This week from DC Comics, we get the third issue in another of DC’s reboots post Future State. Robin 3 continues the revamped story of Robin, Damian Wayne. I am really liking all of the changes post Future State and Robin is near the top of the list for best revamp. Issue 1 promptly killed off out little hero. Issue 2 said no you are not dead. You are living a video game and have three lives before it’s game over. Now in Robin 3 we take a break from the tournament, and now Damian must learn one of his hardest lessons. In the process he journeys down memories of past bloodlines.

Damien feels he owns this tournament. No one can match his skills, but Ravager tells him he needs to learn more to hope to win. She challenges him to the one mission Damian will struggle with – make a friend. Ravager takes him to a party on the beach. Needless to say things don’t go well and within a few minutes, Robin nearly picks a fight or two. If fighting were not forbidden at night, even Ravager and Flatline couldn’t stop him. Damien then pulls a move that I have to admit was a good move.

Damian is surrounded with people he and his father fought against, so obviously they do not welcome his presence. A fighter, who I don’t recognize, plays the knife game where he stabs a knife between his fingers as fast as he can. The speed looks impressive, but as he slams his hand down to go again, Damian makes a move. He unleashes his daggers. All five daggers stick in the table, neatly between every finger of the splayed hand. This impresses everyone, and they instantly relax. They begin sharing stories of their favorite encounters with The Batman. Damian, however, is less than impressed. I’d bet hearing about his father’s exploits rubbed him the wrong way. Here he’s trying to forge his own path and he still can’t escape his shadow.

Robin 3 – My Enemy Is My Friend

One thing that confused me since issue 1 is Robin’s chief rival. The fighter favored to win the tournament, and puppet to the League of Shadows, is a kid named Conner Hawke. I know the name. The name belongs to the child of Oliver Queen, the Green Arrow. What the hell is Conner doing with the League of Shadows?! We do not get all the answers, and if the story was told in another title I do not know of it; However, we do learn a piece of it. Conner talks about the League. “They found me when no one else could. Or would.” In the exchange of fatherly details, Conner even talks about how his father held him, and then ran away.

I really like this next scene and it speaks highly of the writers for this title. Damian and Conner are meant to be lethal enemies in this tournament, but after Damian offers to fight, albeit illegally according to the tournament, Conner reaches out in a way. Conner shares with Damian that he, too, is the son of a superhero. The exchange of ‘my father is worse than your father’ something cool happens that I’d bet reverberates in the pages to come. Damian and Conner begin to bond. The fatherly barbs go from each father’s failings to their love of fishnets and leather…lots of leather. They even laugh together.

I see these two becoming friends and allies. I am not sure if saying ‘like their fathers’ quite works, but perhaps it does. The bond formed in this issue will come into play when these two square off in the tournament finals. As the two continue to bond, the past returns once more.

Robin 3 – Sins of the Mother

No matter where he goes Damian cannot escape the legacy and shadow of his father, but now it’s his mother’s past that resurfaces. The League of Shadows shows up and pulls Conner away from Damian before the damage of friendship takes hold. Damian knows the leader, Master Dusk. He remembers the evils this man tried to do to him, and Damian’s hackles immediately rise. So much so he eagerly engages Conner when the League says fight.

Damian takes an early advantage in the fight, but Conner manages not only to flip the tide of the fight, but he flips Damian over the cliff. The fact Dusk taunts Damian as he falls that this will hurt him, not kill him, shows his cruelty. When the fight happens for real, how can Damian beat Conner? I have a feeling the friendship started this night will change the tide, but what happens next may play an ever bigger impact on things to come.

I love the way the creators work this next part. Damian falls, preparing for the pain, he begins what feels like an apology to Bruce and Alfred, but then a shadow swoops across the panel saying “I have you, son”. The next panel shows a bat flying across the moon as reflected by the water. Wait. Is Bruce tailing Damian? Who’s watching Gotham? Of course, this is all a very well executed ruse for the real rescuer. HE has returned.

Robin 3 – Time to Reclaim the League?

Robin wakes the next morning, thinking Bruce saved him, but in fact it turns out not to be his father but GRANDfather! Ra’s Al Ghul has returned! I am not sure what caused Ra’s to disappear, but his resurfacing not only changes this tournament but Damian’s future. You know his return plays a major role in how things will shake out for Damian, the tournament and the League. Will Ra’s care about Damian? Or merely use him to his own ends and discard him when he no longer serves a purpose? I can’t wait to see where this title heads.

What did you think of Robin 3? Do you like the rebooted story, and what role will Ra’s play going forward? Head over to DC Fanatics on Facebook and let us know what you think.