Lets face it, Damian Wayne is a turd. He’s an annoying, bratty, kid. But, when it comes to character growth, he’s a perfect example of what’s possible in comics. Damian when he first appeared was far worse. Over the years, readers have seen him learn real lessons and grow. He’s been a sidekick, a team member, and a leader. Now, he’s going solo in Robin #1 an interesting start of a series with a familiar concept.
Written by Joshua Williamson, Robin #1 sees Damian Wayne go off the grid. We mean really off the grid. So off the grid, the Bat-family can’t find him. He’s on his own searching for the League of Lazarus a mysterious organization who every hundred years hold a tournament of the best fighters in the world. Yes, Robin #1 kicks off the oh-so-familiar tournament angle. But, it’s a tournament to the death!
Yes, Robin #1 is a familiar concept we’ve seen so many times before. But, Williamson does a spectacular job with the story. In particular, it’s the detail and focuses on Damian that stands out. In one issue Williamson shows us the many aspects of the character. He’s arrogant but also a child. He’s a skilled fighter but also has a lot to learn. We see Damian go from knocking out an opponent to reading a manga about art. It’s an interesting juxtaposition that reminds us that in the end, Damian is a kid trying to find his own way. He’s been in the shadow of his parents and his grandfather for so long, it looks like this series will finally allow him to define himself.
The art is pretty good. Gleb Melnikov gives us an issue that looks great technically. The characters and locations all have a style to them that makes you take notice. The colors and everything pops in a good way. It looks good. What it doesn’t do is take advantage of its plot. The two fights presented are rather boring. We don’t get flashy and exciting page layouts or flow, we get pretty standard pages and panels. It doesn’t take advantage of what could be a very visually striking comic. Everything looks good but it’s in a way boring.
The lettering by Troy Peteri stands out a bit as well. There’s some interesting choices in emphasis of lettering at times like when an individual yells “Answer Me!” it’s in a green font with a splash of black. Words here and there are picked out in this way delivering a little bit of a punch to them. It’s a noticeable choice that stands out in a good way.
Robin #1 is a solid start. It’s the attention Williamson gives to its main character that really stands out. While the overall concept is one that’s been done many times before, the focus on Damian and his personality makes this one interesting. This is a series to definitely check out and a character to keep an eye on.
Story: Joshua Williamson Art: Gleb Melnikov Letterer: Troy Peteri
Story: 8.25 Art: 7.85 Overall: 8.2 Recommendation: Buy
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
Purchase: comiXology – Kindle – Zeus Comics – TFAW