Red Robin #5 is the start of a new story arc in the series. Now that Tim knows Bruce is alive somewhere in the world, everything is going to be alright, and maybe we will get stability to the series. If you believed any of that, then you are as dumb as I was walking into this issue.
We open with a young girl being chased by crazy men in Brazil, the girl runs away and screams for help, and she falls into a pit full of spiders and Tim lets us know “The Brazilian wandering spider is considered the deadliest in the world” and that “One bite can be lethal to a grown man” so, to prove a point, Vitoria gets bitten three hundred and nineteen times, so it really hasn’t been her day.
Next we go back to the present and Tam Fox goes to her hotel room to find Red Robin and Prudence bleeding to death on her bed, like Vitoria, this hasn’t been a great day for Tam either, as who should show up, the league of assassins, and as Ra’s Al Ghul says “No one ever expects the Spanish inqusit….I mean league of assassins!”
Because this issue at this point jumps back between Red Robin trying to make it to the hotel room, Vitoria taking revenge on the men who caused her to die and be reborn and Tim and Tam, who sound like a horrible double act, have a conversation with the league of assassins. So, with all this jumping about, let’s start with Vitoria.
Vitoria, somehow still alive, is now a cheap Poison Ivy rip off finds the men who chased her and kills them, and then goes home to kill her mother, because she has gone crazy.
Next we have the pay off of the end of the last issue and Tim saving the life of Prudence and him by driving to the hotel and passing out in costume. Tim mentions how he just bled out here, and in a nice touch of non-continuity, he doesn’t use the blood saving method from battle from the cowl, instead Tim just bleeds out. Awesome.
Finally we have Tim being brought up to speed on the council of spiders, who Vitoria seems to be the leader of, and Tim having an idea. This idea is to not only take down the league of assassins, but the league of spiders at the same time, how he is going to do this, only Tim knows.
This issue, really felt like middle ground, like Yost was saying “Ok, Tim knows Bruce is not dead, now let’s just move on” and starts to jump ahead onto a new story. The story isn’t all that bad, it really is interesting, I just don’t like all the jumping around, we go through three time frames here, we go from Vitoria’s story, Tim making it to a hideout and Tim learning more about the council of spiders. It all feels like Yost is trying to give us background, but he could have made it so much simpler, have Tim make it to the hotel, Tam finds him, gets taken by the league and is told about Vitoria. This way, you don’t get lost in the narrative of the story; it would all read so much better. Also, I made fun of the Tim and Tam double team, but Tam could work out to be Tim’s personal Oracle or Lucius from the Nolan films, and she is a great normal person for Tim. The only problem with this is, she still hasn’t told us why she needed to bring Tim back.
The art by Ramon Bachs is annoying as usual, now instead of Tim looking fifteen and Red Robin looking like he’s in his twenty’s, now he fluctuates with Red Robin too. If you see Red Robin in the hotel room, when he passes out, he looks like he’s fifteen, but when he speaks to Tam and the league later in the issue, he looks like the normal Red Robin. Ramon is off to Azrael after this issue and for one am glad and sad to see him go. Glad as now we may get a consistent Tim and Red Robin in the comic, but sad because other than that, his art is really good and different and stands out from all the other Bat-books, which is what Red Robin needs. Ramon should have left at the end off issue 4 and let Marcus To, the new artist from issue 5 take over here, as this is the start if a new arc, but he didn’t, which is a shame, because, I like my artists to be consistent through a storyline, when this is collected it is really going to pull you out of the story.
So all in all, this is another solid issue of Red Robin, I am still interested and so will be getting the next issue, not just to review, but to also read for myself. And hopefully, that review will be out on time. My score isn’t five because the comic isn’t perfect, and the change from Tim to Red Robin and Red Robin is still annoying.
Red Robin #5:
Reviewed by Suavestar