Robin #8 is a killer near finale of the bloody battle royale on Lazarus Island. Joshua Williamson is bringing this to a head as writer. Gleb Melnikov and Max Dunbar enter the ring as dual artists. HiFi Studio joins the battle with coloring, and Troy Peteri remains the victor over lettering for this DC Comics series that is not dealing with Fear State. Damian Wayne and Connor Hawke. Last issue, they entered the ring for battle. Whoever wins gets immortality. Loser meets the grave.
First, a grim taste of foreshadowing. Down in the depths of Lazarus Island, two adepts of the cult watch over the dreaded Lazarus Pit. One of them surmises that instead of someone going into the pit this time, someone will be coming out. Surely this is good news…for someone. Meanwhile, Robin and Hawke are squared up in the arena, with the previous contestants choosing sides. As you might have guessed, this is a fight issue, so most of the panels are saved for some very well-executed action drawings. Props right off the bat to Melnikov and Dunbar as they used a lot of visual symbology and expert motions to capture this fight. Their work shines, emboldened by the coloring HiFi brings to the match. Peteri’s lettering this time around isn’t just its usual high quality, but bits of fun (one panel has GOTCHA! as an SFX, lol).
Mother Soul lurks in the background, waiting to complete the ritual she has planned for so long. The League of Lazarus gets minimal play issue after issue, and that’s a plus. It keeps them shadowy. Mother Soul stays enigmatic, even with the reveal that she is Ra’s al Ghul’s mother, a scary revelation in and of itself. I can’t shake the feeling that she will be Robin’s major foe for a long time coming. If so, I’m looking forward to it.
Robin #8 has a lot to love in this issue, from the fight to the way it comes to a surprising end. Williamson has scripted this entire run thus far perfectly, and he can craft a wonderful fight while noting some quirky moments from the supporting cast along the way. I cannot state enough how much I loved this issue. Damian truly comes off strong, as does Hawke. The art is a blur of swift, powerful action sequences and lovely, solid colors and inks. Comic fans come to a book often looking for nothing more than hero versus hero smackdown, and this series delivers that. But this issue takes every lesson learned earlier and applies them well.
I didn’t think Robin’s journey could be so revealing, so maturing for the character by placing him in a story with more combat than dialogue. But with this issue especially, Robin has blossomed into an independent, self-motivated hero who has learned from others and his own mistakes. This journey took him from my least favorite Robin to placing him in the top three with Dick Grayson and Tim Drake. He’s still nearly the same on the outside, but the nuances are startling. Williamson was the perfect pick to bring this all together and he has refueled my zeal for a heroic character and series I love more than most, even Nightwing (who himself is a Robin). This is a brilliant action book and growth for Damian to be the one true Robin.
Robin #8 is available wherever comic books are sold.
I didn’t think Robin’s journey could be so revealing, so maturing for the character by placing him in a story with more combat than dialogue. But with this issue especially, Robin has blossomed into an independent, self-motivated hero who has learned from others and his own mistakes.