Review – Robin #4: A Visit With Grandpa

Comic Books DC This Week
Robin #4 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Robin #4 – Joshua Williamson, Writer; Jorge Corona, Artist; Luis Guerrero, Colorist

Ray – 9/10

Ray: And now for something completely different. Jorge Corona steps in for Gleb Melnikov this issue, but the overall quality of Damian’s solo title stays high. When we last left Damian, he had been beaten within an inch of his life and thrown off a cliff by the seemingly mind-controlled Connor Hawke, but he was rescued by family—not Batman, but Ra’s Al Ghul. When we last saw Ra’s, he was being brutally taken down by Batman and his Outsiders, and I assumed he would resurface with a new evil plan soon enough. But instead, he seems to have retreated to a small island and become a farmer, contemplating his losses and trying to come out of it a better person—or at least a better warrior, depending on how his strange sense of morality goes. And while Damian doesn’t trust him—for obvious reasons—Ra’s has appointed himself Damian’s new instructor before the young warrior returns to the tournament.

A detour in manga. Via DC Comics.

So it’s a break from the constant stream of battles—for Damian, at least. While he’s gone, Rose is trying to figure out what happened to him, and that leads her into a trap set by the slightly unhinged Respawn. To kick off the tournament in earnest, everyone needs to die once—and it’s right around the corner. But while the carnage is going on, Damian is actually learning something about how to be a more centered warrior from the unlikely tutor that is the Demon’s Head. Do I believe Ra’s new outlook on life here? Not really, I assume he’s trying to shape Damian somehow. But even when Ra’s is manipulative, he’s always pragmatic and I don’t think he’s trying to sabotage Damian but move him a few steps down the road to Ra’s master goals. But before Damian can head back to the tournament, he’s got another reunion ahead of him. It’s surprising to have a breather issue only four issues in, but its take on Damian is so good that it works.

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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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