Robin issue 9 is where things really start to come together after the Lazarus Tournament. All the contenders now realize that this whole ordeal was just a rouse for Mother Soul’s nefarious plan. Can Damian defeat the Lazarus Demon, or will he be eaten by it along with everyone else on the island?
There will be some spoilers below.
Robin issue 9 really does feel like it’s getting close to the turning point of Damian Wayne’s hero journey. What happens in the issue is a true test of strength and character for Robin. This issue, I think, will go a long way to define just who Damian will be and what he stands for in the future. It contains some very important character building.
Robin issue 9 begins right where issue 8 left off. The Lazarus demon is preparing to take over Connor Hawke’s body as he was the winner of the Lazarus Tournament and proved himself to be the deadliest fighter in the world. Mother Soul says she had hoped it would have been Damian. Damian just wants to stop the demon in its tracks and for Mother Soul to shut up. But it’s not easy trying to defeat the demon since it is too hot to touch.
Damian doesn’t give up though and gives it his all. When he does finally falter, he feels that he has failed both his mother and his father. It’s a very painful thing to see our hero go through. Thankfully, a much-needed pep talk comes from the ghost/hallucination of Alfred Pennyworth who reminds Damian that even though Batman has all of the training and experience he has; he does not operate completely alone. This inspires Damian to do what needs to be done.
Now Damian has a whole team of some of the world’s best and deadliest fighters to help stop the Lazarus Demon. Do they have what it takes to defeat this demon? And even if they do, will they be able to stop Mother Soul? It’s certainly not going to be easy. You’ll have to read the issue to find out!
One of the things I’ve really enjoyed about Joshua Williamson’s approach to Damian’s hero journey is that the voice inside Damian’s head who guides him is Alfred Pennyworth. It’s especially poignant because Damian carries guilt and feels responsible for Alfred’s death. I think it was a good character choice for Damian and I feel that it is also a good way for the character to grow from that situation. He could have heard Bruce’s voice in his head, but I do not think it would have been as meaningful.
Williamson knows these characters well and does his research. Not every writer treats Talia and Ra’s al Ghul with the same amount of respect as Williamson does. You can tell that he cares about the characters and wants to portray them in a way that does justice to fictional beings who are villains, but who also feel that what they are doing is righteous and just. This run has been especially meaningful to Talia fans who have been hoping to see her character redeemed for many years now.
The art for this issue is done by Roger Cruz (who also did the art for Robin Annual 2021) and inked by Norm Rapmund. Cruz’s style is very clean with solids lines. His characters are expressive and full of movement. His use of lines illustrates the constant movement of battle and fits perfectly in a fight-themed comic. While Gleb Melnikov’s art is missed in this issue, Cruz does an excellent job filling in and the art style change is not jarring. And of course, everything is seamlessly tied together with Luis Guerro’s colors and Troy Peteri’s lettering.
Robin issue 9 is a great combination of action and heart. Damian Wayne has shown that he can inspire others and be a good leader. He also has the strength and determination to persevere. He has finally realized that he is not alone, and I think things can only get better for him from here on out. Of course, that doesn’t mean that it’s going to be an easy road ahead of him. Such is the life of a vigilante superhero. But this hero journey was much needed to redeem his character and I’m very excited to see things start coming together for Damian.
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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