A while back, Kalinara and I were discussing Heroes over the world's most evil instant messaging service (AIM) and for some reason decided to make a bet on Zach's sexual orientation.
The Terms: Is Zach gay? I said he wasn't, Kalinara said he was.
The Stakes: The loser was to choose and review a book from the winner's pull list. The book was not be one that loser would normally pick up, and the review was to be at least 300 words in length. If Zach turned out to be bisexual, we would both lose. And we had an end-of-January deadline. I assumed that this meant January, 2007. (I'm flexible, though.)
The Outcome: The character was originally conceived to be gay. The network decided to make Zach straight, instead. We both won, but we also both lost, and in this case, losing seemed like more fun. Well, it did to me. Kalinara apparently agreed.
The Choice: I looked over Kalinara's pull list. (Hers is heavily weighted towards DC, mine towards Marvel. Not much overlap, which is helpful when it comes to stuff like this.) I'd already tried quite a few of the titles. A few others were coming out on January 31st, which really messes with the deadline, since I (originally) wanted to pick up a "fresh" comic for this exercise. That narrowed it down quite a bit. Seeing as how I'd never read a Batman comic (assuming that Catwoman doesn't count), Robin #158 seemed like a good bet. Well, it did until I read the solicits and realized that issue would be the second half of a two-issue story. But I stuck with the chosen title, and went with the first part of the story: Robin #157
Anyway... The Review:
I went into this knowing next to nothing about this or any Robin. Now I know that this particular Robin's name is Tim, and that he goes to high school. (I know he goes to high school because there’s a scene there during which he placates an angry girlfriend. He’s good at talking to girls. And keeping secrets. Guess that’s a DC thing.) Tim looks young for a high schooler, some how, but maybe that's more the art than anything. Or maybe Tim is just gifted (with more than the ladies) and talented. That would make sense. Why a gifted and talented youth would feel the need to rescue a cat from a tree, I don't know, but it makes for a fun story. This cat is a big orange furball with a lot of attitude and a big Cheshire grin. His scene with Alfred is priceless; clearly the good butler is not a fan of animals. Non-bat animals, anyway. (Where's Selina Kyle when you need her, huh? Or Holly or whoever?)
Right. The initial mission, being kind of lame (and Robin does acknowledge that it's kind of lame, though not in those exact words), explodes into something a great deal bigger. The mysterious cat leads Robin to dead pushers, disturbingly huge footprints, and various other damage, all of which suggests that there is a large, dangerous creature loose in Gotham City. (How often does Gotham have to deal with stuff like that?)
Naturally, a big fight ensues. Robin versus an angry dragon, and Robin is the underdog. This being a two-part story, a lizard remains at large, and a character I know even less about than Robin appears. Kid with blue skin, pointy ears, horns and way too much eye makeup. Goes by the name of Klarion, according to the cover. (What is it about guest stars showing up on the last page?)
Yeah, it’s a fun comic, and while I probably won’t continue to read the title (if only because my pull list needs trimming), I will at least be reading one more issue.