- Written by Lee Bermejo
- Pencils by Jorge Corona, Rob Haynes (issue #1) & Khary Randolph
- Inks by Jorge Corona, Rob Haynes (issue #1) & Khary Randolph
- Colored by Emilio Lopez, Trish Mulvihill & David Self
- Cover by Lee Bermejo
‘We Are Robin’ was an immediate addition to my subscription list before issue #1 was even released, anything this closely related to the man himself has to go directly on there. That being said the premise of a group of Gotham kids banding together to all become the next Robin piqued my interest.
For those not in the know the official longline for ‘We Are Robin’ reads as follows:
‘We Are Robin’ centres around several aspiring teenaged vigilantes in Gotham City who take on the identity of Robin. Specifically, the series focuses on Duke Thomas, an African-American teenager previously introduced in Batman: Zero Year who becomes part of the movement to fight crime in Gotham. The Future’s End event had depicted a time 35 years from the present where Duke had gone on to become Robin in an official capacity.
This being the 75th anniversary of the Robin character DC Comics needed to pull a few tricks out of the bag in order to celebrate. With Bruce off the map at the moment and Gordon filling in as The Dark Knight it was only right to give the official Robin, Damian Wayne, some room to breathe. With him off dealing with his anger issues in ‘Robin Son of Batman’ that left a gap in Gotham for a new Robin.
Rather than setting up the Commissioner in the Mecha-Bat suit to have his own weird Mecha-Robin or dilute the Robin name by introducing another cape to the Bat-family what writer Lee Bermejo has done here is instead create a whole cast of Robins. As the series early buzz rightly noted this book is very much in the vein of ‘The Dark Knight Returns” and other such titles. There’s an urban grit to ‘We Are Robin’ which is utterly absent in every other comic I am currently reading.
In fact the whole title itself is incredibly urban, from the DIY nature of how the characters come together to how they operate as The Robins right through to the artistic choices made by those behind the scenes in terms of the page art and covers (see below).
The colour palette of the book is driven by browns and blacks, the archetypal Robin reds, yellows and hints of green all exist but each character uses them in their own individual ways. There’s no uniform to The Robins and that only serves to further the urban atmosphere.
The writing has been solid throughout these three issues. Issue #1 served as a perfect introduction to Duke for those not aware of him from his appearances in the ‘Zero Year’ arc of the mothership ‘Batman’ book. There was little by way of Robin action but enough to whet the appetite for issue #2.
Issue #2 quickly ramped up the action and set the tone for the gang as a whole. They’re already fully formed when Duke joins them so the action is there and we, the audience, learn about them through his initial interactions with each of the many characters.
Issue #3 continues that action but also adds come cohesion to the team by showing them working together and playing to each others strengths in order to concur the problems at hand.
Duke aside I am yet to pick a favourite Robin, with so many characters its easy for them to get a little lost in the fray and that has been the case for a me. Going back and re-reading these issues will hopefully help pull out some more of the character insights that I may have missed in initial reads. There’s still a great deal of time for these characters to develop before readers start to abandon this book so by no means take this as a criticism or a sign of bad things to come.
Three issues in and ‘We Are Robin’ is proving to be one of the most standout titles that DC Comics have released in recent years.
We’d love to know what you think. Are you reading ‘We Are Robin’? What are your thoughts on the series so far?
Cover art gallery (click for full-size)
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