Well this is a pretty momentous occasion. No, I don’t mean the events in the Robin: Wanted trade (though we’ll get to that in a minute). I’m talking about the trade itself. This is the 250th trade I’ve read (and written about) for Holy Comics, Batman! I’m completing this post just a few days shy of the one year anniversary mark of this site (September 1st), although it will be posting after that date, due to my extreme overachiever personality which results in my having posts written weeks before they’ll actually be posted (I’m weird, have I mentioned?)
So yes. 250 trades. I’ve read over 100 of those in the past 4 months alone. Am I burned out? No, but I can’t deny that I’m staring at the end of “the shelf” as though it’s a finish line in a marathon. I’m loving the journey, but I’ll also be sort of happy when I can stop pushing myself so much and perhaps only write a few posts a week, rather than the one-a-day I’ve been maintaining for months now.
Again, these are all self-imposed goals. Like I said, I’m weird.
Anyway, on to the trade at hand. I’ve already read a bit about post-Infinite Crisis Robin in the last Batman trade, so I had some idea of what I was getting into. Or at least, I thought I did. It turns out there’s a lot that happens in this book, so let’s dive right in, shall we?
Robin begins with our favorite sidekick fighting for his life. Blinded by a floodlight, he has no idea who his attacker is. When he finally regains his vision, he sees Batgirl lying dead at his feet. Of course, it isn’t really Batgirl, but the cops show up, think Robin’s a murderer, and all hell breaks loose. Robin spends the better part of the comic trying to prove his innocence.
I love a good “wrongfully accused” storyline, and this was no exception. Especially enjoyable though, was the sleuthing Robin did in his quest to find the real killer.
Too often the comics focus on the fighting, leaving the detective work to fall to the wayside. It’s always there, in the background, but I like when a story brings it into focus, helping us realize just how much time and effort these heroes put into performing these fantastic feats. This one in particular, employing geometry to map out the perfect path to deflect yard after yard of lasers, was quite intriguing, and showed how seriously Robin took his mission.
Once we reach the climax of the story, all hell breaks loose. Robin learns that none other than Batgirl herself, Cassandra Cain, is behind a slew of deaths, and framed Robin for Batgirl’s murder.
She’s gone off the deep end, and now believes she and Robin can be partners, if he’ll only kill her father and join her in ruling the League of Assassins.
Obviously Robin refuses, and the two engage in a pretty epic fight. Both Cassandra and Cain escape, so it’s unlikely their story is over. Still, Robin’s name is cleared and he’s able to regain some sense of normalcy.
The remainder of the trade sees Robin pairing up with an unlikely partner: Captain Boomerang, the son of the now-deceased original (who incidentally, was also the man who killed Robin’s father). For obvious reasons, Robin distrusts Boomerang, even though he’s been working with the Outsiders and seems to be on the straight and narrow.
The pair are hunting down a nuclear bomb, a leftover from one of Joker’s hideouts, and battle their way throughout the city to find it. The inventive traps they have to overcome were highly entertaining, but even more enjoyable was the banter between the two. Boomerang constantly refers to Robin as “kid”, a term he doesn’t take kindly to:
The exchanges between Robin and Boomerang feel almost brotherly, and while Robin is certainly not willing to befriend his would-be foe just yet, it seems clear that they’re at least heading in the right direction.
A lot happens in this trade, but it’s handled pretty well. It’s clear that Robin is adjusting to a lot of changes in his life, with the implication of a new romantic interest, his adoption by Bruce, and his chance to take on a case solo. He may still be young, but Robin is proving that he’s got a lot of potential, and I can’t wait to see where it all takes him.