“Someone told me that the problem with youth is the inability to accept your own mortality. I wouldn’t consider this one of my problems.”
— Lee Bermejo, We Are Robin (Volume 1) – The Vigilante Business
Lee Bermejo? You might be wondering who on earth that is, right? He’s the man who wrote, illustrated and inked the famous Batman: Noël. He’s the one who did the artwork for the notable piece, Joker by Brian Azzarello. He’s also the guy behind the art of Before Watchmen: Rorschach. When I first saw posters for this new series, I actually had no clue what it was about or who was writing it. I grabbed the 1st issue out of pure instinct and thought I might as well try it because the cover was pretty darn sexy. And now, after going through the first 6 issues (which constitutes the first volume, The Vigilante Business), I can tell you that I don’t regret the calling. The ideas behind it, the diverse styles of art, and the unique direction it was taking sold me.
We Are Robin is the story of a bunch of juvenile teenagers with an interest in Batman and vigilantism. This volume explores their motives and introduces them to a new identity that they all chose to wear. That’s right. Robin. With a stunning artwork that seems to often have a sunset color palette and sharp designs to characters, this new series promises to bring the street out of the darkness and drown it in kick-ass teenage vigilantism. For a comic series that doesn’t focus on Batman, but draws from his universe, We Are Robin is definitely a brilliant idea in progress, a story that Batfans should check out.
It’s inspiring to see that the “R” insignia managed to become a symbol for all teenagers to don. However, it doesn’t take away the etiquette that their actions will always hold. Vigilantism. We Are Robin doesn’t forget to acknowledge it and makes sure to showcase as many upsides as downsides to a group a teenagers taking justice into their own hands. Throughout the story, this new gang receives text messages from The Nest, their faceless boss, and readers only find out later on who that is (if you think you know, think again). This element of suspense is quite intriguing since it showcases this blind justice that the teenagers are following. Driven by this desire to meet and work for Batman, their only route to satisfy such a craving is to build a blind trust to The Nest.
When the story has a group of teenagers at the wheel, it’s surely inevitable to see some stereotypes develop for each character. However, Lee Barmejo makes sure to destroy this repetitive angle to such a direction of storytelling. His characters all have their own personalities and showcases them with distinct dialogues. As the story unfolds, every member manages to present an interesting background. Issue #4 even gives a special attention to Riko Sheridan and her own personal obsession over Batgirl. This very issue was fascinating in so many ways. The artwork was very old school (really awesome, if you ask me), and gave way to a great tribute to an iconic character from Batman’s universe. Although there’s a general focus on Duke Thomas, our afro-american protagonist, the first six issues succeeds to balance out the point of views by giving enough time to shine for every character.
With adversity, this gang of Robin’s quickly learn to grow closer instead of straying away from one another. Coming from various backgrounds, this new identity of Robin helps them build trust and friendship as if it was them against the rest of the world. Lee Bermejo didn’t hesitate in taking certain steps in order to make this new family happen. To top it off, the arrival of a certain new villain into their lives later into the series helps accentuate their need to believe in each other and strive for the greater good. We Are Robin is a promising series with great ideas to hold its foundation firm and strong. It is an entity of its own, and the finale of The Vigilante Business seems to point out to some even greater ideas on gangs and the numerous dilemmas that they bring to light.If anything, more character development and a continuation in the direction its taking for the story could make this series absolutely amazing.
Did you read We Are Robin (Volume 1) yet? What did you think about it?
You haven’t, you say?
How about you read this trade paperback for yourself!
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