Robin go boom-boom
I havenâ€™t been reading my Bat-titles as faithfully as I have in the past.Â Instead of the top of the stack, the Bat-family has been relegated to the â€œIâ€™ll get to you in a momentâ€ pile.Â You know who I blame for this, and it isnâ€™t Paul Dini, Fabian Nicieza, Freddie Williams II, Peter Tomasi, or Tony Bedard.Â I decided to give Robin a chance this week, moving the title to the top of the pile for a couple of reasons.Â First, because Red Robin is officially revealed (although observant readers have known for several weeks), and second, I caught a glimpse of the last page of the issue and thought, â€œCool! someoneâ€™s going to get blowed up real good!â€
I have absolutely no idea what DC has planned for Robin after the title folds in February.Â While Batman told Stephanie to â€œmake Robin betterâ€, I seriously doubt it was because he is going to become Batman. I could be wrong, but when Robin uses a derivative of Scarecrowâ€™s fear gas to break up a dangerous gang, it looks like he could be leaning more toward the more intense Red Robin role.Â Why?Â Because that is a more mature character and suits the current change Tim is going through.
Anyone care about the General?Â I sure donâ€™t.Â It was mildly interesting when he was a punk kid matching military tactic wits with Batman 15 years ago, but all grown up heâ€™s more of a whinyÂ spoiled brat that knows more about how to rile up the crowd than seriously take down a major player.Â So when it is finally revealed that Red Robin is indeed Ulysses Armstrong, I know DC isnâ€™t going to make him the central protagonist in the upcoming Red Robin title.Â Or maybe DC will do that, and further alienate readers.
There have been a lot of hints that it is Stephanie Brown, a.k.a. Spoiler, behind all the mayhem and problems Timothy Drake has been experiencing, but the final reveal that another long forgotten foe is behind the shenanigans makes me applaud Fabian NiciezaÂ and Freddie Williams II.Â Who is this mysterious foe?Â If you are trying to cause chaos in a city that has been rocked again and again by disaster, Anarchy is the one to do it.
The only long term Robin character that Iâ€™m still up in the air about is Stephanie.Â I still donâ€™t know if she is going along with Red Robin and Anarchy just to make Robin a better crime fighter, or if she really has turned her back on her former(?) lover.Â Thereâ€™s plenty of distrust between Tim and Steph, and while I would rather see the two clear the air and get back together as a couple, I just donâ€™t see that happening anytime soon.Â Weâ€™ve already seen Stephanie play the part of Robin.Â I would really like to see her back in that role, but considering her short stint and sudden â€œdeathâ€ the first go around, I find that highly unlikely.
The writers are still able to add a little mystery and reveal in an issue that features a lot moreÂ background moments than main character focus.Â Itâ€™s only by paying attention to the television reports and background â€œnoiseâ€ of the issue, that the reader is able to follow what is going on in Gotham as the city continues to crumble due to the police strike over the arrest of two corrupt detectives, and the rise of gang violence.Â While I found the writing solid, the story flowed rather strangely, as Robin seemed to move through the motions, hitting the beat points at the appropriate time, until the big cliff hanger at the end of the issue.
The cliff hanger?Â Robin in a warehouse, discovering Anarchy is behind it, and the building blowing up – presumably with Robin inside.Â Is this the end of the teen crime fighter?Â Do you really think heâ€™d die in his own title series that still has three more issues to go before folding?Â I doubt it, and if you are a fan of the old Saturday morning serials, you know heâ€™s going to survive for a bit longer.
We still donâ€™t know the fate of Robin.Â He could indeed die over the next couple of months.Â DC is mum on who everyone under the masks will be following the Battle for the Cowl.Â Iâ€™m hoping Tim Drake is there in a major role, as fans have invested too much time to have him simply erased from the DCU.Â This was a solid issue, featured some major reveals that are entertaining for long term readers, and great art by Freddie Williams II.Â Iâ€™m giving Robing #180 4 out of 5 Stars.