gothamred's Sins of Youth: Batboy and Robin #1 - Big Magic review

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The Weakest Link

While this story is by no means horrible, it is definitely the weakest of the Sins of Youth one-shots.

First of all the title is an outright lie as there is only one panel in the entire comic to feature Batboy and Robin where as the rest of book has Tim masquerading as Batman and Bruce and Robin to keep up appearances.

In terms of artwork, this book definitely clashes with the rest of the tie-in one-shots to the point of it going into "what were they thinking" territory. This is especially evident in the aforementioned panel of batboy and robin where once Bruce is back in his Batman/boy outfit his head looked comedically tiny on a body that looks the result of scaling down Randy Savage's to the approximate size of a sixteen year old. Seeing as this a tie-in to a Young Justice event, this kind of physique in a teen hero is pretty unwelcome. Also in that same panel it's unclear whether nobody told Nord that robin's outfit as adult robin was different from his a teen or if they actually were just switching outfits back, but why did bruce change into his full face mask Batboy outfit and Tim just got a scaled up version of his normal Robin outfit. It just seems inconsistent.

Now onto the story itself, it's...not the greatest. The inclusion of Zatanna was entirely unnecessary as she didn't really do all that much to enhance the plot other than get captured and then get saved by Bruce and Tim. On that note, it's never explained how Zatanna, one of the DC universes premiere magic users, was able to be captured so easily. It's implied that they used some kind of mental power on her to capture her but the exact nature of that is completely left up to the readers imagination since it happens entirely off panel. But even without that she doesn't tell us anything we don't already know or that bruce couldn't deduce for himself and just seems to be here, as especially implied by her artwork, to provide fan-service. On the other end of Bats's investigation we have Commissioner Gordon, who in this book is apparently supposed to be a moron. Okay that might be a bit strong but let's look at the facts, he's presented with a Batman who doesn't know what to call him at first, panics when he gets it wrong, behaves erratically, and more than likely sounds different unless Tim somehow grows up to sound exactly like Bruce, and he still gives information about a private police investigation. Shouldn't Jim Gordon be a little bit more savvy than this, I mean he could have at least given out false information or something, but I know only one issue to tell the story and all that.

Actually that seems to be the root of all the problems with this issue, artwork aside, in that it seemed rushed. It's like Chuck Dixon had some kind of story he wanted to tell, but he wanted to do it in something of a three issue or so mini series and was told by DC that he had to shorten it down to a single issue. As such we has a series of unexplained events and an unsatisfying conclusion. Overall if want to have all of the issues that tie into sins of youth pick it up, but if don't mind missing this story, and honestly it doesn't effect the plot of the overall story at all (though really only a few of the one shots actually do), then just pass it up it's not worth it unless you want s completely collection of Junior JLA books.

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