Robin #1 Review

by Carlos R. on April 27, 2021

Robin #1 Cover Image
Written by: Joshua Williamson
Art by: Gleb Melnikov
Lettered by: ALW’s Troy Peteri
Publisher: DC Comics

I had really hoped I would have enjoyed this issue more. On paper it sounds like exactly the kind of book I would be all over, I mean, there’s a secret tournament involved! How could that not pique your interest?

I’m a fan of Damian, but he’s a tough character to balance when on his own. If not careful, he can come off too arrogant and at that point it’s hard to root for him. That’s nearly the case here, Williamson shows how Damian’s evolved in that he’s more empathetic, caring, and merciful. However, it’s very direct when these scenes would come across more powerful if not so obvious. It’s emphasized that he didn’t kill in his match and donates his earnings to a family who are leaping for joy as Damian departs the scene. The issue was fun to read, but at times would go over the top in dramatics; for example, Barbara tacking on “we’ll find your son” after they’ve all shown that they’ll be searching for Damian comes off like a line in a trailer. She knows Damian, she knows Bruce, it just comes off a bit detached, more for tension as opposed to for comfort. I enjoy the concept and am excited to see how much Damian’s evolved since joining the Bat family, before I know he would’ve easily given into killing his opponent, but he’s changed, and I’m intrigued in how struggling with the loss of Alfred and his own identity will play out for him. My biggest issue with this book is the end. I really dislike the use of cliffhangers to have people come back for the next chapter, especially when the solicits for the next issue show there’s no cause for concern.

I enjoyed the visuals here, the combat is clean and I love the use of colors in Damian’s attacks against King Snake, the red is striking against the pale tones and makes for a nice callback at the end in Damian’s fight with Flatline. The colors are vibrant, favorite panel has to be the ship caught in a storm as it heads toward Lazarus Island, it gives an otherworldly sense to this adventure and the green evokes the eeriness and terrifying nature of things tied to the Lazarus Pit. When we first see Lazarus Island, the scene evokes Skull Island from King Kong, but the image is muted, the scene is lovely, but doesn’t jolt me to another world.

Robin #1 is a decent issue, there are parts to enjoy, but I wish the team had been more experimental with it, relied on background elements to show changes to Damian’s nature and not resorted to trying to draw back readers with a cliffhanger. I am rooting for this series, I love Damian and think there’s a great story to be told.

Our Score:


A Look Inside