Chris Yost’s Red Robin was the surprise hit of last year. Spinning out of DC’s Batman RIP and Battle for the Cowl events – which saw Damien Wayne replace Tim Drake as Robin – Yost’s Red Robin cast Tim as the only member of the Bat-family to believe that Bruce Wayne was still alive. His year-long quest to find proof of Batman’s survival made for a great read.

With Bruce’s imminent return now firmly established and Yost’s run ending with issue #12, Red Robin #13 marks the the start of a new chapter in Tim Drake’s young life. From the very fist page new writer Fabian Nicieza instantly lightens the tone. Returning to Gotham and reunited with Batman and Robin, a happier, less edgy Tim Drake is looking to find a new role for himself. A run-in with established Robin villain Lynx – who may or may not be what she seems – provides the backdrop for Tim’s quest for a purpose and by the end of the issue our hero has his mission.

Along the way Nicieza has fun pitting Tim against Damien in a verbal sparring match which – whilst pointed – is less venomous than their earlier confrontations; a reflection of both Tim and Damien’s character development over the last 12 months. The relationship between Tim and Tam Fox is explored further, particularly the the unanswered questions about what Tam does and doesn’t know of Tim’s secret identity and by extension Batman’s alter ego. And the scenes involving the supporting cast’s ribbing of Tim and Tam over their recent and very public ‘engagement’ are also deftly handled.

Marcus To replaces Ramon Bachs on art duties and he brings a more traditional, less sketchy style to the book, again reflecting the more upbeat mood. Fabian Nicieza is no stranger to the Batman universe having perviously written Robin, Nightwing and Azrael and issue 13 – whilst not a spectacular book – certainly gives the impression that Red Robin is in safe hands.

– Justin Hobday

Red Robin

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