Seattle, Washington, 1969.  The home of bottomless steak fries


This ain’t your daddy’s Robin, and that’s because your daddy grew up reading Dick Grayson in the pixie boots, and he’s Batman now.

redrobin1.jpgEven though DC was mum on who was under the Red Robin hood, it was really no surprise to the rest of us.  Tim Wayne is Red Robin.  But it isn’t the reveal that is the big part of the story, but rather the how and why Tim’s life suddenly went in a different direction.

The inaugural issue finds Tim jetting around the world looking for someone, and in each city he visits ends up finding some crime being committed.  Since Dick picked Damian to to be his sidekick, Tim dons the Red Robin garb to bring about his new brand of justice. He’s willing to bring the hurt to get what he wants, and since the Re Robin name already has a bit of tarnish to it, he pretty much has free reign to do what he wants.  I doubt he’d kill, but the option is open.

I like how Tim has changed.  He’s been through a lot, and seen his friends and family die left and right, and then his own adopted brother gives him the heave-ho. He’s down on his luck and feeling bitter and lonely, and he’s going to take it out on anyone and everyone.  Throughout the issue it is clear he’s grown up, and proves once again he’s the smartest and most optimistic of everyone in the Batman family as he believes Bruce really isn’t dead.  And he’s going to find him.  Even if that means getting the attention of Ra’s al Ghul and his league of assassins.

If DC were smart, they’d keep the hunt for Bruce inside the pages of Red Robin for the foreseeable future, until it’s time to get the other heavy hitters of the DCU involved, at which point I would have no problem with the story jumping into JSA, JLA, Flash, The Outsiders, and so on.  I like that Tim has become Red Robin: International Man of Kick-Assery.  If they keep Tim jet setting around the world, it will really help readers follow a specific series without confusing one Robin for another or the trouble of intertwining crossover events.

As this issue kicked off, I was really drawn in with the writing of Chris Yost.  The first eight pages of the issue almost read like a pulp novel from the grim and gritty golden age of detective stories, and it had me really excited for this change in story. After that, I felt the style slipped back into the more traditional format that readers have become accustomed.  If Mr. Yost is reading this, I hope he takes these words to heart and brings back the heavy pulpy style.

The pace of the story works well too, with appropriate flashbacks and inner monologues breaking the jump between cities.  At no time does the reader need to flip back through pages to figure out what country Tim is in either, as Yost’s words help in that transition.  Likewise, the artist Ramon Bachs takes the time to reference appropriate architecture and geography to make each city come alive.

Overall, the art is kind of weird in places.  Sometimes there is heavy crosshatching in the shadows, and as the issue kicked off, I thought I was reading a comic book from Europe.  Pages later, things settled back into a more ‘merican style, before ramping back up to the look of the opening during the final page.  It’s not a huge issue, especially when those change seem to mirror the change in local, but I did have to read the issue credits again to make sure the issue wasn’t completed by a team of artists.

The roller coaster up and down style of the writing and the art, somewhat mirrors Tim’s emotional distress during this time as he struggles to find any evidence of his mentor and adopted father.  It works, and while the change in character might not sit well with many long time readers, I think it works just fine in this new title, earning Red Robin #1 4 out of 5 Stars.


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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  1. Ok
    June 11, 2009 at 5:45 pm — Reply

    Tim Drake.

  2. Ok
    June 11, 2009 at 5:46 pm — Reply

    Oops. The judges say Tim Drake Wayne is acceptable.

  3. CF
    June 11, 2009 at 6:13 pm — Reply

    I give it 2 out 5 stars. It’s an interesting story concept but I’d have to read more issues to see where this is really going before I flush it down the toilet.

  4. Dave
    June 11, 2009 at 7:34 pm — Reply

    I was going flush this months before it came out, but I went to The Cave (my local shop) and there it was on the top shelf…and I leafed through it…and, man I admit, I bought it. Suddenly I have TWO Bat books back on my pull list, doggone it.

    But Red Robin really is a stupid name, huh? I mean, even if it wasn’t taken by the chain that makes one damn tasty turkey burger….

  5. June 11, 2009 at 7:57 pm — Reply

    The name of the book isn’t very creative at all. I don’t think the Red Robin costume is even new though. Didn’t Jason Todd rock it for a while? I barely remember anything before Morrison started…

    It wasn’t a bad little read. Shit, it was only $2.99, wasn’t it? I’m not trade-waiting ANY Batman stuff! I’ll buy eight books a month if I have to. DC is way too slow with putting out Batman trades, especially paperbacks! They always manage to get Vertigo stuff out on paperback pretty fast though. Thank God for that!

  6. June 11, 2009 at 8:29 pm — Reply

    The Red Robin costume dates back to Kingdom Come, and yes, Jason Todd was working it during Countdown.

  7. June 11, 2009 at 8:35 pm — Reply

    And actually, unless they’ve retconned something, Bruce adopted Tim and Jason, but DID NOT adopt Dick. So, technically, the only adoptive brother he has is a loon with a gun…

  8. CF
    June 11, 2009 at 8:38 pm — Reply

    Maybe they should have named the book “The Wayne Foundation” or something like that.

    Red Robin reminds me of the RESTAURANT COMMERCIAL: “REEEEDD ROBIN – YUUMMMM!!”!! Which really isn’t the idea the editors were going for!!

  9. June 11, 2009 at 8:45 pm — Reply

    Matthew: Gotham Knights 17-21 something or other has the arc where Bruce and Dick sign papers to make the “adoption” official. Bruce also adopted Cassandra Cain a while back too, so they are all one big happy dysfunctional family, not unlike Family Affair.

    CF: Hence the word balloon.

  10. ~wyntermute~
    June 11, 2009 at 9:24 pm — Reply

    I know I crapped all over R.I.P., but I’ll be damned if its bastard offspring aren’t semi-readable! I’ll agree with the notion that a globe-trotting R.Robin would be different enough to help dispel potential confusion. It’d also make it easier for him to show up in other places (read: comics) _if_ they want to go that route (read: if this doesn’t sell, but they don’t want to ditch the character; see: Beetle, Blue (III) and Teen Titans(um…. version IX?)).

    Can somebody perhaps more informed than I discuss the use of Ra’s Al Ghul as Tim’s ‘big bad’? It _seems_ to me like a fitting one, but I only know the barest minimum about any history between the two. So basically, I guess what I’m trying to ask is: Is that stunt-casting a supervillain to add depth to a fledgling career, character (the R.R. version of Tim Drake, anyway) and title?

  11. ~wyntermute~
    June 11, 2009 at 9:26 pm — Reply

    Damn. Sorry, in retrospect, for the major spoiler. :( I make the mistake of presuming that people will not read the review until after reading the book. Please forgive my presumption, because I know that when I “presume” I have made a pres- out of u and me…. wait. That isn’t how it goes. :(

  12. Ricco
    June 11, 2009 at 9:48 pm — Reply

    Ra’s Al Ghul hasn’t been a real bad guy to the bat familly since his latest resurrection, if anything I think he’ll help Tim in his quest. The fact he’d probably agree is a testament to his state of mind. Ra’s admires Batman and considers him the only worthy of ending him and vise-versa, he told Nightwing as much.

  13. June 11, 2009 at 10:09 pm — Reply

    Boy…. a lot of people ragging this book?!? I’m just barely getting back into the Batman world and I thought that this was one of the best books this month. The direction they are taking Tim looks really exciting. For those that wanted Tim as the new Batman: You might get Tim to be the one to FIND BRUCE! That is a pretty nice consolation prize.

    Also… I like the name “Red Robin” and I like the costume too. He even explains why he is using it: He is going to do some bad things to get the job done and doesn’t want to tarnish the Bat-family rep.

  14. Dave
    June 12, 2009 at 11:26 am — Reply

    Seeing Ra’s one the last page totally jibed with my half-baked theory of how Bruce would find and use Lazurus Pits to keep him alive and back to the modern age…meaning that Tim is right…Bruce is traveling the land and having adventures.

  15. crood
    June 12, 2009 at 11:34 am — Reply

    Didn’t Jason pretty much dump the RR costume right after returning to New Earth at the end of Countdown? Did The General’s brief use of it actually give it some sort of reputation?

    • June 12, 2009 at 5:17 pm — Reply

      crood: Yes, and people were afraid of Red Robin (yuuuuum) because they didn’t know if he was hero of villain, hence Tim using it.

  16. Ricco
    June 12, 2009 at 1:32 pm — Reply

    @Crood: at the end of “Search of a Hero” story arc in Robin, Tim used it to stop the new Anarky so right now the suit has been worned by the murderous, and currenlty insane, vigilante known as Jason Todd and the sociopath/megalomaniac new Anarky. It’s known has a suit worn by “good guys” who usually go too far…

  17. CF
    June 12, 2009 at 8:01 pm — Reply

    Sorry, Stephen, I neglected to notice the word balloon when got into this thread post.

  18. Slappy
    June 13, 2009 at 6:31 am — Reply

    What if? dah Dah DAHHHHHHHHH. It turns out that Bruce and Ra’s were one. All of those trips to the Lazarus pit made him go a little funny in the head to the point that he doesn’t remember himself as the Batman, but knows that he admires this man so.
    Unfortunately this leads to other problems like Damien Wayne being the Grandson of his father. We know the kid is wacky but I wouldn’t wish that on anyone but Pelosi.
    This also leads to the whole problem of Daddy being with his daughter which would send Talia to the shrink for years. If a LSH Continuity holds, we know that Ra’s will be around in the future.
    I still hear the voice of Chancellor Gorkon when I read Ra’s.

  19. Lifeisaglitch
    June 13, 2009 at 4:35 pm — Reply


    You are sick…entertainingly so ;) But i still feel bad for your brain.

  20. Slappy
    June 14, 2009 at 6:06 pm — Reply

    What is so sick of hearing the voice of Chancellor Gorkon in your head when you read Ra’s? David Warner played that Klingon in Star Trek 6 & Ra’s in Batman the animated series. What is wrong with that?

  21. the 6th robin
    June 25, 2009 at 11:02 am — Reply

    ive always thought tim drake was the truest robin and fit best i that roll, however its good tht he gets his own comicbook again i loved robin (comic) and i like this first issue as well, i dont like tht whenever tim is fighting damian they make tim look like a sissy, hes a better robin than damian

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