“I am Robin. Son of Batman. And that’s all you need to know!”
— Patrick Gleason, Robin: Son of Batman (Volume 1) Year of Blood
Leave it to Patrick Gleason to transform some of the most unique character’s in the Batman universe into unrecognizable and typical individuals. Robin: Son of Batman is a series that rose from the dead after Damian Wayne went through a whole ordeal regarding his life. Collecting issues 1 to 6, volume 1 explores the story behind the Year of Blood, a trial that Damian went through during his earlier and darker days under the watchful eyes of his mother. After his reappearance into the game and his countless lessons under the wings of Batman, Robin seeks to undo the evil that he had unraveled by going through a phase of atonement/redemption. As he attempts to set things back to the way they were prior to his trial, he quickly runs into countless obstacles, including a girl with a vengeance, Nobody.
Now, this adventure is far from being a solo quest by Robin. Where’s the fun in that, right? During this story arc you’ll be acquainted to a giant hairy red creature with wings, also referred to as a Man-Bat. The relationship between Robin and this creature is under development but the story behind it will slowly be unveiled in bits and pieces. Nobody also gets introduced and developed on the side and will quickly become an important side-character to Robin’s quest. The story also dives into multiple storylines without shame or restraint in order to give us a better understanding of how much Damian has changed from his past life. Patrick Gleason doesn’t make anything easy for the eyes or the brain as the story ends up feeling like a giant colourful mess instead of a coherent, well-structured and clever plot.
What defines Damian Wayne and distinguishes him from the other Robin’s is his size and personality. For a little guy, he can be one of the most rude and savage character in the Batman universe. However, Patrick Gleason succeeds in taking away everything that made him original and transformed him into a typical tech-savy and wordy character. It doesn’t help that every other staple character goes through the same filter and personality change. Ruthless characters would suddenly grow a heart, and clever and merciless killers would become money hungry and harmless. There is also a lot of character names being dropped left and right out of the blue without any real development. It sometimes felt like there was a whole mythology inspired this adventure but was never truly explored.
It’s also safe to say that the mystical facet of this story was prioritized. While you knew you were going to be dealing with the Al Ghul’s and all their witchcraft, what Patrick Gleason brings to the able is a whole new level of psychedelic non-sense. There were moments that were simply unreal and impossible to follow. As fun as it was to watch the story unfold in a direction that is rarely explored in the Batman universe, it still remained chaotic and insane. The artwork also didn’t help with sometime very mediocre work, and at other times crazy colourful and trippy panels. With a giant man-bat as a companion and supernatural things happening left and right, it was hard to feel rested reading this story arc. If anything, I thought I was high.
Robin: Son of Batman (Volume 1): Year of Blood was a fun and messy story featuring a Robin that could’ve brought us some really bloody and careless adventures. Instead, Patrick Gleason offers us a very supernatural and hectic story about redemption and forgiveness with unrecognizable characters from the Batman universe. This series however doesn’t last long (it only has one more volume before it was cut) and I guess I understand why things didn’t last longer. It still remains that this was a fun and creative story with maybe a little too many cheesy moments that helped in changing the scene of what people are used to in regards of Robin. The artwork switched between mediocre to acceptable from panel to panel, but I honestly couldn’t stand the facial designs of some of these characters. They looked so off. I’ll probably complete the run with the last volume some day, but I definitely won’t have any expectations regarding it.
Did you read Robin: Son of Batman (Volume 1) Year of Blood yet? What did you think about it?
You haven’t read it, you say?
Let’s fix that right away!
You can order your copy @Amazon Canada / Indigo Chapters right here!
Don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comment section below and follow us so you don’t miss any of our reviews!
MY OVERALL RATING: ★★☆☆☆/