Rating: 3/5 – Another New Robin, or Same Old Robins?
by ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas
There’s plenty of new titles coming out from DC. What was once called the New 52 is now, according to Dan DiDido in his editorial message at the back of this week’s DC titles, the New DCU. DiDido explains that their goal is to “widen the net of tone and style so that no one look defines who we are” while also keeping the core continuity intact. Just how that all works with the changes that the end of Convergence brought along is anyone’s guess, but there have been some creative and unique titles coming out of DC that feel different than what came before. Case in point, ‘We are Robin’.
Written by Lee Bermejo with art by Jorge Corona, We are Robin is not the most typical of Batman books. It’s using themes and ideas from the Batman family of titles, but heads in a direction that shows potential and opportunity to stand on it’s own. Bermejo who’s most known for his art, takes on just the writing for this series that introduces us to a team of Robins in the wake of Batman’s Endgame storyline. With the original Batman missing from Gotham City, there’s a group of Robins that have stepped up to protect the city. Although we get just a glimpse of this new team, the story focuses mostly on Duke Thomas and how he comes to meet the new all-Robin team. For the most part Duke is an enjoyable character, although a Robin born out of tragedy and tough times is something we’ve seen plenty of times before. Robinson is giving Duke his own voice that I’m hoping will become more fleshed out as the series progresses, but so far he won’t make you root for him which may be a problem in subsequent issues.
As far as the art goes, Jorge Corona is a nice fit. He uses a very hard edge to his line and from the first page you’ll notice similarities to that of Mike Henderson from Nailbiter, although not as refined. There’s a lot of energy to Corona’s pencils, but I wish he spent a little more time on the backgrounds to signify that it’s Gotham City, rather than any other major metropolis. There’s also a two page epilogue at the end that hints at a larger overall story, but it could have easily been thrown into the main storyline without having to have a separate artist in Khary Randolph pencil the two final pages.
We Are Robin did enough to bring me back, but I wasn’t blown away by this first issue. We’ve seen a lot of Robins or Robin-like characters in the past twenty years, so how this Robin sets himself apart will be a wait and see. Given time, Duke Thomas can be a character to watch, but he’ll need an origin and a back story that differentiates himself from those that came before, and he just needs to be more endearing. I’ll be back to see if Bermejo and Corona can pull it off and I trust Bermejo to do so, I just hope it’s sooner rather than later.
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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