Robin Issue 13 Review: “Shadow War Part Four”

Robin Issue 13

Robin issue 13 brings the series into the Shadow War crossover event. Because of this, there are some gaps in the storyline between issue 12 and issue 13. However, it is a fun and interesting story regardless and shouldn’t throw readers off too much.

There will be some spoilers below.

The Shadow War event crosses over the Robin, Batman, and Deathstroke Inc., comics along with some one-shots specifically for the event. I am behind on my Batman reading and have little to no interest in Deathstroke as a character. So, needless to say Robin issue 13 is my only exposure to the Shadow War storyline and it is part 4. Having said all that, I was thankfully not completely lost and was still able to enjoy the issue. But there will definitely be gaps in what’s going on and chunks of the story missing which is unfortunate.

Robin issue 13 starts out with Batman looking for Damian. Deathstroke has apparently killed Damian’s grandfather Ra’s al Ghul, and Batman knows that Damian will be after Slade. Sure enough, we find Robin facing off against Deathstroke, but they are not alone. Rose (Ravager) has joined Robin and Respawn is fighting them alongside Deathstroke. It doesn’t take long to finally get the reveal on just who Respawn is. I wasn’t too surprised by the reveal as far as the father goes, but I wasn’t really expecting the mother. So that was certainly an interesting twist.

Before Robin can do any real damage to Respawn, Batman shows up and tells Robin to stand down. I love the next panel after this because Batman is drawn utterly confused by what he sees. Which is hilarious. How often is there something that Batman is just completely surprised by? Between that panel and Deathstroke’s response to his reaction, I was definitely laughing out loud.

After a brief conversation however, Deathstroke and Respawn are able to escape in the traditional way by endangering civilians whom our heroes rush to save. Batman then asks Robin if he would be willing to work with him on this case. Damian accepts, but what are his terms? You’ll have to read the issue to find out!

As I had mentioned in my review for issue 12, I was hoping that Damian’s story in Robin would be self-explanatory enough on its own. And while writer Joshua Williamson does do this for the most part, toward the end of the last issue we have Damian joining his mother, but in the beginning of this issue he’s with Ravager and his mother doesn’t seem to be around. So, while it is definitely understandable, as I mentioned before, there are some gaps in the plot that are probably being covered in the other books in this event. Thankfully, Williamson weaves such an interesting story with some really unexpected things that it is enjoyable regardless.

The art by Roger Cruz continues to be on point. I do think he was a good replacement for Gleb Melnikov and I appreciate his attention to detail. I definitely loved the aforementioned panel of Batman being confused. It was quite obvious in Cruz’s approach. I also really appreciate Luis Guerrero’s colors on this issue. They are very vibrant. The two-page spread in the beginning is especially striking. And of course, as always Troy Peteri’s lettering fits the overall feel of the comic so well.

Robin issue 13 is a solid story with some fun elements. I’m happy to see Damian be willing to work with his father again and to see Batman kind of apologize for his failures with Damian and try to make amends. So, while I do feel like we’re missing some of Damian’s story without reading the other comics in this event, I still find the series very enjoyable and am looking forward to seeing what Batman and Robin get up to next!

Author: Jessica Rae

Jessica has a BA in music with an emphasis in voice and spends her day typesetting, editing, writing, and moderating webinars. Jessica primarily reviews anime and comic book series. She also offers insights on various movies, books, games, and other geeky topics.

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