Comic Review – We Are Robin! #1

Kit fills in for this week’s comic review!

“We’re not sidekicks. We’re an army! Are YOU ready?”

Seems there are a few new comics on the block this week and We Are… ROBIN! caught my eye, especially as it follows on from the outstanding Batman Endgame event. Lee Bermejo, Jorge Corona, Khary Randolph and Rob Haynes pick up Gotham where the Joker left it to give us a tale about many of those affected by Endgame.

With Bats busy working with the cops right now for reasons (read Endgame to find out why, it’s seriously worth it) and the rest of the Bat Family otherwise indisposed, crime in Gotham rages on. Especially after Endgame, so many lives were disrupted or destroyed during the event and things are very far from back to normal. So who’s going to tackle all this crime? Deal with the chaos and try to restore some kind of order? Not even the Bat can be everywhere at once.

We are Robin follows the lives of a group of teenagers whose lives have been turned upside down by the events of Endgame and Gotham generally being attacked every other Wednesday. Each of them has some sort of talent that can be put to use crime fighting. What I like about this is it seems that not one of them is amazing at everything, like most ‘human’ vigilantes (especially the Bats and Robins) are but they can all add something to the group. Together they coordinate vigilante justice around the city; using laptops, smart phones and every day tools everyone has to manage their city, each donning the colours of our favourite sidekick – Robin.

The story follows Duke Thomas, a youth who was separated from his parents thanks to the Joker’s shenanigans and hasn’t been able to stabilise his life since. He’s in and out of school and foster homes like they have revolving doors and goes out at night to look for his family. He’s also apparently a closet geek, which I always approve of. After getting into a scrap at his new school a teenage girl grabs a picture while the fight is broken up. She communicates to the ‘Nest’ (via whatsapp) that they’ve found him. Duke briefly met Batman, so Robin have been tracking him, they like his skills and want them to join their ranks.

After his next foster home doesn’t work out Duke goes out like normal, after accidentally stumbling onto what will probably be the series villain ruling a hobo commune in the sewers the Robins step in to kick some ass! A mysterious figure at the end seems to have been planning for something like this, he’s been watching their movements and appears to be ready to back up and supply the Robins with what they need. Their identity isn’t revealed… But I have a suspicion that it’ll be someone we’re already familiar with…

ImageProxy

Each of the Robins looks very unique; they’ve all put their own spin on the costumes to give a colourful group that’s full of character. I personally really like the angle of seeing how the fallout of a major event affects people who were just going about their lives before.

Overall I really enjoyed this comic. It’s a fresh take on the Robin idea outside of the kid adopted by the Bat. I also like the way Duke is recruited as such. It makes sense the city will eventually choose who will fight for it and not the other way around.

I’ll certainly be carrying on the series myself and want to see where it goes!

Score: 8.6 Robins out of a Nest

Comic Review – Feathers #1

Adam reads as many comics as he can afford. Every week he is going to attempt a mini review of one of them, with potential minor spoilers.

This week I caught up on all the comics I missed out on over the holidays, as I spent a lot of it up in the frozen northern countryside, so it was a pretty expensive trip to the comic book shop. I decided to pick up Feathers #1, the start of an new all-ages mini series from the Archaia imprint at Boom! Studios. It was written and illustrated by Jorge Corona, with colours from Jen Hickman and letters by Deron Bennett.

Feathers opens with a bearded man, Gabriel, wandering at twilight around ‘The Maze’ – the slums of a great nearby city. Two unseen and mysterious narrators discuss the nights events, as Gabriel follows wailing sounds to discover a crying baby covered in feathers. Fearing for the safety of himself and the child, he steals into the night, avoiding the gaze of some other children and a whistling creepy child-catcher. 11 years later, and feathered infant is now a young boy named Poe. Keeping hidden in the rooftops, Poe and his adoptive father Gabriel scurry around the Maze at night. Meanwhile, inside the city, an intrepid young noble girl called Bianca longs for the adventure beyond it’s limits. Her father agrees to take her out, an opportunity she quickly uses to escape and before long finds the adventure she was looking when she bumps into Poe.

Corona does a great job with Feathers, especially considering he is both writing and drawing the book. The story is simple but engaging, with real potential for development of strong themes like acceptance and class deprivation, which is really nice to see in an all-ages book. It has a dark and ominous tone, without being too scary or oppressing, and Poe, Bianca and Gabriel are all very likeable characters. There is clearly some deeper mystery afoot with the child-catcher, and with the two mysterious narrators too. The art is clear and expressive, with bold line work that makes the crooked buildings and character faces really stand out. The colours from Hickman contrast the bright, lush city during the daytime, and the dark, dank night time streets of the Maze, accentuating the art work well.

Feathers #1 is a  nice, dark all-ages comic that is well-worth picking up either for yourself, or to get any potential new young comics fans into the fold. Check it out at your local comic book shop, or digital comics platform now!

8 Red Scarves out of 10