Robin: Son of Batman V1
Author: Patrick Gleason, Mick Grey and John Kalisz
Back when Damien Wayne was being groomed to succeed the Demon’s Head of the League of Assassins he did some seriously bad stuff. He sets out to atone for these actions with the help of an actual demon sidekick and the daughter of a villain trying to find her own moral compass. It’s less of a road comedy and more of a series of episodes that don’t seem to have a point. Maybe the second half makes it all click. But so far the best bit of this book was Maya Ducard trying to find her place as NoBody and may have been a more interesting as a spinoff book or an arc to a new Teen Titans.
Verdict: Skip it. There’s a way to make Damian a more compelling lead, this ain’t it.
Red Hood/Arsenal V1: Open for Business
Author: Scott Lobdell and Denis Medri
So Starfire left the Outlaws to have her own book with good creative talent behind it, leaving Jason “My costume has a hoodie now” Todd and Roy “My costume has a trucker hat now” Harper to set themselves up as heroes for hire battling a mutant hivemind that runs several criminal underworlds simultaneously. The art adopts a 16-bit brawler style, because almost all of this is gratuitous fight scenes. Not even interesting fight scenes; it’s just Jason posing guns akimbo and Roy posing in archery stances over and over in very similar backdrops, like fucking YoungBlood. There was an opportunity for a character moment as they encounter Mecha-Jim Gordon as Batman in the last part, but it kinda wastes that chance for comment.
Verdict: Trash it. It’s outright boring.
We are Robin V1: The Vigilante Business
Author: Lee Bermejo, Jorge Corona, Trish Mulvihill, Rob Haynes
Gotham has more problems than any Batman could solve, enter a teenage gang of vigilantes who take their inspiration from Robin. They use the power of smartphones and an old british guy with a funny outfit and van full of high tech gear in red and yellow they do their level best to stop other gangs and domestic terrorism and not get busted by GCPD and their robo-Batman. There’s not a lot of character stuff, except to further set-up Duke Thomas (The genius kid from Zero Year) as part of the Bat-verse.
Verdict: Try it. It’s got a great The Warriors meets DC vibe that could be leading somewhere cool, if only to a post-rebirth character relationship space.
Sidekick: The Red Raptor Files – Part 1
Author: Christopher J Valin
Bear with me on this, because this is a prose novella that does not feature any Robin or Batman.
However: if you told me this began it’s life as a finished Tim Drake fan-fic that was find replaced into an original short novel for small press I would believe it firmly.
Not-Tim Drake’s personal life falls apart at the same time that Not-Batman disappears. He must then gain the trust of Not-Spoiler and Not-Nightwing to find and rescue him from Not-Joker. It’s Not interesting. PS: Not-Superman is colossal jerk for no good reason.
Verdict: Trash it. There’s enough opportunity to read Robin-led books without resorting to fan work.