Robin Rises Omega #1 review


Batman's ongoing quest to bring Damian Wayne back from the dead spins off into a special as DC starts counting down to the the return of Robin. 

Will it be Damian by Batman's side when the story ends at the turn of the year? It certainly seems so, given how long the sequence has been going on, and how it's apparently going to continue in the same direction. A swerve isn't out of the question, but this issue begins with a recap of Damian's life and death, and ends with Batman swearing to follow his corpse not so much to the ends of the earth as far beyond it. 

In between there's a tremendously entertaining, massively over the top battle with Glorious Godfrey. The Darkseid underling wants the Chaos Shard - from early issues of the Batman/Superman title - which is hidden in Damian's sarcophagus. Given it may have enough power to restore his dead son, Batman isn't having it. Cue Batman, Ra's al Ghul, Frankenstein and the League of Assassins vs Glorious Godfrey and his parademons. Bring in sundry other superheroes. Mix and duck. 


This really is enormous fun from writer Peter J Tomasi and artists Andy Kubert and Jonathan Glapion. The early pages, condensing several decades of comics history, is a masterclass in implausibility, and all the better for being presented utterly straight-faced in Bruce's narration. Kubert and Glapion draw in softer than usual style, and Brad Anderson goes impressionistic with the colours. I'd love to see them apply this style to an entire issue. 


Not that the rest of this double-sized book looks bad by comparison, it's more a case of differently excellent. The Kubert family style is to the fore - especially when we're looking at Ra's al Ghul, that's pure Joe Kubert - and it's a look I've loved for a long time. Andy Kubert's own artistic inclinations are much in evidence too, in terms of composition and movement. Add in Glapion's sharp finishes and Anderson's colours and we have sequences as good as the excellent opening. 

I do wish we didn't keep getting shown the wrapped corpse of ten-year-old Damian, though - too creepy. 

While the big battle which fills most of the issue is just good superhero comics, it was the little moments that really made me smile - Alfred sitting as equal head of the family at Wayne Manor dinner time; Glorious Godfrey tasting a snowflake. I'm a little sad to see Batman lashing out at colleagues in the final pages - Holy Recidivism! - but I suppose he needs to be desperate to journey to Apokolips. 

And that's where the Caped Crusader is going, as this storyline winds back into the Batman and Robin monthly for a while before the next Robin is unveiled in another special, Robin Rises Alpha (don't ask for an explanation of the backward titling, it's all Greek to me ... maybe Darkseid's Omega Effect will prove pivotal in reviving Damian). 

As a jumping-on point for the Return of Damian (or Not) storyline, this issue is a success. It's a comic that reads smoothly and looks great, recapping events and moving the story forward. I had a ball with it.

Comments

  1. Damian's wrapped corpse may look creepy, but no-one's tried to rip an arm off it yet, so dc probably earns a point there.

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  2. Maybe they meant in like, omega means death or the end and alpha is life or the beginning.

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  3. I had no idea what was Robin Omega about. Thanks for the post, it has been quite useful for me.
    I'm bit outdated... the last Batman issue I read was Detective Comics #27 (from February, not the original one of course).

    Cheers.

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  4. If nothing else, as you well pointed out, the art looks simply beautiful. Plus, what else can match the scene and image of Batman fighting side by side with Ra's Al Guhl and freaking Frankenstein!?
    Cheap marketing ploy? Oh hell yeah, but nicely done so far.

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    1. Indeedy! I do like DC's current Frank.

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  5. I hated this thing. Hated it. You've highlighted some of the best bits, and normally, I'd be all over something this crazy, but... For one thing, it's almost all superhero fighting. There's very little substance to it. And since the heroes' goals are not met and the villains win because of a mistake, it feels rather pointless. And I just don't enjoy Kubert's choreography of the action. There's too much going on, and I just can't follow it. Skips between panels or the way things are framed make it harder for the reader to gauge just what happened there. It's a glossy mess. And of course, all the Batman rage on other Justice Leaguers, whether they deserve it or not just made me realize this was a Justice League event, and I want NONE OF THAT.

    As a Damian fan, I wanted to like this and ease myself back into the Bat-books, but nope, DC's "big stupid summer event" strategy on its high-profile books just makes me cringe. There's a reason I don't go see crap like the Transformers movies, and it's the same reason I hate these books.

    Sorry about the negativity...

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  6. Sorry to hear you hated it, Siskoid. I'm taking the longer view and expecting more character-based antics as the storyline progresses.

    Maybe the soft Batgirl reboot will be a way back into the Bat-books for you.

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