Thursday, April 7, 2016

Robin: Son of Batman by Patrick Gleason issue #10

This issue was once again written by guest writer Ray Fawkes as well as illustrated and colored by Ramon Bachs and Mat Lopes respectively. If you can remember, this creative team was also responsible for the previous eighth issue of the title concerning a little tale about the Year of Blood adventures Damian has undergone as penned originally by Patrick Gleason. I'm not sure if I should still be calling Fawkes and co. as a guest team here for this title because this arc after all is the LAST ONE for this title. 

And yes, I am livid about this rather upsetting development. Officially, Robin: Son of Batman will only last until TWELVE ISSUES. That's as short-lived as you could get. I mean, just WHAT THE FUCK, DC? From what I understand, DC Comics is launching this new campaign called "Rebirth" and most tragically, this promising title teeming with potentials won't be picked up for that cycle. I'm only upset because I was so invested in Gleason's writing and stories so far, as well as characters like Maya Ducard and Goliath--only to have all this discarded to pave way for yet another one of DC's re-branding shtick. Is Marvel also this sporadic? I honestly don't know because I'm only reading X-Men titles there plus Ms. Marvel (some Thor and Loki stuff too) and as much as I'll always consider DC as the superhero comics material that I relate to and respect, this fucking bullshit about new brands and revamp and what-have-you should really stop.

There are just so many new comics title they keep putting out there while neglecting previous 'current' titles to run its course first. I was on-board with New 52 until that entire Convergence/Divergence thing fucking happened where we get 23 (god, I can't remember the exact number anymore) new titles which I was also okay with because Cyborg and a few other choice heroes got their own title (including Damian Wayne himself). But now here comes June again and DC has yet another gimmick to push to their loyal yet presumably exasperated readers. Fuck it, I don't want to turn this review into a longer rant. So let's wrap this up quickly before I start foaming in the mouth or something.

I don't even know how I can review this issue since I'm still peeved about DC's headline decisions lately, while also knowing that this would be the last arc. It seemed quite of a fluff than a major storyline I should take seriously. Essentially, it's an Al Ghul vs. Lu'un Darga family feud. When Damian Wayne returned the stole artifacts and relics he acquired during his Year of Blood trials, this actually became a catalyst in reviving Al Ghul's oldest and deadliest rival family (I'm assuming). The latest Lu'un Darga's heir seemed to be about Damian's age and he was wearing a clay-pot head disguise so I don't know what he looks like. And yes, I am calling that a clay-pot headress because it looked silly and not at all menacing. This heir's name is Suren Darga and he is going to unleash hell in the world. So, basic comic fanfare of good guys and bad guys and world domination. There are interesting things going on but not enough believable action sequences to support it. As the premise issue of a three-issued arc, this one only really established its conflict by the last three pages or so with Suren Darga and so it felt too rushed for my taste. 

I don't even know what to expect in the next two issues. I'm only going to be be reading them just so I can get some sort of closure from this revoked title. I'm not going to expect that I will ever get to say goodbye properly to Robin: Son of Batman, however, considering that perhaps Fawkes will be closing this title and not the original creator Patrick Gleason. Unless they collaborate? NAH. I won't have that kind of high hopes because, obviously, I will only fall into DC's trap where they are the bully who torments readers as to why we keep hitting ourselves when they're the ones indirectly administering the slaps!

Sort of like this.

What I did enjoy in this issue was the small personal drama including Maya and Talia. Believing it was Maya who betrayed Damian and stole away the relics to aid the Lu'un Darga family's rise to power, Talia abducts Maya and was getting ready to torture the truth out of her. Meanwhile, Damian is too busy traveling globally to hijack whatever the rival family has in the works so I can only assume that he won't be there to help Maya out of her distressing predicament. This would go very badly for all concerned parties. Damian was so adamant not to include Maya in the mix but his bitch-crazy mom once again resorts to violence and intimidation. The sad thing is I know somewhat that Talia wants to change and do right by Damian but she can't see that torturing the very first friend Damian has made for himself will not earn her redemption points at all. Get your head out of your buttcrack, Talia!

Like I said, I won't have steep expectations for the last two issues because there is just no way I am getting any emotionally resonant character-centered conflicts focusing on the resolution between Maya and Talia, or a continued conflict/power struggle between Damian and Talia at all. After all, Gleason won't be concluding this arc and title, and I think Fawkes would focus more on the major plot concerning the Lu'un Darga. I'm sure Fawkes would only gloss over the Maya/Talia thing. But we shall see in the last two issues, won't we? Much like with Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, I won't have any expectations at all so that when it finally happens, I could just enjoy it for what it had offered.


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