“Before the New 52: Red Robin”
Written by Scott Lobdell. Penciled by Tyler Kirkham and inked by Batt.
This is story of how Tim Drake leaves his family and becomes Red Robin. This is also the story of how Batman can’t stop yakking and swooning over Tim. A lot of this issue contains unnecessary narration caption from Bats himself. Also, the incident that started Tim down the path to become Bruce’s partner is over the top. I’ve nothing against Tim doing some leet hacking, he didn’t have to do try to steal millions from the Penguin.
And Batman yaks a lot. I mean the narration says things that anyone with a brain can already get.
For instance, there’s a critical page where Bats crashes through a window. I’m reminded of how former Legion of Super Heroes writer Jim Shooter’s criticisms of the awkward panel designs in Lobdell’s Red Hood & the Outlaws #1. In Teen Titans, a panel meaningfully represents a falling shard of glass instead of vague rectangles.
The opposite page has squiggly rectangular panels, but that can visually represent the distress that’s going on with Batman trying to save Tim’s family. Readers should intuit that Bats is checking on Tim and his parents. However, Batman can’t help talking about the panels we’re seeing. Yuck.
In Jim’s critique of Outlaws #1 I linked earlier, he also noted the abundance of narrative captions. If overdone narration is a Lobdell trademark, then it’s going to be a queasy experience reviewing the upcoming issues. Kirkham and Batt, you’re excused for fine job with the art.
One hoof out of four.
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