Writer: Lee Bermejo / Artists: Jorge Corona, Rob Haynes / DC Comics
We’re dealing with the aftermath of the Robin War and what a time to be alive in Gotham. Bermejo introduces us to Smiley, who is in juvie and is a huge fan of the Joker. You can already tell what’s coming by the cover and we’re being shown the embers of just how that will come to pass as we see Smiley’s life back at home.
Meanwhile Duke Thomas is back on his quest for his parents and we see the lives of the other We Are Robin members in their civilian identities, as well as some in their vigilante identities. Alfred has been shadowing them all as if he is taking note on their evolution individually. We see that reminder of how Alfred is a master of disguise, and as someone that is well versed in Batman’s methods we know what he is looking for, but not what he is taking note on.
My favorite scene is where R-iko is walking and we see her getting stopped and frisked by the police. The Robin Law is over, but because this office doesn’t
feel safe doesn’t TRUST the colors that this kid (minority, at that) is wearing he feels the need to exert his badge in order to check her just in case. IF THIS ISN’T ART IMITATING LIFE. We also see how R-iko just goes along with the procedure (in strong contrast to Duke Thomas when the Robin Law was being invoked) as she just wants to get on with her day and isn’t choosing now to make a stand.
I love this shit because she was in her civilians and we can assume trying to find a way to make Duke Thomas bae when all that gets interrupted by an uneasy officer. Never mind what she’s been through to protect the city, that’s all thrown away by an unknowing figure of authority. Even his partner is telling him what he is doing is bullshit, however he isn’t stopping his partner from abusing his power. That’s why this book is my shit, man. This is the reflection of Gotham I’m trying to see that isn’t in the main Batman books. Right fucking here.
Jorge Corona and Rob Haynes on art are a splendid combination in this book. I’m big on character detail, and they deliver. The new outfit they have for Andre looks incredible as well. I’m glad to see a We Are Robin member doing more to conceal his identity. That small detail truly makes it seem like their line of work is being taking more seriously. Their combination of colors are dark where it needs to be and bright where you least expect. We’ve known Gotham City for years but the art and story coming together is truly giving us a new universe within Gotham to explore.
There is a lot going on in this issue and the stark contrast between family as presented with Duke Thomas and Smiley’s case was an incredible detail that Bermejo pulled of with perfect precision. This book is getting us moving towards a reaction to the We Are Robin group. Just like Alfred said in The Dark Knight to Batman, these kids chose to do something and we are about to see that action returned by other teens that don’t share their point of view. IT’S GETTING LIT UP IN WE ARE ROBIN, YO!