Now I’ll admit that I read this on a Saturday, but it was with the specific intent of writing this post. So, because of other prior commitments, I will be spending the whole week writing this post, and it should be ready for Friday. Please be warned, this post is going to get quite a bit spoilery.
First thing’s first, I love Robin. I have a special place in my heart for Dick Grayson, I think Damian Wayne is an absolute beast, and I happily subscribe to We Are Robin. When I was first made aware of the Robin War, I was under the impression that Damian Wayne was coming back to Gotham to take out all of the other Robins because they were being financed with Damian’s inheritance. Turns out, that’s not what the Robin War is really about, but can you imagine if it was? The whole of Gotham would be razed. Damian does not play that.
In truth, the whole point of Robin War was to get Dick Grayson, or the Gray Son, back to Gotham to take his place within the Court of Owls. We later find out that one Robin is as good as any, but Dick’s been doing this whole “for the greater good” thing, so it ends how you would expect it to.
I don’t care to talk about that though, I care to talk about some of other things that went on.
The Robin War starts off in a way that is eerily similar to Marvel’s Civil War – the 2006 comic, not the new Captain America movie. You have to remember that Gotham’s current Robins are not the Batman sidekicks of old. Those guys are off doing their own thing. These new Robins are all part of a movement among Gotham’s teenagers that is (secretly) being bankrolled by Wayne money, aka Damian’s inheritance. These new Robins are daring, but they’re also mostly untrained.
So it comes as no surprise when one of them tries to stop a convenience store robbery with a gun, and ends up shooting both the perp and a cop. This, of course, causes a visceral reaction all around Gotham, and the mayor is able to push through a very extreme piece of legislation called the Robin Laws. Every teenager found with Robin gear, Robin paraphernalia (because what Gotham teenager isn’t a Robin fan?), or even wearing Robin red clothes, will be arrested with extreme prejudice. A Robin War ensues, and the Robin who starts the whole thing is brutally killed before the end of the first issue.
Doesn’t that sound like the beginning of Civil War, and the reasoning for the Superhero Registration Act, to you? A bunch of young superheroes get a little too reckless, mess with the wrong villain, and end up killing themselves as well as a busload of children. All on national TV. America reacts by instating the Superhero Registration Act. A Civil War (sans the Mutants) ensues.
Sounds pretty similar to me.
I’m not saying that the Robin War was an exact copy of Civil War, not at all. All I’m saying is, the writers definitely took some cues from their friends over at Marvel.
Another interesting thing about the Robin War is that only one Robin actually dies. There’s a massive amount of excessive force used in regards to locking the Robins up, but the one Robin death in the whole event was never referred back to at all. Seriously. The kid admits to Duke Thomas that he was the one that started the whole things, Duke tells the kid to go to the press with his story, Duke disappears, and kid gets gutted by one of the Court of the Owls’ assassins. We never hear a thing about this kid afterward. Maybe it’s in the tie-in, but I don’t bother to read tie-ins.
Red Robin and Red Hood make an appearance, but they were really only there to train the new Robins. I read a Tumblr post last week about how Jason Todd and Tim Drake never get any love outside of the comics, but only the fangirls talk about Stephanie Brown, and Duke Thomas never gets any acknowledgement to the fact that he has in fact been an actual Robin to a Batman that was most likely Bruce Wayne. I said all that to say, I really don’t care about Jason Todd and Tim Drake as Robins. They’re literally the-Robin-that-died and the-Robin-that-almost-died-because-Damian-tried-to-murder-him to me.
Whoever decided to give Damian those lines deserves an award because they were classic.
All in all, I thought the Robin War was absolutely fantastic. Dick Grayson is no longer the love of my life, but that was already a long time coming. Damian Wayne and Duke Thomas were phenomenal, and I cannot wait to see what else the new Robin movement gets up to. If you like any of the Robins, The Robin War is definitely the comic event for you.
All images courtesy of DC Comics.