Sunday, November 1, 2015

Robin, Son of Batman #5

During Robin's Year of Blood, he stole a lot of shit from some cult whose symbol is a horned head surrounded by triangles. He stole their possessions, their dignities, their homes, and sometimes their lives. Damian simply assumed he was being tested so that he could become a man at age 10. But nobody told him the truth of the matter. He was really decimating one of Ra's al Ghul's most ancient enemies. But that was years ago. Or months ago? Weeks ago, maybe? Whatever the case, that was when Damian was a bad seed. Now that Robin has decided that Batman is cooler than Ra's al Ghul, he's decided to atone for all of the horrible shit he did as a kid. That means returning 365 prized possessions to Ra's al Ghul's enemies. And even though they're the enemies of Ra's, I don't think this is one of those cases where the enemy of your father is your friend. I think these enemies are just all around bad people and Robin is going to accidentally help them get back on track to conquer the world.

Robin, Nobody, and Goliath are currently pit-stopping on al Ghul Island to pick up a little food and the next bit of booty to return.

You saw a penis, Nobody. That pleasant tingling in your lower abdomen is not scarring. Unless you're a lesbian?

It's possible that Nobody just saw the craziest looking penises ever and that's why she's scarred for life. But she's fairly young so she probably has no idea what a penis is supposed to look like anyway. Although she lives in the internet age which makes it impossible to guess how old somebody has to be to have gotten a glimpse of a naked member of the opposite sex. Back before the internet when I was around the age of Damian and Nobody, I remember girls being quite interested in seeing what was going on down there. I don't think anybody was feeling "scarred" by getting a glimpse of a sibling's friend's genitals. It was kind of like trading baseball cards. I'm old now and we live in the age of free porn at our fingertips, so I simply assume that kids would be bored out of their minds just looking at somebody else's naked crotch.

There was a nice bit between Robin and his differently shaped brothers (I didn't want to use a possibly ableist term like "deformed") immediately following the above scan but it would have diluted the whole penis-viewing part of the scene which is the part I found most interesting.

Robin returns to his Vault of Ill-gotten Goodies only to find his servant Ravi and the Skull of Den--his next treasure he was going to return--are gone! And Damian claims only one other person knows of the vault! I'll pretend I didn't look at the cover and have no idea who he might be talking about! I used "who" there instead of "whom" simply because it sounds better. Sometimes you have to just listen to your ears and disregard your barely passable knowledge of grammar. We all know the most important rule when it comes to using who and whom correctly, right? "If you don't actually know what you're doing, just fucking use who, you asshole." At the very least, by following that one simple rule, you'll know which people in the room are the pretentious, didactic asshats when they correct you.

Damain heads out to the island temple to find the super mysterious unknown thief while Nobody and Goliath pretend to search the rest of the island but really Nobody just goes back to look at penises.


Talia was brought back to life by the Lu'un Darga who are Ra's al Ghul's ancient enemies. I couldn't remember their name earlier and I won't remember their name after I turn the page. Talia wants to stop them before they use her to destroy the world. Probably. That's sort of how these things work. When evil druids bring you back to life, they generally expect something in return.

So I was correct in my initial synopsis. That either means I'm a Grandmaster Comic Book Writer or Patrick Gleason is a competent storyteller (meaning the opposite of Tony S. Daniel). It's probably 85% me, 15% Pat.

While Mother and Son battle, the Skull of Den tumbles to the ground to fall on the symbol of the Lu'un Darga. I guess Damian didn't actually have to return it from wherever he stole it. He just had to leave it here in the citadel on al Ghul Island. Which, if that's the case, seems like a poor place for Talia to bring it if she's actually trying to stop the Lu'un Darga. I sense shenanigans.

Lu'un Darga rains down fire and lightning on the island while bringing up death worms and earthquakes from beneath the island. It's a catastrophe that's causing the island to break up and fall beneath the sea. I guess Robin's brothers will be heading back down to Atlantis for a bit. Or they'll choose to paint "R"s on their chests and give their lives rescuing Damian.

Ohana means deformed penises!

Damian and Talia are dragged beneath the sea but Nowhere and Goliath save them. It's probably all kinds of touching for people who feel things with their feelings which they still have because they haven't been worn away by years of cynicism and horror movies. Ravi appears at the last minute with the submarine so that the group still has possession of Robin's treasures and a means to search for safe harbor where they can plan their attack on Lu'un Darga. The guy seemed like a pretty major end of level boss monster but they're probably going to have to defeat him next issue so that Damian can take a break from his solo adventures and participate in the Robin War.

Robin, Son of Batman #5 Rating: +1 Ranking. It was probably a smart move sacrificing Robin's malformed brothers because they were just too strange to have around. They're the kind of thing that would normally be forgotten or become some kind of weird footnote to Damian's story. Tomasi kept them around to show Damian had empathy for somebody on his own terms. But how much more use could they be after that? Well, Gleason gives them a fitting and emotional end. They couldn't really serve much more purpose since I doubt DC would have published an Island of Misfit Robins book (I would have read it). So having them pull the whole We Are Robins and Brothers thing to repay Damian for treating them like family was more than I would have expected, and I'm grateful to Gleason for giving them a heroic moment. Although I wish he would have shown at least one of their penises on panel. Missed opportunity!

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