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Review: Red Robin #12

A power-house, character-defining issue.

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Red Robin has more than a few aces up his sleeve for his final fight against Ra's al Ghul.
 
THE GOOD 
More than anything, this issue is to be appreciated as a character-centered story. All the action, storytelling, plot devices, fights, quips, scene transitions... all of it extends from this believable depiction of Tim Drake. I really like how Yost writes him as something of a legend-in-progress. He's passed his training, for sure, but he's still figuring things out for himself. He's up to the level that he can foil al Ghul's scheme (with the kind of help from his friends that Bruce Wayne can't call on), but he's firmly aware of his limitations and how he really can't take on the Demon on in a fight. Yost gets it right in the big measures and also in the little measures, like Damian's back-handed compliments and al Ghul's deeming Drake worthy as an heir producer. Actually, the later had yielded one of the best exchanges.
 
Ra's al Ghul - - "HE WILL PRODUCE A WORTHY HEIR."
 
al Ghul's Shadowy Female Aide - - "I'LL GET RIGHT ON THAT!"
 
Ha! They're so clandestine about it.
 
To's art runs smoothly, recalling Mark Bagley's work at times with his appealingly-clean lines and his skill with heroic anatomy and poses. I especially liked his splash pages throughout, which really gave the necessary "Ooomph!" for the kind of surprises they need to convey in the storytelling.

THE BAD 
You know, I really don't have any complaints, other than to say that, while this does everything very well, it doesn't do anything especially different.

THE VERDICT 
The best measure of a book like this is to say you can root for the character, and I can definitely say I was pumping my fist up for Mr. Drake. Even though I'm coming in at the conclusion of this arc, I never felt left out and I'm definitely interested to see what happens next with the host of entanglements Red Robin's been left. I'm curious to see what the new creative team will do, and I'm sure this will be looked back on as a defining character moment in Tim Drake's history.

4/5