Red Robin #14 is the second part of Fabian’s “Hit list” storyline, and also, his return to Tim Drake's life.
Last month I wrote about how it was great to see Fabian back on the book, and I was looking forward to more. It was only later that I started to think that something wasn’t sitting right with me. After I had sent Dustin the review I had realized what it was, Tim was in the exact same position he was before Bruce left. Tim was not actually growing up. He was still a teenager and I had felt like I had read the stories of Tim going through all of this already, and frankly I didn’t want to read them again. There’s a new Robin in town, and it ain’t Tim.
#14 starts off with someone who I thought was Tim looking at his hit list, but after reading the dialogue, I figured out it was Damian. It was here I noticed that Marcus To is really only doing one face for Tim, Dick and Damian to share.
Fabian is writing this issue to give the reader exactly what he thinks they want, which is Red Robin VS Robin. But at the same time, Fabian gives some page time to advance other threads. Instead of just an entire issue of Damian trying to beat the daylight out of Tim, we have the advancement of Red Robins hit list, Tim dealing with being the new boss at Wayne Enterprises and of course, the revelation of who Tim has on his hit list, which is a who’s who of the DC Universe, heroes and villains. We also see a heart to heart on Tim’s tactics between Tim and Dick Grayson.
The issue ends with a mysterious person handing Black Manta’s not quite so bad-ass twin a briefcase full of money, and asking him to kill Tim Wayne.
So, that was issue #14, and I may have skimmed over things, but to be honest, this issue is full of threads that Fabian is branching out, that actually taking the time to explain them all and what they could involve what take an extra page of word to type. For the most part, I enjoyed the threads, and the knowledge that these are things that although are small now, will be branching out to bigger things in the near future. I do hope that Tim distances himself from the Bat-Family sooner rather than later, as two issues into Nicieza’s run, and I am already bored of the constant interactions between Dick and Tim. If this book were Batman and Red Robin, I wouldn’t mind. But this is Red Robin’s book and he needs to be given the stage to shine on his own.
The art by Marcus To for the most part, is fantastic. He is really hitting his stride now. He has a distinct style, and with the exception of male faces, he can draw a damn fine page. The fight scene between Tim and Damian in this issue was well choreographed, and I can see To and inker Ray McCarthy getting better on the book from here.
So, this is Red Robin #14. A good solid issue, with only a few nitpicks. However in this day and age, where there are at least 7 Bat-books out a month, and prices only going up, Red Robin really needs to start showing why it is a must own book.
Red Robin #14:
Reviewed by Suavestar