Writers: Joshua Williamson
Art: Gleb Melnikov
Colors: Luis Guerrero
Letters: ALW’s Troy Peteri
Release Date: 6/22/2021
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Damian does not know how to relax. In his defense, when your father is a playboy billionaire (or not) and fights crime at odd hours, who could relax? Well, Robin #3 by Joshua Williamson seeks to understand what would happen if Robin made a friend (or two). Will they all just grow up and disappear or could he bond with someone without trying to crack their skull open? Let’s check it out!
*Spoilers to follow*
In the middle of DC’s version of Mortal Kombat, Robin is taken by Ravager to what can only be described as the villain version of “Survivor.” The tension is obvious. Robin is ready to scrap. He is ready to prove himself, but this may be the hardest thing he has ever done… nothing. The only thing he must do is relax and do nothing. Throughout the opening pages of this issue, Robin comes off as an outsider (and to an extent, he is). He is the hybrid of villains and heroes. On one side of him, he comes from a league of deadly assassins, while on the other side, he is the son of the world’s greatest detective. His guard is up. Luckily Ravager pushes him outside of his box to just relax. Unfortunately for Robin, he is still in the Shadow of the Bat.
This one time, in Gotham:
After Robin shows off a nifty knife trick, everyone is excited to talk to him. He is like a celebrity amongst the other competitors. They are asking him questions such as “What are you doing here?” and “I’ve heard about you before! Is it true that…?” Robin is in his element. The attention and respect that he craves are at his fingertips. Sadly, the conversations go south when “This one time, in Gotham” stories that always involve his “Old Man” begin to circulate. In my opinion, this series was specifically created for Robin (let’s just call him Damian since there are several Robins) to break away from the swarm of birds and bats. In Robin #3, he is trying to prove his worth that he can make it without living in his father’s shadow. However, everywhere he goes, he is surrounded by various opponents laughing over how they saw Batman wailing on the Riddler while solving a Riddle (typical Batman).
These little glimpses of the Dark Knight through the eyes of the villains are always funny. We (the readers) view what Batman is doing as amazing. The villains on the other hand view it as “A batarang almost took out my eye” and “he dragged me for 30 city block on the back of the Bat-Mobile.” It is almost a rite of passage to scrap with Batman. The Dark Knight may not kill you, but he will leave you maimed and in a hospital bed so you can think about what it is that you have done. Viscous!
Fishnets and Whips:
One of my favorite moments in this series thus far was the bonding between Connor Hawke (the song of the Green Arrow) and Damian. These two have a lot in common. Their fathers are both heroes, they both have silly outfits, and one likes fishnets while the other is into whips and leather (their words not mine). Only Damian would be able to have a heart-to-heart moment with a person who should be his deadliest opponent and laugh. Only Damian can bond with someone over the indirect fetishes that their fathers both share. These panels show that Damian is going to do things his way no matter what. He will fight when he wants. He will leave when he wants. And most importantly, he will connect, when he wants to.
Robin #3 by Joshua Williamson is my favorite issue of the series thus far. My ONLY complaint is that I read it within 10 minutes! We need more pages! I would have had loved to see Willamson write this series, under the DC Black Label. The entire premise of DC’s Fight Club to Damian Wayne being the main character would be brilliant under that line. If you are on the edge about diving into Robin, it is not too late to do so. With amazing artwork, great character dialogue, and amazing world-building, this just may be the start of some of the best character development of Gotham’s “Lil sweet potato pie!”