Robin Issue 8 Review: “Robin vs. Hawke! For the last Time!”

Robin Issue 8

Robin Issue 8 is high stakes with the final battle in the Lazarus Tournament. Robin only needs to defeat one more contender to win the whole thing! But can Damian do it- or will he lose this battle that he worked so hard to get to? And if he does win, what exactly is his reward?

There will be some spoilers below.

Robin Issue 8 begins with the large Lazarus Pit on Lazarus Island doing something strange. Rather than just being a pool of green, a demon figure has risen out of the pool. This difference is because instead of someone being put into the Lazarus Pit, something will be coming out of it. Meanwhile, none of the contenders know what is currently going on with the pit and are watching the final fight.

Flatline who was killed by Robin at the end of Issue 7, comes back to life just in time to witness the start of the fight between Robin and Hawke. Apparently, Robin and Hawke had been just standing there for an hour, neither one ready to make the first move. Once the fight actually starts, the panels show actions and movements with only a small amount of dialogue. Robin and Hawke are focused on fighting, not chatting.

The early panels of this fight definitely read like a manga and is very visually pleasing. I especially love the robin and hawk drawn behind their counterparts at the start of the battle. (It also probably serves as some foreshadowing…) The battle ends up being fairly cutthroat, and not even the audience is safe. Of course, the battle only ends when someone dies. Who wins? Who dies? You’ll have to read the issue to find out!

Robin wants to keep fighting because he sees this whole thing as punishment for failing to save Alfred. He wants to know if he’s “…really the monster people keep telling [him he] is.” After the victor prevails, the real reason for the whole tournament is revealed to all. There’s only a couple of people who are not surprised with what’s happening. Is anyone going to come out of this alive?

I think writer Joshua Williamson has really done an excellent job with this tournament. This comic has consistently felt and read like a fighting manga that is reminiscent of fighting games. Williamson also realizes when less dialogue means more. There were pages without dialogue at all and it worked perfectly to focus on the incredibly intense action. It’s not all fighting though; there is still some story building and a few touching moments that pull at the heartstrings. These are the moments that truly make this series so special.

I think Gleb Melnikov’s art has only gotten better as the series goes on. He handles the action pages in this issue so well. There is so much movement and action on every panel. And he never misses with the facial expressions. These characters all feel something, and it can be plainly seen on their faces. There is nothing static about Melnikov’s art. I’m definitely going to miss seeing Robin through Melnikov’s eyes once the series is over. He truly understands the character.

For this issue, Max Dunbar also lends his pencils to some of the pages. His art style blends well with Melnikov’s and doesn’t take you out of the story at all. Sometimes having two artists on one issue can do that, but the transition between the two artists is seamless. Hi-Fi’s colors are excellent and highlight the action and as always, Troy Peteri’s lettering does not miss. This team excels at action and heart so well.

While we didn’t have many quieter moments in Robin Issue 8, I think it was a lot of fun. There were some big reveals, and we get a better understanding of Damian’s overall motivation. I feel that Damian is discovering more about who he is and who he wants to be. A true hero’s journey.

The end of the issue gets very real, and I’m definitely going to be on the edge of my seat to see what happens 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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