Thursday, June 02, 2005

Robin III: Cry of the Huntress

Chuck Dixon's work has quite a following, although I've never been able to figure out why. Some of his stuff is decent, but for the most part everything I've read by him has been either painfully average or boring. With Robin III, Chuck manages to move away from both of these negative attributes but in the process manages to make a story heavy on the cliches.

Robin is on the outs with his dad because he spends too much time with Bruce Wayne. He's also on the outs with Batman since he was told to not go out as Robin for a few days, yet he did. School isn't going well for him as his counselor is questioning him about the bruises he's been getting. Obviously he can't tell her they're from crimefighting, so she attributes it to abuse by Mr. Wayne. While Robin is busy dealing with all of these personal problems, he also finds himself in the middle of a plot by a bunch of crazy Russians to counterfeit the newly declared Euro. What is a boy wonder to do?

Well, first, find someone to team up with. In this case the wise-cracking, ass-kicking, school-teaching Huntress. This gives Chuck the opportunity to write some decently witting dialogue between Robin and the Huntress, as well as utilize more than a few team-up cliches (one hero saves the other when they've been captured, one hero doesn't wait for the other and things go awry, one knows something the other doesn't, etc.). The dialogue was actually snappy and it flowed nicely, leading it to be probably the best part of the mini.

The rest of it was not as good. The main villain, the KGBeast, was a basic super-cyborg-killer bad guy stereotype. To make matters worse, he spoke some of the worst broken English you can imagine. I'm thinking Chuck wanted to make it seem like the KGBeast didn't know English well, but it go extremely old quite quick, especially when ALL of the Russian characters in the mini talked that way.

The last issue of the story ties everything up a little too neatly and quickly. Robin's reconcilliation with his father takes all of one page where they each say "Wow, we've been acting crappy. Let's not anymore and everything will be good again." The foiling of the counterfeiting was conveinently solved by the use of the conventional "I did something while the bad guys weren't looking that'll make it seem like they're winning, but they're not" plot contrivance.

The only real outstanding portion of the mini was the art. I really dug Tom Lyle's linework. It wasn't overly complicated yet it conveyed the action very well. His rendition of Robin's face as somewhat pudgy was slightly annoying, but that's just a small caveat with his work. The art, for an early 90's title, was quite good.

Art: 3.5
Story: 2
Overall: 2.5

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