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I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.
Then I read them.
Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.
I read 6 comics last week: Secret Wars #9, Star Trek #53, Avengers #3, Batman/Superman #28, Robin War #2 and Batman and Robin Eternal #15.
The best comic I read last week was Robin War #2.
I love Robin. I have loved the character for as long as I can remember and I loved the character when there was just one of them. One Robin. Dick Grayson. The Boy Wonder then the Teen Wonder. I loved when Dick Grayson left Batman’s side and became Nightwing. Then I loved it when Nightwing became, for a time, Batman. Then… well, you get the picture. Robin is a character with a 75 year plus history. And, in 2016, at this point in the character’s history, there are many, many Robins running around.
In Robin War, writer Tom King takes the landscape of Robins and does something very interesting with it – he unifies the approach to the character while also setting up the various Robin titles for compelling stories for the immediate future.
Most important to me personally is the title Grayson, where Dick Grayson is currently not a costumed superhero at all. Rather, Grayson is a superspy working from the inside of a corrupt organization, spying on it as it spies on superheroes. I have really enjoyed the title, though I certainly miss Grayson as a costumed superhero. And, in fact, I had the idea in the back of my head that Robin War would Grayson back to that life.
Without spoiling the ending of Robin War (and it’s the ending that makes it my selection for this week) I will say that it went somewhere I didn’t anticipate and somewhere I really loved. I find myself waiting eagerly for this week’s issue of Grayson. After reading comics for almost 40 years, I really love being excited for the next issue…
The art in Robin War is handled by a cast too numerous to name. It ranges from serviceable to good. And that’s too bad. A story this well done should have had someone great handling the art.
No matter. As a read for me this week, Robin War delivered.