Review by CJ
A band of teenagers don the Robin mantle to fight crime in Gotham City under the guidance of a mysterious figure.
We Are Robin, Volume 1: The Vigilante Business collects issues 1-6 of We Are Robin (2015).
The We Are Robin series has an intriguing premise that somehow doesn’t quite find its footing in The Vigilante Business. There are glimmers of potential but they are few and far between.
The characters in The Vigilante Business don’t have a lot of depth for most of the story. Sure, we get backstory but I still didn’t find them to be interesting or likeable. This took — not really a turn — let’s say a detour, when an established hero showed up to provide positive reinforcement to the flailing team of Robins. From that point on, one of the characters steps up and things start to pick up a bit. It is unfortunate that this point isn’t until about halfway through the collection.
I loved the reveal of the mysterious figure and the cameos of two established heroes in The Vigilante Business. Their appearances were accurate portrayals of the characters and brought a sense of familiarity to the new series without intruding.
The plot contained in The Vigilante Business was an okay start to the series. We are introduced to all of the main characters, though I did find out more about them from the character bios contained at the end of the collection than in the story itself. The story doesn’t show a lot of their abilities, how they came together or see them facing off against any real threats. There is a fight towards the end of the collection that could have been something but didn’t quite make it. There are a few attempts at creating conflict and emotion, but they never really amount to anything.
The art is another aspect of The Vigilante Business that I didn’t enjoy until the third part. The first third of the collection has art that was sketchy and often gave characters exaggerated features that were distracting. The second third gives a retro feel with gritty undertones which I didn’t find to be aesthetically interesting or fitting. The last art style is much more confident and fitting for the modern tale.
Overall, if I had been reading We Are Robin as a monthly series, I would have likely stopped before things started to pick up in almost all aspects. However, as a collected edition, The Vigilante Business shows enough potential for me to want to pick up volume two.