“Shadow War” came to its crashing end, bringing Robin a bit closer to his mother at the expense of losing his grandfather. Batman also got a little closer to Damian while Damian gained a few friends through a death tournament. As kids do. There are still some things to sort out though and in Robin #15, Damian gains a new direction entirely.
As the preview shows, this issue opens with Batman and Talia in a fight right in front of their son Damian. He looks upset and maybe even hurt. Nobody likes seeing their parents fight. This scene is good foreshadowing as writer Joshua Williamson uses this issue to show how Damian may have bonded with both parents, but he has a lot more to do on his own terms. Appropriately titled “Parent Trap,” this issue further grows Damian up, which is impressive since the character has developed a lot over its entire run already.
It’s hard to discuss much of this issue without spoiling things, but know that Talia is in jail and facing a big punishment. If you’re unfamiliar with how she got here, there’s enough explanation to catch you up. It’s somewhat comical the entire “Shadow War” was summed up in one line of dialogue, but it’s appreciated by anyone who might have missed the story arc. This is comics, though, so it’s all relatively easy to jump into.
This issue also comes full circle for Damian. “Shadow War” was a nice side adventure after the Lazarus Tournament it seems and it’s nice to see we’re back on track for more with that island. There are some rather big mysteries worth exploring that are tied closely to Damian’s lineage.
One element that doesn’t quite work is a request by Damian for his dad. It’s hard to believe Batman would ever let injustice go and a little more could have been done to make Batman bend. Instead, he rather quickly gives Damian what he wants.
It’s not all setup for Damian’s new path, though. Roger Cruz gets to draw a fun action sequence with a clown-themed gang. The fight choreography is strong and there’s a good gag in the scene too. The battle is somewhat inconsequential, but it leads to a nice moment with the Bat family worth checking out.
Cruz and inker Norm Rapmund do well to capture the various costumes of the villains as well as any familiar heroes who pop up too. Colors by Luis Guerrero are colorful and pop, giving the book a fun and classic comic book feel.
Robin #15 puts Damian back on track to development as a character. It’s nice to see “Shadow War” didn’t derail the work Williamson and company did on Lazarus Island and this issue reminds us Damian may have strong parental figures when they’re around him solo, there’s still some stuff to work through when they’re together.
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