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Review: Robin War #1

Robin War #1The Robins face the Court of Owls!

In part 1 of this new epic, it’s Robins vs. cops! Robins vs. Robins! Robins vs. Batman! And Robins vs. the Court of Owls?!

Damian Wayne returns to Gotham City, and he is not happy. There are kids all over the city calling themselves Robin, Bruce Wayne is no longer Batman and the GCPD, led by the new, armored-up Batman, is cracking down on anybody wearing the “R.” And things only get worse when Red Hood, Red Robin and Grayson all come back to Gotham City…

When launching an event, especially one that ties in a whole bunch of various series, there’s a tough balance to make it inviting to new readers, but also paying off for long time readers.

In Robin War #1, writer Tom King does the impressive task of doing both. King does that in a few ways in the comic. For new readers, the comic explains what’s going on quite well in the narrative itself without the need for a quick recap page. King also uses many societal issues going on today, such as violence by police and citizens standing up, in the story itself which makes it something we can easily relate to (at least if you watch the news and don’t live in a cave). Even the enforcer for the establishment, mecha-Batman, is given enough to make his involvement be in a gray area and the character to have depth. It’s a one two punch when combined that makes this comic an easy introduction for new readers, and it’s impressive.

For long time readers, this is the first time that many of these elements have come together. The Robins, Damian, Red Hood, Red Robin, Grayson, mecha-Batman, and the Court of Owls, are all together for this event that looks to have everything explode. For me, two of the best additions to the Batman mythological world is the Court of Owls and the Robins in We Are Robin. One is a great villain that really feels like it can give the Bat-family a run for its money, and the latter is a creation to feels like it speaks to some of today’s issues. Just the idea of the Court of Owls going up against the Robins has me excited.

The story, especially King’s writing is fantastic. Absolutely hands down how a first issue should be.

But, it’s not all perfect. A varied group of artists handle that duty and there the comic slips. While the writing is solid, the art is a mixed bag with some being amazing and some far from it. In fact I’d say the fantastic art enhances the art that is less so in a negative way, partially because you go from one to the other without a clear chapter break. None of the art is horrible, some is just better than others and the switch in styles took me out of the story briefly. The comic would have been much stronger with one artist the entire way. And remember, art is subjective so this might not be as much of an issue for you.

As a whole, this is a fantastic first issue that brings together a lot of characters in a way that’s welcoming to new readers and should excite ones who have been around for a while, it got me excited. I can’t wait to see where this event goes, hopefully it continues this first issue’s excellence.

Story: Tom King Art: Khary Randolph, Alain Mauricet, Jorge Corona, Andres Guinaldo, Walden Wong
Story: 8.7 Art: 7.4 Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review