Batman: Reborn continues. My previous review of Batman #689 got me a little jazzed up for the future of the new Batman, and we know that Gotham City will be safe under his watch. But what of Bruce's other protege, Tim Drake? Since leaving his comfort zone to travel the world on what many see as a fruitless endeavor, Tim's life has become more grim and darker than ever. However, he persists on with the belief that his mentor may be alive, making it his personal mission to find Batman... no matter the cost. Red Robin #3 illustrates this fact all too well, and clearly, Tim Drake feels he has nothing more to lose... or so he thinks.
Red Robin #3
Written By: Chris Yost
Illustrated By: Ramon Bachs
Breaking in and stalking a museum in Germany for clues can be considered as "crossing the line" for some. For Tim Drake, that line was already crossed when he decided to begin the search for Bruce Wayne, alone and under the new alias of Red Robin. With his life turned upside down by circumstances beyond his control, he expected his journey to be all by his lonesome. What he didn't count on was "direct assistance" from one of his mentor's greatest enemies, Ra's Al Ghul. Sending his assassins to keep a watchful eye on him, Red Robin contends with the problems he has today, all the while reflecting on the past that seems to haunt him constantly and the decision he has come to make. Meanwhile, the League Of Assassins is slowly losing its best soldiers to a string of hits perpetrated by an unknown party. How this will affect Red Robin and his search remains to be seen...
Writer Christ Yost continues his angsty run on the new Red Robin's life. As the one Robin I have come to know since childhood, Tim Drake is a character I've come to admire over the years, and it's not because he bears the same first name as I do. Since his introduction in the late 80's, fans have seen the kid grow up and become more than just another Boy Wonder in the Batman Legacy. No, he was a dedicated student in the art of detection, and his talents showed so much promise that his first achievement was deducing Batman and Nightwing's secret identity all by himself. As time went on, he became a formidable fighter under the Dark Knight's tutelage, and his evolution from promising sidekick to a hero of his own gave Bruce the belief that Tim could eventually succeed him not necessarily as Batman, but as the World's Greatest Detective. Now, looking at those qualities and comparing the Tim before to the Tim now... they are two drastically different characters. From a quick thinking, light headed Robin, we have a brooding, Batman like "Red Robin", obssessed with his mission and becoming more introverted by the second... it's too sudden. Probably Yost knows what he's doing to Tim, but the transformation to someone isolating himself from his community sounds too harsh, and too much of a 180 degree turn.
Since the last review I did for Issues #1 and 2, not much has changed with the Red Robin status quo. The penultimate chapter to the storyline known only as "The Grail" doesn't clue in too much as to how Tim's search will end, but it does show more of his interactions with prominent figures in his life. In the present, his dealings with Ra's Al Ghul are likened to the proverbial "Deal With The Devil", while a past conversation with an old friend/ teammate/ love interest goes awkward, causing Mr. Drake to withdraw from his former life all the more. Honestly, I'm not sure where Yost plans to take Mr. Drake when all is said and done, but it's clear that he wants to give the lad a miserable journey staked with all kinds of nuisances. This set up and Tim's attitude still reminds me of Matt Damon's Jason Bourne and The Bourne Identity films, since he's a guy outrunning all kinds of danger to reach a certain goal, no matter what the consequences will be.
On the pencils, I'm starting to feel alienated with Ramon Bach's style. Like I mentioned in my previous Red Robin review, it's sketchy... maybe a tad too sketchy this time around. The coloring doesn't help matters either. It's acceptable art, mind you, but it doesn't fit too well with the dramatic scenes. With a new artist announced come issue #6, I'm kinda looking forward to how the illustrations go there.
With one more issue to go before the first story arc ends, there's not much to say about Red Robin for now. Unlike the past two issues, this one didn't do much for me save for being a filler. Obviously, Robin readers and Tim Drake fans will have to pick this up to know what the former Boy Wonder is up to, and how his search ends will probably impact the rest of the batverse for some time to come. He'll eventually return to Gotham though in the next issue, and he'll be mixing it out with the new Dark Knight himself, Dick Grayson. How that slobber knocker match turns out, I don't know, but I'll be sticking to this book for the foreseable future... if I like what I see as the series goes.
Score - 6/10