Friday, August 22, 2008

Robin #177 Review

ROBIN #177
Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Rick Leonardi

First off, that cover has nothing to do with this issue. The real cover features Red Robin on the cover with 'Red' scribbled above the Robin logo, exactly like the one Salieri linked to in this week's previews.

Along with the cover change came a creative team change. Originally slated as a Chuck Dixon story, it is now written by Fabian Nicieza, similar to how the last several issues have seen Dixon scrapped in favour of Fabian.

Another shocker for this issue was the fact it takes place after Batman RIP. Yes, this issue 'spoils' the ending to RIP in a vague way, simply stating Batman is "gone" and crime has escalated with his departure. This could be a case of Bruce taking a break or simply needing time to recover, but it's odd Nightwing wasn't asked to step in for the time being while Bruce was gone. Even odder is that DC is doing its best to ruin every major storyline they have with stuff like this.

Continuing wiht the shocking themes, Red Robin isn't Jason Todd. No, the Red Robin in this issue was seen multiple times stalking Jason, who is consolidating power in Batman's absense by taking control of the numerous gangs. He claims to Robin that he is doing this to help out while Batman is gone and this will thin the herd by pitting these gangs against each other and the crooked cops, but it sure seems like he's a badguy here to me.

Eventually, just as Todd is about to kill Robin, Red Robin interferes, distracting Todd enough for one of his henchmen to shoot him in the leg, which defuses the situation and sees Jason arrested(?).

Finally, as if all these developments weren't shocking enough, we see Spoiler hiring someone (couldn't recognize the girl or her costume pieces scattered about, but she claims to have killed a Robin before) to kill Robin with a $500,000 down payment, which seems out of her league. Imposter? Some kind of setup, similar to the Penquin deal from two issues ago?

Verdict - Must Read. If you want a glimpse at the future of the Bat titles post-RIP, this is a great jumping on point, which sounds ridiculous saying, seeing as RIP hasn't even ended yet.

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