Comic Book Review: Robin #155

Robin has been a fun read since the One Year Later storyline. However, I worry about the future plotlines. Dodge hasn’t really captured my imagination and it doesn’t seem like Beechen has any real long-term goals in mind for this title. Hopefully, Robin #155 will lay the foundation for some interesting plotlines that will serve for some good reads in the future issues. Let’s do this review.

Creative Team
Writer: Adam Beechen
Artist: Freddie E. Williams, II

Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 5.5 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: The issue starts with Bruce talking to Alfred about if Tim is all right or not. Tim’s communicator is broken and Bruce can’t stand not knowing what is going on. We shift to Tim watching Dodge’s standoff with the kidnappers. Tim remembers Batman’s training to always take the high ground in a fight. So, Tim decides to stay as high up in the rafters as possible. Dodge and the kidnapper start to brawl. Dodge is untrained and reckless. A kidnapper pulls a gun behind Dodge’s back. Tim throws a steel rod down on the kidnapper and takes him out. Tim then throws a couple of more steel rods down taking out a couple of other kidnappers. The leader, Terrance, grabs Dodge and puts a gun to Dodge’s head. Terrance tells Robin to show himself or the kid gets shot.

We cut to Zoanne reviewing with the police what happened to Tim and Jared. Zoanne’s parents arrive to take Zoanne home. Zoanne is crying and is worried for Tim’s safety. (Awww, puppy love.)

We shift back to Robin showing himself to Terrance. Dodge suddenly teleports and Terrance makes a run for it. Robin chases Terrance, but Dodge clumsily teleports in front of Robin and the two collide. Robin tells Dodge to stay out of his way before he gets hurt. Dodge says that he stole a teleportation belt that his dad created and is determined to be a super hero.

Terrance gets the other kidnapped children and has then formed a human shield around him. Dodge recklessly teleports right on top of Terrance and grabs the gun. Robin quickly leads the kidnapped kids to safety. Terrance pulls Dodge off of him and points his gun at Dodge and fires. Dodge teleports away and a bullet hits Jared, Tim’s friend, in the shoulder. Robin throws several dagger like pieces of broken concrete at Terrance. Three of them nail Terrance in his arm causing him to drop his gun. The last piece accidentally hits Dodge’s teleportation belt and damages it. Dodge suddenly is shocked by the feedback and drops to the floor. Robin manages to take the belt off of Dodge, but Dodge is still surrounded by the strange red electrical energy.

We shift to the police and the paramedics on the scene. The police take Terrance and his thugs into custody. The paramedics load Dodge up in an ambulance and take him to a hospital.

We cut to Tim in his room at Wayne Manor. Tim is upset with himself. Bruce said that Dodge getting hurt wasn’t Tim’s fault. Tim thanks Bruce for trying to help, but that Bruce would do the same thing if he was in Tim’s position. End of issue.

The Good: Robin #155 was a pretty ordinary read. Beechen crafts some pretty solid dialogue. There is no doubt that Beechen has a great feel for Tim’s character. I like how Beechen writes Tim. What I really enjoy is how Beechen continually re-enforces the fact that Tim is Batman’s student. Once again, Beechen has Tim recalling his training with Batman and Batman’s advice on what to do in certain situations while he is battling the kidnappers.

The scene with Alfred and Bruce was well done. I also dig how Beechen is writing Bruce Wayne. Beechen gives Bruce an emotional side without making him seem like a wimp. I’m glad to see that Bruce isn’t afraid to show how much he cares for Tim and views him as his son. It is only natural that officially adopting Tim would change how Bruce views and interacts with Tim.

The final scene was perfect. Beechen demonstrates how Tim and Bruce are very similar. Dick Grayson rebelled against Bruce and defined himself on how much he was not like Bruce. Jason Todd also rebelled against Bruce and carries a completely different moral code than Bruce. On the other hand, Tim is just a younger version of Bruce. And unlike the previous two Robins, Tim doesn’t mind that he and Bruce are so similar in their personalities.

Williams’ art wasn’t as good as it usually is. This issue looked rushed and wasn’t up to the same level as his previous work on this title. Having said that, Williams’ art was still above average. Plus, Williams’ youthful and cartoon-ish style is a nice match for this title.

The Bad: The Dodge plotline just didn’t work for me. The problem is that I’m not too sure that Beechen can make this plotline a success no matter what he does. If this is the actual end of the Dodge plotline and we aren’t going to see this character again then it was an unnecessary and rather anti-climactic plotline. Dodge’s character didn’t add much of anything in the way of value to this title.

On the other hand, if this isn’t the end of Dodge’s plotline then I have a feeling that he will probably re-appear in this title as a major villain. That the electrical energy that he absorbed is going to grant him metahuman abilities. And that Dodge is going to blame Robin for his condition and resent Robin for not mentoring him to become a hero. And now Robin will have an arch nemesis on his hands. This possible outcome doesn’t really appeal to me because it is just too predictable.

The entire kidnappers’ plotline was pretty generic and not particularly exciting. This two part story arc read like filler. I hope that Beechen has an interesting story arc in mind for this title. Robin #155 was the weakest issue since the One Year Later storyline. My interest in this title is slowly waning. Beechen needs to turn up the intensity on this title or else I’m afraid Robin may end up on The Revolution’s probation list.

Overall: Robin #155 was average. This title has been a fun read since the One Year Later storyline, but has really slowed down with the past two issues. I hope that this is just a temporary lull before Beechen unleashes his next big story arc on us.