The very first issue of this series was controversial in some ways. Many reacted immediately without letting things play out. They didn't wait to see what was being set up. Of course I'm talking about Starfire. For those that have had questions about her character being such a departure from who she was pre-New 52, you won't want to miss this issue. When did Starfire arrive on Earth? Why doesn't she remember Dick Grayson? Did she and Jason sleep together? These questions are addressed as we see more of why Jason, Kori and Roy have a connection.
One of the problems with the "New 52" is the feeling that we've been thrown into the middle of a story. We saw that Jason and Starfire had some sort of history that didn't exist before and Jason had some reason to risk everything to free Roy. We didn't know what things were playing out this way but now we get to find out. The very first page has an editor's note that this issue takes place one month before issue #1. Normally flashback issues can feel a little like filler but the fact that we're seeing Jason and Kori's first encounter is great. That being said, yes, they've only known each other for a month. What happens in that month's time is worth seeing. Scott Lobdell lays it all out just right.
Adding to the story is Josh Williamson. I actually missed his name in the credits until after I read the issue. The plot is by Lobdell but Williamson puts the words on the page. Williamson is always eager and excited when it comes to the projects he works on and you can almost feel that he really digs the characters as well when reading the dialogue.
We don't just find out about Starfire. There's been questions about Jason's motivation. Is he a hero, villain or an anti-hero? He may not be the perfect hero willing to go all out and sacrifice his life for everyone but we do see what makes him tick. He does have some serious anger issues but getting killed by the Joker with a crowbar is enough to make anyone angry. Deep down, there is still traces of being a hero. After all, it was Batman that decided Jason could be a hero and had what it took to be Robin.
Kenneth Rocafort and Blond continue to dazzle us with their art and colors. The book almost comes across as too pretty. Seeing the island again that we saw in the first issue was a welcome treat (and yes, Starfire will be wearing a bikini again if that's what you're wondering).
The combination of building up the characters' backstory a little more and seeing flashbacks (Jason in the Robin suit and Dick in the blue Nightwing outfit was awesome) along with giving us answers made this a great read. There might not be huge levels of action but this issue serves to further establish why these characters are bound to each other. This is something Lobdell has been slowly building up since the first issue.
I can't really say that there was anything I didn't like.
I've been enjoying this series more and more with each issue. We've seen some minor difference with the characters since the "New 52" happened but the explanations we're being given makes a lot of sense. I'm sure there might be some that won't agree with my score. What everyone needs to understand is we don't have half stars. To me, a five out of five can mean different things for different issues. This issue gets a five because of the characters' portrayal and the fact that it doesn't feel like we're being insulted. Lobdell and Williamson give a feeling that they are committed to the characters. Seeing the flashback was wonderful in that it further acknowledges that the past history hasn't been erased or is being ignored. As great as some of the "New 52" titles are, there's a lot of feeling like we still don't know what has and hasn't happened. With this issue, there simply is respect for the characters which should make new and old fans happy.