With Final Crisis going on we’ve learned that Joshua Williamson will be ending his run on the latest volume of Robin. While it’s sad that we still got a few issues left in Williamson’s run it does appear as if this period in Damian Wayne’s life is reaching a good endpoint that’ll set him up for the future. That future includes being part of Jon Kent’s Justice League in Dark Crisis. But before we get to that point in the future for the DC Universe there is still work to be done to wrap up Damian’s current character arc. Let’s see where we go next with Robin #15.
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Roger Cruz
Inker: Norm Rapmund
Colorist: Luis Guerrero
At the D.E.O. Field Office in Gotham City, Director Cameron Chase questions Talia Al Ghul about Ra’s Al Ghul but gets no answers. Director Chase then uses knowledge on Damian Wayne to finally rile up Talia.
Elsewhere in Gotham City Robin (Damian Wayne) fights the Red Triangle Gang. While he holds his own the unending numbers of the Red Triangle Gang are able to corner Robin. Batman, Nightwing, Robin (Tim Drake), and the Batgirls (Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain) appear and help Robin defeat the Red Triangle Gang.
Later, while the Batman Family hangs out eating pizza Barbara Gordon tells Damian that Talia has escaped D.E.O. custody.
Batman and Robin meet up with Director Chase about how Talia got away.
Taking in all the info Batman and Robin are able to track Talia down to the docks. Talia says she’s been waiting there for Damian as she wants to leave Gotham City with him. Batman says he won’t let that happen which causes Bruce and Talia to start fighting.
Robin quickly breaks up the fight between his parents. Damian admits while he loves both his parents that he needs to find his own path without them. Bruce and Talia understand and let Damian do his own thing.
Later, Talia gets to a special car Director Chase left for her along with a new green and yellow jumpsuit. Director Chase then reminds Talia of their deal that involves Talia being the D.E.O’s secret Lazarus spy in exchange for Damian’s safety.
On Lazarus Island, Robin finds Connor Hawke is leading the Lazarus Tournament participants in rebuilding the island. Robin tells Connor that he has come to realize that they should turn Lazarus Island into a place where they can help people who are lost find sanctuary.
Suddenly Lord Death Man shows up and tells Robin, Connor Hawke, Black Swan, and XXL that Flatline is trying to kill him and they are his only hope. End of issue.
With this series entering its final story arc Joshua Williamson sets the stage for how Damian Wayne will be looking to set up his continued life as Robin. In many ways, Robin #15 acts as an epilogue to the Lazarus Tournament and Shadow War while building up what this final arc will be about.
Starting out with the current status quo of Talia Al Ghul works well to payoff where things left off at the end of Shadow War. With Talia being a key character in the DC Universe it was only a matter of time before she broke out. Williamson knew that this is what readers would think and uses that to create a whole new story for Talia to be involved in. Turning Talia into a secret DEO agent is fitting for her current character arc. This sets things up for Talia to continue to play with both sides depending on the story that she is involved in.
In the process, Williamson is able to further establish the DEO and Cameron Chase’s position as its Director in a spot they can be involved in more things going on in the DC Universe. The interactions Director Chase has with Talia, Batman, and Robin shows how she is able to manipulate things that will benefit her and the DEO. With how she managed everything you can’t help but respect Director Chase’s game as she is able to get Talia to work for her rather than kill her for using Damian against her.
This new status quo for Talia transitioned into finally having Damian, Bruce, and Talia address their family dynamic. A happy reunion was never in the cards, as we see how quickly Bruce and Talia are ready to throw down when they disagree on what path Damian should follow. Knowing how his parents are Damian stepping in to stop the fight before it begins works well into how his character has evolved over the course of this series.
Damian has grown up, both physically and mentally, as the Lazarus Tournament and Shadow War stories showed him coming into his own. The way he speaks to both Bruce and Talia shows that evolution as he speaks to his parents in a respectful manner the entire time. In showing how thankful he is for the ways they’ve been positive influences in his life he was able to get Bruce and Talia to settle down while also being comfortable in Damian making his own path in life. It all worked to put over how Damian’s character has truly evolved.
Adding to Damian’s growth was how we see him interacting with his two families. Seeing the Batman, Nightwing, Robin, and the Batgirls showing up to back-up Damian as he took on the Red Triangle Gang was a great way to show that he is still part of the Batman Family. The pizza party they have afterward was a nice, chill way to further cement how comfortable Damian is being part of the Batman Family.
Establishing this part of Damian’s life made the trip back to Lazarus Island more meaningful to his character. Seeing how things went in the Lazarus Tournament and Shadow War Damian has grown to better understand everyone having a place they can call home. Damian working with Connor Hawke in leading Lazarus Island to become a sanctuary for those lost or without a home is a great next step for both characters.
The ending with Lord Death Man begging Robin, Connor Hawke, Black Swan, and XXL for help against Flatline transitions this series into the final arc. We immediately wonder what exactly caused Flatline to send Lord Death Man into such a state where he is asking others for help. Given what we’ve seen of Lord Death Man in the past it wouldn’t be surprising if this is all a trap. What that means for Damian and the others will be interesting to find out.
Roger Cruz continues to deliver fun artwork with his work in Robin #15. His high-energy artwork fits this series so well as there is an anime aesthetic that works really well with Damian Wayne’s Robin character. The entire battle with the Red Triangle Gang does a great job at showing how skilled Robin is. At the same time, you felt how endless Red Triangle Gang’s roster was that helped make the Batman Family’s entrance be a kick-ass moment in Robin #15.
Joshua Williamson and Roger Cruz did an excellent job at building on all previous issues with their work on Robin #15. Everything in this issue, from the interaction between the Batman Family to the reunion with Bruce Wayne and Talia Al Ghul, got over how well developed of a character Damian is. The ending of Robin #15 effectively transitioned us into the final story arc for this series.
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10