Robot 6

Your Mileage May Vary | Red Robin #1

Now that Battle for the Cowl‘s over, the DCU’s Batclan has undergone drastic changes, some of which we can see in DC’s Red Robin #1.

Jason of Clever Name Comics & Pop Culture Blog thought the issue was great:

Red Robin #1

Red Robin #1

Red Robin #1 creates an interesting new status quo for Tim Drake, until recently Robin. During Tony Daniel’s Battle For the Cowl story, he was one of the heroes that was, ummmmm….battling for the cowl. I like Tim Drake, he wanted to be Robin and essentially applied for the job by showing Batman what he could do. But the only issue I had with him becoming the new Batman is that he’s too young. After reading this issue, I’m starting to take back that limitation. Basically, Tim has now become Batman, but as Red Robin. He’s dark and intense but in his own costume (which is a small question I have, where did he get the Red Robin costume so quickly?).

Chris Yost handles the writing duties well as Tim leaves the Batcave upon seeing Damian in the Robin costume, although Damian’s insults didn’t help either. There is a great scene where Damian shows up in his new Robin costume (which looks much better here than in Batman & Robin) and sees Tim talking to Dick who is wearing the Batman costume.

Jim from Comics And…Other Imaginary Tales thought it was good and bad:

The bad is the actual execution and the way the first issue was told. It was very jumpy and went from past to future and place to place with almost no rhyme or reason. Tim stops a kidnapping in Spain, we cut to Czechoslovakia for some reason and then Tim is in Paris and stopping a crime. In between we jump to the past and see Tim get pissed about Dick wanting to have Damian as Robin. Tim gets pissed and breaks some stuff and says Bruce is alive and then goes on his quest.

There is no rhyme or reason to why he comes to this conclusion. No emotional moment where he decides Bruce has to be alive since he has lost everyone else. There is no reason for why Tim decides the main premise of the book. Then there is no reason for why Tim goes to the places he is going too. No sightings of a person like Bruce, no accessing of the Wayne fortune, no mysterious avenger of the night in these places; it appears that Tim is just trolling around Europe. The premise was strong, the idea is good, but the building of a rationale was non-existent. If they correct next issue, bravo, if not the complaint stands.

While Mart of MART GRAY is TOO DANGEROUS FOR A GIRL has a few problems with it:

It turns out Tim didn’t leave Gotham in an amicable manner, but in a snit due to Dick’s accepting of Damian al-Ghul/Head Wayne, Snot of the Demon, as Tim’s replacement. Dick, bless him, hadn’t asked Tim if he wished to be replaced. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Dick Grayson, true heir to the emotional sensitivity of Bruce Wayne.

And Tim, heir to the Darknight Detective, too dim to realise that if you’re not shooting people, you don’t need a bandoleer.

The story doesn’t make a great deal of sense to me, but I don’t hold that against Yost – the current Batman Family Shuffle is editorially driven. It wasn’t his idea to have Tim darken, that’s been coming for some time. No, the lemonade Yost makes here is likely as good as anyone could produce. I’m just not sure I want to buy it.

So what do you think?

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Comments

9 Comments

Same complaints as Jim with some of the same as Mart. I’ll give it another issue and see if this thing comes to have a point. I like Tim, always did. I’m not as concerned with how he got his hands on the costume as Jason is, because, well, that’s about as irrelevant as the Winick issue of Batman.

I read an interview with Grant Morrison where he explained being absent from Battle for the Cowl because he wanted to just jump in where the story was going to be fun again. And he certainly did. Batman & Robin is one of the best comics I’ve read in ages.

But that Winick issue of Batman was complete dross. Not only did it arrive to the exact same conclusion as Battle for the Cowl and Batman & Robin but it did it after the fact with more crying and teeth gnashing. Seeing the interplay of Alfred serving sandwiches to Damien (who has Bruce’s absentmindedness about food) and then to Dick (who gushed about them) in Batman & Robin had such a greater emotional impact than having to page through Alfred and Dick weeping. Terrible, melodramatic junk.

Won’t be sticking around for where that book goes. Clearly, it’s getting the scraps. But Red Robin, I’ll pick up the next issue and see where it goes. At least it’s going somewhere new.

I think this one is going to take another issue or two to really make a call on. The lack of rationale really does need to be addressed in the next issue, but I liked Yost’s characterization and, theoretically, he should be free to do what he wants with the character after this first arc since Tim is essentially the castoff of the Batman family right now.

My only real problem with the issue was the art. Most of the time it was mediocre, but did the job. But whenever there was a big action shot the characters would just look contorted and wrong.

I thought the comic by using images explained pretty well why Tim would not believe that Bruce is dead – he lost too many people recently and refused to believe that his new father is dead too. He has lost his biological father, and his best friend (Superboy). Then he also lost Stephanie, only to have her come back. I think it made perfect sense for him to reject Bruce’s death and this was implied in the comic. Tim is not willing to give up on Bruce as Dick and Damian have, which I think fits their personalities.

The problem with the comic is the one liner to the effect “I took the Red Robin costume because it was already tarnished.” I didn’t get that. I thought for sure that Tim would still be (regular?) Robin. Instead, we get a weird costume that comes from one of the worse series in recent history (Countdown).

I look forward to the next issues even more so than Winnick’s Batman, which made Dick act like a little girl with his mood swings. I don’t like my Batman girlie. I’ll give Winnick one thing, though – his Alfred is one bad dude!

Rob T, the Red Robin costume comes originally from KINGDOM COME, which is one of the most beloved DC series of all-time. However, I agree with you, in the DCU proper (KINGDOM COME was an Elseworlds, although from what I understand, it’s now one of the multiple Earths), the costume comes from a villain and I don’t think under any circumstances Tim would want to take on an identity like that, IMO. However, I haven’t been following the books in quite some time, so I don’t know. The Tim Drake in the comics today is not the same character I knew back in the 90′s.

Hey Jawa – thanks for the correction. You are right that it came from an Elseworld (Kingdom Come), but like you said, “in the DCU proper… the costume comes from a villain”.

Having read all the recent stuff about Tim Drake, I don’t agree that he would have used this costume. DC recently has been trying to make Tim SNAP with all the losses in his life. This might be a sign that he is not right in the head and some have even said that he is on the road to villainy. I think this is a shame since they brought back Jason Todd to fill this roll.

I still believe the comic explained pretty well why Tim is does not believe that Bruce is dead.

About the only thing I didn’t like about this issue was Tim’s rationale for using the costume–which, fair enough, is a pretty large sticking point. But I thought Dick’s reasoning for taking on Damian rather than Tim as Robin made a lot of sense, and I really enjoyed Tim’s international tour.

I thought the issue was okay. I’ll give it a few more issues, but I put Batman back on the shelf after seeing who wrote it.

Wrote a review of it over at my blog under the week’s “The Pull List” entry. Check it out!

TheFanboyFiles.blogspot.com

I don’t like dark Tim. I’ve always liked him because he was just a bit more upbeat than the rest of the bat-family so this new direction doesn’t grab me at all.

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