Tim Drake: Robin #8
Who's ready for a Bat-team-up for the ages? Batwoman shows up at the Gotham Marina with a mystery only the world's best Robin could solve. Together, Robin and Batwoman will help each other…or die trying.
Tim Drake: Robin #8 begins with Darcy and Bernard speaking with Tim about his newfound life as a houseboat resident; something falls out of the sky (not a bird or a plane… it’s DC Comics, you know you were thinking it). Batwoman (Kate Kane) crashed onto Tim’s boat, unconscious and, quite literally, with blood on her hands.
After waking up and recovering, Kate explains to Tim and Darcy how she doesn’t remember anything from the last few months. Her latest memory only consists of helping a former villain go good (supposedly), and went she tried to go to sleep, she woke up to some monster hovering over her. When Tim confirms that the blood on Kate’s gloves doesn’t belong to her or anyone registered in the GCPD, they and Darcy decide to report the incident.
On their way into town, however, they run into an unexpected situation that leaves their fate uncertain…
In this new arc for Tim Drake, the writing has leveled up in many ways. The way that Fitzmartin uses dialogue and first-person narration in the opening pages was a great way to show and not just tell the conflicts and distractions of our titular character. The story’s flow and pacing give the reader enough to appreciate the depths of the situation while simultaneously moving the story along and avoiding becoming stagnant. Having another character in the Bat-family in the story always provides fun and exciting opportunities, and Fitzmartin does not squander it here. She shares how Kate and Tim know each other well without having the reader rely on knowing this previously. Writing story details within action was a considerable strength in this issue, and hopefully Fitzmartin will continue to lean into this.
And the way the issue ends would have made the reader think that we were already at the penultimate issue of the arc, so the fact that this is only the second issue in the newest arc.
As a reader, there is one moment that left us a bit confused. After Batwoman crashed onto Tim’s boat, Darcy (who also goes by her hero alias Sparrow) attempts to leave frantically while Bernard tries to convince her to stay. It was unclear as to why she had the sudden urge to flee (and perhaps this was in a previous issue or story that one needs to read to understand), but in the moment, it wasn’t entirely clear why. That said, the panel before this scene made it clear that something was uncomfortable with her since she and Tim both gave each other a look; then, on the following page, she returns to the boat (without Bernard, for some reason) as Sparrow, so perhaps they want to make sure that Darcy’s identity isn’t compromised. But why they need to protect it from Batwoman still remains a mystery (in this issue only).
The artwork by Cizmesija has elevated this story to a new level that the previous issues couldn’t match. There are a number of elements to commend in this issue but what really stands out is the way that Cizmesija was able to communicate Tim’s dilemma of when he focuses on solving one problem, other problems seem to arise. To demonstrate this, they used the boat’s motor as the metaphor, broken into puzzle pieces. This is a very creative way to show an inner dialogue, thought process, and an abstract idea in a visually connective way that doesn’t just show the issue at hand. The only area that could have been improved was the visual of the blood on Kate’s gloves. When we first see it, it’s clear that she has blood on them, but when the scene moves inside and Kate looks down at her gloves, they look the usual red and it wasn’t clear if there was still blood on them or not.
The colors by Loughridge continue to be superb, bringing the artwork to life by using flat colors with light and shadows. The way they use color overlays and shading to depict a kind of scene or emotion without it being flat or distracting enables the reader to follow the story seamlessly. The lettering by Napolitano is to be commended here as well. In addition to creating the narration boxes and text in a way that resonates as internal dialogue, the way they write in sound effects words is art. Not only can one read what the sound effect says, but it’s drawn in a way that makes it almost seamlessly blend in with the background, making it appear as part of the scene as much as possible that relays to the reader the sound that’s happening in an almost natural way.
This run of "Tim Drake: Robin" continues to get more exciting. The creative team here seems to really hit a great stride for this Boy Wonder, which is impressive since this is their first issue together. This next arc is one to keep an eye on!
Tim Drake: Robin #8: Who’s The Real Monster?
- Writing - 8/108/10
- Storyline - 8.5/108.5/10
- Art - 8.5/108.5/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 10/1010/10
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