DC Comics’ crossover event “Shadow War” continues this week with Robin #13, which is part four of the event. Note to completists: Read Deathstroke #8 before diving into Robin. In this latest chapter, Deathstroke being framed becomes more clear to others and Robin makes a huge discovery. It’s all about family in this latest issue…well, along with kicking and punching.
If you’ve enjoyed Robin thus far, you’ll definitely enjoy this issue as it continues to bring the fight-comic fun. After a brief opening with Batman making it clear he’s not after Deathstroke, but Robin, this issue opens with Robin and Ravager fighting Deathstroke and Respawn.
There are explosions and no-holds-barred fights, but it all quiets down with a major reveal. This reveal, which I won’t spoil, changes Damian’s outlook on a specific character and also reminds us Ra’s Al Ghul has done some messed up stuff in his day. This reveal gives the single issue a meaty discovery, making it well worth picking up. Heck, it even aligns Batman with Damian in a way that should have longtime fans of this duo giddy for more.
You’ll have to suspend your disbelief a little bit here, like when characters instantly believe things without much scrutiny. This is superhero comics, though, and it’s fairly easy to roll with reveals when characters are getting punched in the face with claws and not shedding any blood. Even though the stakes are high, the tone is lighter and more all-reader friendly.
This issue also does well to set up some familiar faces in the war between Batman and Talia Al Ghul. The cliffhanger complicates the battle that’s sure to come by event’s end and will get modern readers even more excited. On the flip side, this issue pretty much abandons the mystery of who pretended to be Deathstroke.
Art by Roger Cruz continues to be spot on for the fight choreography enthusiast. There are matchups that bring plenty to track and follow. Robin’s costume also looks fantastic under Cruz’s lines along with Norm Rapmund’s inks and Luis Guerrero’s colors. Heck, Batman’s costume in this issue actually looks a bit boring by comparison. In general, backgrounds are simpler, although Guerrero punches things up with some nice purple glow in the cliffhanger page.
Robin #13 is a good chapter in the “Shadow War” event thanks to some major reveals and some superhero alliances you won’t see coming. Ultimately his event is an excuse to get characters to punch each other over a misunderstanding, but that’s kinda what superheroes do, right?
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