Book you should read: Robin

In December, about 30,000 people bought copies of Robin, which put it at about 70th according to Diamond’s numbers. I was not one of those people. I flipped through the thing, gave it serious consideration, but ultimately didn’t bring it home. My mistake.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingIn the post-Crisis universe, Batman is battling bipolar disorder (with the angel Paul Dini on one shoulder and the double-headed demon of John Ostrander and Grant Morrison on the other), leading to not a lot worth a damn. Nightwing has been uniformly terrible. Even Catwoman has been subpar. Something’s gravely wrong in the Bat-i-verse, in other words.

While all those other characters suffer such severe mega-event hangover, Robin has somewhat quietly turned into a really good book. No, I’m not ready to slap a “great!” on it yet. But that time may be approaching. Writer Adam Beechen doesn’t so much balance the Tim Drake and Robin sides of the story as meld them together. When Tim is on the page, his problems and successes as Robin are always underlying. Vice versa for when Robin’s in action.

And while Tim has had a lot of heartbreak in recent years (especially his father’s death in Identity Crisis), Beechen doesn’t drop too far into Morose-ville. This latest arc (of which I caught the last issue), featured a crossover with Klarion the Witch Boy and a battle against a cat-cum-hell-beast. Also, Robin’s nervous about a looming first date (which is the main plot point of the issue that hits stands this week).

It’s a book that could be called all-ages (if that didn’t have a stigma) and is, more than anything, just a fun hero book. In a world where Batman is too serious and Nightwing is battling creatures that poop out balls of goo, Robin is just right.