Tim Drake: Robin #5 – Meghan Fitzmartin, Writer; Riley Rossmo, Ricardo Lopez Ortiz, Artists; Lee Loughridge, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: We’re approaching the end of the first arc, before this title gets a new artist and a new plot. But first, Tim has to reach the end of his very surreal first solo case. Bernard has been kidnapped, fulfilling the contractually obligated duty of any superhero love interest. This has caused Tim to spiral, searching the city for him with the help of the Bat-family and also wondering if he’s ready to strike out on his own. This is well done, but it’s not too long before Tim stumbles into the trap of the villain—and winds up being captured himself. The art shifts to Ricardo Lopez Ortiz for most of the issue, which is certainly no downgrade—both Ortiz and Rossmo are quality artists, and the style shift isn’t dramatic enough to hurt the issue. And with much of the issue devoted to Tim being forced to doubt his own perception, an artist shift actually plays into that nicely.
The main story, involving mysterious discs and holograms, has led itself to some dramatic visuals but is probably the weakest part of the story. When you have a mystery villain like this, the main thing that really matters is the eventual unmasking. We get closer to the truth here, with a character styling himself as Robin’s new arch-nemesis—his Moriarty, if you will. This is something Tim has always sort of lacked—a personal arch-nemesis. The closest was probably Ulysses Armstrong, but he went missing for large portions of the character’s history. Tim is possibly the most cerebral of the Bat-family, and he works best when paired with a villain who can match him in that category. This is a good start, although our new villain seems a little too fond of monologuing. With one issue to go, a lot will depend on how this arc sticks the landing, but so far it seems to be off to a strong closing act.
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