Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Reviews
Robin: Son of Batman #1
Gleason, Gray & Kalisz
"Robin: Son of Batman" starts well and ends with a nice adventure path for the lead character, but is a very confusing read to slog through. While the comic book is backed up with fantastic art, the story is too confusing to merit anything above average. I can't recommend this one to new readers but I would assume that the long time readers of the character might enjoy the comic and the direction. I fall into the "new" category and was left scratching my head.
Gleason has worked on this character before and clearly knows how to capture a classic super-hero look and feel. The book definitely packs quite a punch artistically and this was the real highlight. The art also has some brilliant coloring that makes the pencils pop that much more. Overall, the flow of the panels and the pages make the book a very enjoyable read that is equal parts dramatic and exciting. I can't say enough about how great the artwork is in this comic book.
The comic opens with four great pages. Like a classic Batman comic or an Indiana Jones film, the lead character is put in a sticky situation. The reader is unaware of how the character got in the predicament but as the tension mounts, Robin shows he's had the upper hand the entire time. The first four pages were terrific.
The book ends with Robin dumping a ton of information on the reader. While this background was helpful to a newer reader, it made for a boring ending, except that Robin proclaims it is his time to atone for his past and he's got a list to work through. He ticks off the first target on that list. I liked this idea that the character has a mission to fulfill and a reason to do it.
The middle twelve pages are a confusing mess. Robin is at home, in a flashback, he's on Al Ghul Island, he's dreaming in a graveyard, he's in some scene out of Hellboy. During these scenes, he's talking to animals, he's finding dead bats, he's on a submarine, he's talking to ghosts and demons. Plus, there is a scene in Gotham Harbor that might have some importance. I have no idea what this was all about. I can only assume this was done for those that were following him in another series. I'd have to guess that these scenes all made sense for the seasoned reader because I can't believe this information was put forth in this manner in a first issue for any other reason. I'd like to assume that this will be made clear in the coming issues but I'm not sure how long I can stick around with this kind of insider information taking over so much of the book.
"Robin: Son of Batman" has a lot going for it. The comic has great, classic, super-hero art. The comic has a great opening sequence and ends with the lead character putting himself on a path of atonement. However, the book's middle is sunk in a confusing, continuity-heavy mess that seems to cater to the long-time reader and ignore the fact that a new reader might pick this up. The comic book is virtually inaccessible to a new reader if you are looking for a complete read. What could have been an exciting first issue turned into a very average and disappointing one. There are simply better books out there with a "#1" on the cover.
2.5 out of 5 Geek Goggles