Thursday, January 8, 2015

Comics Rant: Robin #5

Robin #5
Written By Chuck Dixon
Pencils By Tom Lyle
Inks By Bob Smith
Colors By Adrienne Roy

It’s the final issue of Robin’s first solo mini series, and boy was it an uhmmm, well this was an ending. Well, until Dixon and Lyle took over the Batman title for three months and wrote a sequel about this story called “Shadow Box”. Which I’ll admit was pretty good so I can't crap over it. Hell, even this mini series was good. We get the big finale with Robin, Lady Shiva, Clyde Rowlins, and King Snake. FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT! So Robin, Clyde, and Shiva track King Snake to his giant tower in Hong Kong. King Snake is busy setting up his new toy which is the water tower with the plague bomb encased in salt. The salt brick is set to dissolve in the water in a total of seven days and by that point King Snake and his goons will be in the United States. You know, not paying taxes and selling drugs. Or so I’m told. Well, if that vile King Snake gets his way.

So Robin decides that the best way to get into the Tower is a sneak attack and then takes out the plague bomb. Quick, easy, and with no noise. Just like Batman would have done it. But NOOOOOO! Clyde isn’t having any of that. He wants to kill the King Snake for killing his wife and kids. That would sound like a reason to kill a person. For some reason, since I’ve been binge watching Dexter, I only hear Clyde now in the voice of Sgt. Doakes. “I’m gonna kill King Snake. Surprise MUTHAFUKKA!” Okay, he clearly doesn’t talk like that, but it would be pretty funny. Maybe only to me. Hey, it’s my rant and my joke. Screw you, you goober. Aw, I kid. You’re all right.

So Clyde runs into the building but thankfully before he can run in like a bull in a china shop (I never understood that simile. Just why the fuck would a bull be hanging around in a china shop. He’s a bull. It’s totally out of whack.) Robin heads into the sewer and cuts the power. If you were a big time drug dealer like King Snake, you’d have an awesome alarm system. But Robin doubts it’ll call the cops (It won’t.) plus he read the building's layout plans and has a great lay of the land of what the interior of the building looks like (Uhmm, he does. He wouldn’t be a Boy Wonder if he didn’t.) and heads for the top of the water tower to send the Nazi plague into the water supply of Hong Kong. Clyde heads into King Snakes private room, he must have not seen the sign that clearly was marked “King Snake’s Hidden Bad Guy Room.”  Or maybe he did and that’s why he went in.

So King Snake starts beating the shit out of Clyde. Clyde doesn’t get a hit in and then learns that he’s in over his head. Robin then steals a few bolts from the construction crew setting up the water tower and uses them like slingshots. Then comes up King Snake’s right hand man named Bobo. Bobo is shooting at Robin and almost shoots the salt block but thankfully Robin uses his new found slingshot skills and lobs a bolt right into Bobo’s shotgun causing it to backfire and kill himself. Geez, Batman doesn’t kill, but Robin sure does. Robin then enters King Snake’s private den and finds Clyde dead! Robin then comes face to face with the King Snake and learns just as sadly as Clyde now knows, the King Snake is deadly.

Robin plays keep away with King Snake by holding his breathe. Once Robin takes a breathe, King Snake hears him and kicks him right in the side and breaks his ribs. King Snake lands one more blow to the side and Robin is reeling. So using his trick that he learned from Lady Shiva where he spins his bow staff and draws his opponent to close quarters, King Snake moves in for the kill only to find the staff attached to rope and spinning by itself. Robin lands a surprise drop kick on King Snake and sends him flying out a giant glass window. King Snake holds on for dear life, then Lady Shiva shows up. She says her whole plan was to use Robin as her weapon to kill the King Snake. Robin says he doesn’t kill people (not intentionally anyway.) and takes Clyde’s body out of the building. Lady Shiva doesn’t live by the same code as Batman and Robin and shoves King Snake fifty feet to his death! Robin then buries Clyde, then follows King Snake's drugs and money to the US. He blows up his ship in Gotham Harbor, then reunites with Batman. Bats tells Robin that he’s been keeping an eye on him for some time and that he’s handled himself well and he’s ready to be the partner that Batman needs. They swing away into the night, going off to get some frosty milkshakes. Or fight crime. Take your pick. Fun story which read like Robin: Year One and it pretty much was that. It hit all the right notes and had Tim Drake stand on his own feet and get over as a major player and not always having to run back to Batman. Good stuff, my thumb is way up.

-Tash Moore

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