Not with a BANG, but a KRAK-A-DOOOOOOM!

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When you cancel a series, it is always good to go out with a bang, and Robin #183 goes out in a way that makes the reader realize Tim Drake Wayne is more of a hero mastermind than Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman combined.  Robin #183 is the last installment of the current series, and delivers a story that might just be the best single issue of 2009.

robin183cover.jpgLady Shiva is back, and ready to teach Tim a lesson in being an upstart kid, who thinks he knows everything. Tim knows Robin is going to die at dawn (a great homage to both Batman #156 and Batman #674), but spends the night fighting crime and tying up loose ends.

You want an even better homage?  Check out the cover to the first Robin series from 1991, and then compare it to this issue.  Priceless.  Not only that, the first issue, ties right in to this closing story.  I’ve always been fascinated with what Joss Whedon did with Buffy the Vampire Slayer universe, bringing back plot threads and characters from seasons past and making them relevant to the current story being told.

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Fabian Nicieza does the same thing here, as we get a glimpse of some of the major plot points in Robin’s history.  Readers get to see how he deals with Zoanne, tries to confront Stephanie, chats it up with his longest living friend, and even deals with Jason Todd one (last?) more time.  I also dig seeing some of the more recent characters (Detective Harper and Jason Bard) making an appearance, while old foes Anarky and The General also get a cameo.

DC Universe: Last Will and Testament featured the DCU characters dealing with what might be the final night of their lives.  Robin #183 blows that issue out of the water.  One really gets the sense that this really could be the end of Tim Drake Wayne.  But superheroes being superheroes, the good guy always wins in the end.  And Tim does pulls it off like a master.

What Tim Wayne proves in this issue is he is better than those that came before him — maybe even better than Batman.  While Dick has his own experiences and has become a hero in his own right, the way Robin brings Lady Shiva down is perfect; one of those swerves you didn’t see coming until the big reveal, but once made, shows how well Fabian Nicieza understands this character.

Who do I want to see as Batman’s replacement?  Tim Wayne has the chops, the skills, the detachment, and the network to make it happen.  It’s just too bad everyone around him always dies.  Perhaps following Battle for the Cowl, he’ll have at least some happiness as he moves into the next stage of his life — whatever that may be.  If he dons the cowl, he won’t be in it for long, and if he takes the last train to Clarksville, it will be a terrible waste of a character.

Freddie Williams II delivers up another hit with his art, although there is one minor flaw.  During the Jason Todd/Tim Wayne confrontation, Williams II draws Jason and Tim in a very similar fashion.  In one key panel, Guy Major colors Tim’s mask the same red color as Jason’s so there is a moments confusion while the the reader tries to figure it all out.  It’s is a minor issue, and shouldn’t take away from a most awesome issue.

I’ve followed Tim Drake’s adventures since he first discovered Bruce Wayne’s secret. I followed him as he struggled with the death of his mother, then his father, and many of his close friends.  I’ve seen Tim grow into the Robin character over the last 20 years, and of all the Robins, he seems to be the one that best fills the unitard.  Dick Grayson made the move from pixie boots and speedos to Nightwing in a way that made sense for the character as he tried to move out from the shadow of his mentor.  For what it’s worth, Tim grew into his own hero without needing to take on a different persona.   Tim Drake Wayne is Robin, and it’s sad to see a series like this come to an end.  I’m looking forward to what comes next for Tim, and am giving Robin #183 6 out of 5 Stars.

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Because I can, that’s why.

The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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7 Comments

  1. Lifeisaglitch
    February 21, 2009 at 8:10 am — Reply

    It was good but not THAT good :P

  2. February 21, 2009 at 9:35 am — Reply

    No, it was really THAT good ;)

  3. Adam
    February 21, 2009 at 10:35 am — Reply

    How did he take out Shiva?

  4. The Dude
    February 21, 2009 at 10:59 am — Reply

    Poisoned chocolate FTW!

  5. Ricco
    February 21, 2009 at 11:18 am — Reply

    That was cool! Specialy since in the Birds of Prey comic Shiva was poisoned by Cheshire a couple of times, showing that she’s not all that carefull about her food. Ever since he faked an uncle to be independant I’ve always thought of Tim as a mastermind type of character, it was good to see that again.

    Good to know I wasn’t the only one who had a hard time telling who was talking in that close-up in the Cave.

  6. Lifeisaglitch
    February 21, 2009 at 3:18 pm — Reply

    @Ricco

    Heck yeah Tim was always the smart one, he figured out who Batman was after all.
    Besides hes got that detective streak going for him as well.

  7. applejack1310
    February 23, 2009 at 8:16 am — Reply

    I am one of those few who really DOES want to see Tim become the (temporary) Batman. Nightwing has made a name for himself, and I don’t think it fits to have him ditch that to be Batman. Tim was (I feel) trained to be the replacement this whole time. I WANT Tim as Batman.

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