Robin #9 – Joshua Williamson, Writer; Roger Cruz, Penciller; Norm Rapmund, Inker; Luis Guerrero, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: It’s the end of the road of the League of Lazarus tournament, as Connor Hawke has been crowned the victor—and his reward is to become the host for the ancient Lazarus demon, a massive beast that’s been summoned to purge the world of humanity. Mother Soul, the ancient mother of Ra’s Al Ghul, may have seemed like a more reasonable figure than her son, but she’s anything but. In fact, she’s much more radical and sees complete elimination of humanity as the only acceptable option. Damian tries to fight back against the acidic, destructive monster but quickly finds himself overwhelmed. And that’s when an unexpected figure comes into the fray—Alfred, or at least Damian’s memories of him. “Pennyworth” has been looming large in this story, but he has one last lesson to tell Damian, and the young Robin’s character development didn’t feel complete until he understands it. In many ways, this feels like his equivalent of the “with great power” realization for Spider-man.
And it’s not just an internal realization—it changes everything, as Damian is able to switch up his tactics and realizes he can only win with the help of his fellow warriors. Some, like Ravager and Flatline, come easily. Others, like Respawn, are a little more uncertain but ultimately there’s a full squad of young warriors ready to take on the Lazarus Demon. It goes down a little too easily for my tastes, coming off more like a particularly threatening mook than an actual ancient evil, but it’s really just here to be a plot device that serves Damian’s storyarc. It’s a satisfying conclusion to a great storyline that sets Damian off on a new path—and what that path is surprised me. This has ultimately been a story about the complex legacy of the Al Ghul family, and based on this cliffhanger Damian is going to get to explore that in a whole new way. This continues to be one of DC’s best books right now.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.