Tim Drake: Robin #9
Batwoman’s got blood on her hands as a familiar enemy rears their head and creates a rift between her and Robin. Do we really know what we’re capable of?
The latest issue of Tim Drake: Robin is probably the most interesting story to date in terms of storytelling. Fitzmartin (Batman: Urban Legends, Future State: Robin Eternal) somehow packs in a good amount of plot development and social commentary while at the same time making it such a quick and easy read that one won’t realize how much was in it. From detective skills to trauma sensitivity to balancing relationships of different personas, this issue has been the most impressive one in the run by far.
In the opening pages, we see how Tim utilizes his detective skills to asses and de-escalate the situation between him, Batwoman, and the mysterious man who is holding her forcefully, threatening to hurt her. The artwork in this scene by Cizmesija (Batman: Urban Legends, Sword of Azrael) did a fantastic job in creating a page that shows off this skill of Tim Drake in a way that one would expect in a detective series, highlighting clues and reasoning in the situation. This page alone demonstrates one of the best aspects of the Bat-family.
Later in the story, one of the more impressive storytelling moments in this run with Tim Drake and Batwoman asking Bernard Dowd about his knowledge of the Chaos Monsters since he used to be a part of the crew. Robin tryies to balance how to approach this appropriately while not allowing his relationship with Bernard as Tim Drake comes through in the conversation since Bernard doesn’t know his identity. It’s a scene where the struggles of a hero having a dual identity in trying not to let that protective part of themselves shine through when they see someone that they love is vulnerable. It’s also a powerful scene where Tim recognizes that putting Bernard through that traumatic experience again by asking him questions about it isn’t worth finding the answers they need if it means damaging the person they’re interviewing even further.
In this same scene, the colors by Loughridge (The Amazing Spider-Man, Fables) create an intense look at Bernard and Batwoman, using shading, lighting, and color contrast to make Bernard look scary while at the same time being scared (almost reminiscent of Joker), and Batwoman’s appearance as more intimidating than usual given situation of her trying desperately to clear her name and conscience.
And this is only half of the story that is mentioned here. What’s even more interesting, as shared earlier, is that this was such a quick read that one would have thought that it was a shorter issue for some reason. But as the reader goes back and read through it again, one realizes just how many details in the story there are that you are left impressed with this difficult balance.
Since the start of Tim Drake: Robin, issue #9 is hands down the best issue by the creative team. This story is probably one of the more underrated stories, and it's nice to see Tim Drake and his friends get the care they receive from Fitzmartin, Cizmesija, Loughridge, and Reed.
Tim Drake: Robin #9 – Curse Of The Chaos Monsters!
- Writing - 9/109/10
- Storyline - 9/109/10
- Art - 9/109/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 8/108/10
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