REVIEW: Robin #168

by Jeff

Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews

Robin #168
DC Comics
Milligan & Williams II

Part One of the Resurrection of Ra’s Al Ghul is really the fourth comic that deals with this subject. We had the Batman Annual, the Robin Annual and last week’s Batman #670. After reading the official “Part One” I can say you needed to read the previous issues, with the possible exception of the Robin Annual. This issue picks up right where Batman left off and it picks the pace up slightly. Overall the story still feels rather foreign to me with how some of the characters are written.

Ra’s is a mummy. Having been reborn into an old body, he needs the youthful body of his grandson, Damian. Damian escaped Ra’s but his mother, Talia did not. This issue picks up with the mummy Ra’s barking out orders and dealing out some threats to his captive daughter, Talia.

Meanwhile at the Batcave, Robin is holding down the fort while Batman is off on the trail of Ra’s. Damian infiltrates the Batcave and he and Robin have some words, some fists are thrown and eventually Damian bests Robin and makes his way to the mansion. There he finds a sympathetic ear in Alfred.

Batman finds Talia and probes her information. She lays a guilt trip on him about his son, Damian while he is fixed on the rebirth of Ra’s and his whereabouts.

One other new plot advancement sees some old guy discussing the seven pieces of the invisible map. He talks of dispatching an archer named, Merlyn to find and kill one of the map guys. This is only a one pager in the comic and is not meant for a newbie I take it cause I was lost.

Overall, this issue moved along very nicely and on the surface had all the makings of a great comic. It had fighting, it had a story within this issue and it moved along the overall plot arc. All are very good things. However, there were negatives to this issue that stand out way too much for my tastes.

First off, the lines that Batman has in this issue are not very Batman-like. “The Demon’s head is evil” is out of place in my mind. Batman felt like Batman trying not to be Batman to me. Second off, the Alfred falling for Damian bit seemed totally wrong. Alfred would be so quick to turn away from Robin to defend Damian? I don’t think so.

However, this is Robin’s comic so if the characterizations of Batman and Alfred seem off to me then I guess I can live it.

The art work was great. I particularly liked Robin versus Damian. I liked to see Robin appear to be such a grown man against Damian. I also liked the confident, arrogant Talia when she deals with her Dad versus the oh-poor-me Talia when Batman shows up. The Wayne Manor backgrounds were also a hit with me. It felt overwhelming as it might to someone so young as Damian. One thing I didn’t like and I don’t if I can pin it on the art is that the Merlyn dude seems to have Wolverine’s haircut. Which I didn’t find to be too cool.

Overall, I liked the issue a lot. However, if you missed some of the ramp up issues you may be a bit lost. I am cautiously optimist that I will enjoy this crossover. Will it be as good as Sinestro Corps War? So far, not even close, but still its keeping me interested and at the top of the to-read pile week to week. And it wouldn’t kill DC to give a one paragraph recap once in a while would it?

3.5 out of 5 geek goggles.

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