Written by: Ray Fawkes
Art by: Steve Pugh, Chris Sotomayer and Wes Abbot
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: December 9, 2015
I'm going into this issue strictly as a Robin War tie-in as the regular run of the book came to a screeching halt last issue and regular writer, Peter Tomasi, has stepped aside for Ray Fawkes to tell the story. This is part three of the Robin War story and I have been so impressed with the first two entries (Robin War #1 and Grayson #15) that I had higher hopes for this one than I normally would have had. Also, since Grayson came out on the same day, everything is fresh in my mind as I crack it open to read. Does that help or hinder my enjoyment of the issue and does it continue the trend of excellent Robin War issues? Let's find out...
The issue opens with Dick Grayson foot choking Batman. I'll admit it, this really through me off after just reading the Grayson tie-in. I figured I'd give it the benefit of the doubt and continue with an open mind, but this wasn't the only time in this issue that things didn't seem to jive with what came before it.
The issue than takes us back to the far past of one hour earlier and we find out that Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock aren't too thrilled with having to lock up so many kids/Robins. They are housed in "the cage" which is basically a bunch of cells suspended from the roof of the prison. The gangs all here and imprisoned in very convenient groups.
We get a roll call of the important players as they discuss their current incarceration. While I like the We are Robin guys and gals (including Riko fresh from her Gotham Academy adventure) enough, the original Robins felt a bit off. Damian is okay (not great), but Tim and Jason are way off. I don't know if this would normally have hit me so hard, but we've seen a whole lot of these two together lately and this is my least favorite interaction.
While Jim Gordon starts to really suspect Councilwoman Noctura, Damian fashions a plan to get (most of) the Robins out of jail. Gordon then runs into Dick Grayson and starts the battle that we saw at the beginning of the issue. As far as Damian's plan went...it was a bit of a dud. Unfortunately, Jim and Dick's interaction follows suit.
While fighting, Jim Gordon's cowl comes off and the bat is out of the bag. Dick says he suspected it
all along and I'll buy it because Dick is that good. At this point I was really enjoying this meeting and still think that Dick knowing Gordon is Batman feels right. However, the dialogue between these two quickly goes south. It starts off with Dick saying he doesn't believe that a Robin killed a police officer all on his own. he thinks it was a setup and even did some investigating to back up his theory. At first, Gordon doesn't agree and tells Dick to let the police handle it. Then he thinks of his past with Dick and suddenly flip flops...something is rotten in the state of Gotham! Gordon puts two and two together and it again leads to Councilwoman Noctura.
The issue ends with the Robins getting a visit of the non conjugal kind. Well, maybe that's not true because when you see who it is, you'll agree with me that they are all F***ed!
I enjoyed this issue enough though it didn't get me as excited as the first two Robin War issues. The only part I really didn't like was the Gordon/Grayson flip flopping, but I also have to take points off for not pushing the overall story forward enough. Plus, I hope we get an explanation of how Dick set up his betrayal leading into this issue because I thought it was a plan between him and Gordon, but obviously it was not.
The art was good enough, but nothing really stood out for me. It got the job done without it being confusing and reminded me of the regular series art so it's got that going for it.
Bits and Pieces:
This issue was an okay Robin War tie-in, but fans not reading that can pass on by. Unfortunately, that includes regular Detective Comics fans and readers. Nothing really wowed me on either the art or story side of things and while I'm still pretty invested in the Robin War, it has nothing to do with reading this issue.