Axel-In-Charge: Navigating the "Civil War II" Landscape, Bringing DMC to Marvel
Okay, so he’s still no Karl Kerschl, but I’m starting to dig Freddie E. Williams III’s work on Robin. Maybe I’m just becoming inured to it or something, but I actively disliked Williams III’s work on Mister Miracle, but with this issue of Robin, I have made the move from “do not actively dislike” to actual enjoyment.
Adam Beechen is a great writer, and he continues with a really well-written story that just happens to be built around an awfully stupid plot device, which is that Cassandra Cain, the former Batgirl, the one who had her own series that lasted over 70 issues…is now the head of the League of Assassins and is basically a psycho villain now. Granted, she was revived by the Lazarus Pit, so any insanity can easily be written off in the future, but that does not appear to be the way the editorial department wants to go with this, so if you want to boycott Robin because Cassie Cain is being treated poorly, then go right ahead. Just don’t blame Adam Beechen for it!
Beechen writes a really fun “break-out” sequence, as Robin has to figure out a way to break David Cain (Cassie’s assassin father) out of prison in an attempt to save Cassie. The best bit of the sequence is a scene involving getting through a laser grid – “but if someone was willing to sit down and do incredibly complex geometry for elven hours” – CLASSIC!
And you know the BEST sign of a good writer fort this book? In this issue, we meet the new supporting cast member/love interest that Beechen is going to have be part of the book, and the character didn’t even annoy me!! Jon Lewis and Bill Willingham failed miserably, I thought, in their respective attempts to add supporting cast members to Robin, as the new characters annoyed me. Not so with Beechen. He is adding a teenage “tutor” for Tim, as he has not been attending school very often. Clever idea.
So anyhow, Cassie as the new Lady Shiva is pretty lame (although Williams III draws her looking really cute in the Lady Shiva outfit), but if you don’t think that plot point is lame, then you will enjoy the scenes with Cassie in them. She is going to make a very formidble villain for Robin.
One thing I really liked is that, not only does the cliffhanger for this issue have a reasonable explanation, but, at the same time, Beechen has already slyly WRITTEN the way the cliffhanger most like will be resolved NEXT issue into THIS issue. I like that. Much better than “non-sequitor” resolutions – “Oh, here comes the Avengers/FF/The Ravers to save the day out of nowhere!” The solution is already IN the comic. Good move there.
So, I would recommend this comic with the following reservation – if you can’t get past the poor plot turn given Cassie, then you’re not going to like this comic.
If you can get past that, then I think you’ll enjoy a fun, smart and well-illustrated comic book.
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