Saturday, August 1, 2015

We Are Robin #2

I'm too old for this series. Just looking at this cover scares me.

Last issue, Duke found himself in the Gotham Underground because Lee Bermejo is a jerk. Doesn't he know people hated Ann Nocenti's Catwoman run and that he shouldn't be reminding us of it? How would he like it if I dug up his dead grandma's skull and brought it to his house while working its jaw and making it say, "Give Nana a kissy!"? That would be totally uncalled for and probably hurt him a lot. And that's not even half as bad as reminding people of Ann Nocenti's Catwoman!

It's possible that Lee Bermejo doesn't even know about Ann Nocenti and her work on the Gotham Underground and he just brought Duke to it because it was used in Batwing. That story did prominently feature the Ratcatcher who is the current antagonist in this comic book, so he really might not realize the pain he's causing. Now I feel I could be wrong about him being an intentional jerk. Maybe I should just put Nana's skull back.

Duke has just met the We Are Robin crew who have been stalking him ever since he flew around the city with Batman. Ratcatcher's brainwashed followers were trying to capture Duke because he heard their plans to blow up the city above ground (which sounds like maybe a stupid plan if you're below ground? Beneath the explosions that could cause everything to collapse? I mean, Ratcatcher and his people do live in a huge cavern beneath Gotham. It's not like the city has much support! And where do the Owls live? Are they in a layer between the Gotham Underground and Gotham City?). The Robin Kids save him by lighting a flare which apparently gives off just enough light to scare and blind the people of the underground who go around all day with torches and street lights on constantly. I guess it was some kind of super flare.

After bringing Duke to the surface, the Robin Kids get a message from The Nest telling them to ditch Duke. For a bunch of unique snowflakes who totally have their own individual styles and completely think for themselves, they sure do jump when a message from The Nest says, "Remember whose buttering the buttered side of your bread."

Duke wakes up in an interrogation room with a creepy guy who offers to help find Duke's parents if Duke helps the Robin Kids disarm the Ratcatcher's bombs. Duke is all, "Fuck no!" But then after the guy leaves Duke alone and Duke eventually remembers that he knows how to open a door, Duke finds a motorcycle and a leather outfit and a phone waiting for him outside of the room. Those things go a long way to changing a "fuck no" to a "fuck yes."

Turns out this creepy guy has been busy grooming kids all over Gotham.

Did you get a good look at his right hand?! He hid it behind his back the whole time he spoke with Duke! Probably because it's a big fake wooden thing!

The creepy guy is so totally Alfred! And he's presented in a way to keep it ambiguous if his right hand is still missing. They even begin the "interview" with a mirrored shot so that it looks like he's using his right hand to maybe throw off the dumber dumb dumbs reading this comic book. It almost worked on me!

Maybe it's even Alfred gone rogue because he's become addicted to putting children in danger! He's the main villain in this comic book because he's gone mad with grief at the loss of Master Bruce to the woman working at the teen rec center!

The Robin Kids (now with more Duke Thomas!) find themselves across the street from the Gotham Hall of Records, the Ratcatcher's first target. Actually, the Ratcatcher is just the lieutenant of some other mastermind because the Ratcatcher is never the brains behind the villainous plans. The Robin Kids find the bombs underneath the building set to blow in twenty minutes. Now they just need to find a Youtube instructional video on disarming bombs shorter than twenty minutes.

Once again there is an epilogue! This one is of a mysterious man following Ratcatcher in the Gotham Underground to try and find the actual leader of the underground rebellion. He uses the same bat camera seen in the epilogue of the first issue! That's probably a clue to his identity! Unless it's one of those red herring clues that aren't actually clues. I hate those! Life is full of those. I don't want my entertainments to be 99% red herrings too. If I wanted that in my literature, I'd read Scott Lobdell's Hardy Boys Adventures.

We Are Robin #2 Rating: No change. Why does everybody in this comic book have to be so young? It's scary and unsettling! I wish the DC Youniverse didn't have to be filled with so many DC Youths. I want a version of this comic book when the characters are all in their late thirties and early forties! Then it will be full of them calling each other up and saying, "Hey. I'm heading down to the pharmacy to get some pills. Did you want to go along for the ride?" And the other one would be, "Nah, I just took a really good crap and I'm just basking in the afterglow." Meanwhile a few of the others will be playing a rousing game of Scrabble while eating all the pizza rolls that are supposed to be after-school snacks for their kids.

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