most attention is Robin’s grandmother. She’s been running the tournament, but here we get to see her inner thoughts and events she was involved in many years ago. Even though she’s evil and has bad intentions, she’s given character work that makes her more human and relatable. She also fights for what she believes in and you’ll see her side of things. It’s just too bad her goal is to kill the world to let it be reborn.
Robin #10 is a good issue because it plays against expectations with new details, background, and surprises sprinkled throughout. Add to the fact that it acts as a buffer of info to add new context to the war at the Lazarus Tournament and you have yourself a good superhero comic through and through.
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