Robin: Year One #2

Posted: Sunday, December 3
By: Craig Lemon
Print This Item

Writers: Chuck Dixon/Scott Beatty
Artists: Javier Pulido (p), Robert Campanella (i)

Publisher: DC

Plot: First, the Moth; next, Two-Face.

It’s difficult to see why DC felt this is story that had to be told. Robin: Year One is obviously going to bring comparisons with Miller’s Batman: Year One, and this is everything that the latter is not. This is bright, cheery, cartoony, and frankly not that interesting.

Dick Grayson is Robin, and here is his first year as Robin. Oh, let’s forget about Dark Victory shall we, and take a wholly different approach. The second problem is that this is a 48-page prestige format book, $4.95 of your cash for essentially a retread of earlier stories, with little or no peril (obviously neither character is going to be changed fundamentally by the story, and nothing is really being added to the mythos, by the evidence of this issue anyway).

This would’ve worked much better as a standard four- or six-parter in LotDK, 24 pages per issue, cutting out some of padding (the Killer Moth chase is essentially an eight-page waste of space), and getting down the it – Two-Face is back, and looking to punish those who made him the way he is. Robin is expressed told (well, asked, but we all know it’s an order) to keep out of the chase for Two-Face, but, what a surprise, he disobeys orders and goes steaming in anyway…only to get the absolute living crap beaten out of him by Two-Face and his friend, Mr Baseball Bat.

This brutality actually goes against the style of the book – very cartoony art, very reminiscent of the Animated Batman, little in the way of backgrounds, all gaudy colours. Then the Tom and Jerry style violence of dropping a truck-lifter on a villain’s head (it bends around him) and you think “oh well, it’s a light and frothy read”…then Robin gets his ass handed to him.

Now, this rapid change of direction and pace could’ve worked exceptionally well, if the art had changed to match. But it’s still in the light, cartoony style, totally at odds with the story being told, and you feel seriously let down.

A wasted opportunity.

Got some comments on this review?
Have your say at the In The Line Of Fire Message Board.