The Dark Knight Daughter

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Detective Comics #953
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Christian Duce

I recently asked Phil Jimenez on twitter if Linda Danvers could show up in his Superwoman run. His answer made it seem like all of the Rebirth creative teams will be changing soon. I hope he is wrong because DEAR GOD DC DO NOT TAKE TYNION OFF THIS COMIC. He is the best writer of Cassandra Cain in years. The only way I could be okay with that is if they said she gets to be Batgirl again. In this issue, Cassandra has to deal with the revalation of Lady Shiva being her mother. In the flashbacks to her training, Cassandra is able to speak some words. This was not true pre-flashpoint and it bothers me but perhaps it is a key to DC Rebirth and the missing ten years? Maybe she subconsciously remembers learning the language before the timeline change. That would be cool. The cover to this comic is not deceiving, she does fight Batman when he tries to stop her. She even goes as far to reject the name Cassandra because she wants nothing to do with her parents. Who could blame her? This is a character with murderous parents who instinctively knows murder is wrong. But Batman trying to calm her down made me so happy. It was the father-daughter relationship they had in Cassandra’s early days. Before DC stupidly had him abandon her during 52. There was no reason why she couldn’t have gone with them on their trip in 52 or Bruce would have put her in charge of Gotham and not Harvey Dent. It was years ago but I am still pissed about it. Cassandra finally confronts Lady Shiva who challenges her to fight her to the death, she wants to see her daughter try to kill. Cassandra refuses being the one true Batgirl and is beaten unconscious and left in the sewer by her mother. I hope we get to see Cass get her revenge for that soon.

The Real Batgirl Meets Her Mother (Again)

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Detective Comics #952
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Christian Duce

In this issue, Tynion IV once again shows me that this is without a doubt the best comic book DC is publishing. He consistently hits it out of the park with the team dynamics, characterization, and the exploration of what makes this Bat-family tick. Because yes despite what some writers have acted like the bat-family goes way beyond Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne. And as any reader of this blog knows the best bat-family character in my opinion is the one and only Cassandra Cain which this issue so wonderfully focuses on as Cassandra meets her mom Lady Shiva for the first time in this new timeline (or at least in her memory if this erased memory thing turns out to be true) and she is devastated by it. Lady Shiva acts completely evil to her, calling her refusual to kill pathetic, and saying she wish she had never known about what happened to her daughter. It was the final pages of this issue where Cassandra cries and Batman holds her that I knew Tynion understands the father-daughter relationship between these two characters. Like I said, Cassandra is the real Dark Knight Damsel and I hope this moment blooms into him once again adopting Cass in this continuity. Oh and the art is fantastic as usual.

Nightwing 1 – 16

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Nightwing (Volume 4) #1
Written by Tim Seeley
Art by Javier Fernandez

How great is it to see Nightwing in that costume again? It’s been what ten years since he wore that beautiful – frankly iconic – Nightwing costume. DC….what were you thinking? He should have been returned to that immediately after he stopped being Batman. Speaking of that, Dick refers to his time as Batman. Does that mean Final Crisis happened in the New 52 universe or is this a result of Rebirth restoring the timeline? Interesting. This was a great start to this series but not exactly a good jumping on point for new readers for a first issue. We aren’t really told what is going on with this Parliament of Owls other than they are forcing Dick to work with them or they think they are and he is playing them. I don’t know much about the Court of Owls because they are a new 52 creation. Anyways, it is still weird to see Barbara Gordon in a Batgirl costume and not Oracle and looking so young. Is she still suppose to be the same age as Dick?  So far…this is good. Seeley seems to really understand Dick Grayson as a character and the art is perfect for a Nightwing book.

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Nightwing (Volume 4) #2
Written by Tim Seeley
Art by Javier Fernandez

This was a fantastic comic. I like how Seeley writes Nightwing’s narraration. It isn’t all action, there is depth to this story. I don’t like how the Raptor knows their have been different Robins. That is dumb. The general public in the DCU should not know that. Also, how is Barbara flying to Tokyo and back? Does Bruce bankroll her?

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Batman Rebirth 1 – 17

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Batman (Volume 3) #1
Written by Tom King
Art by David Finch

In the first issue of this new Batman solo series, Batman prepares to give his life to save a plane full of people that almost crashes into Gotham. Spoiler Alert…he ends up not dying although he prepares to say goodbye to Alfred in a touching scene. The plane is actually saved by two Superheroes calling themselves Gotham and Gotham Girl. The idea of heroes showing up in Gotham with actual powers is an interesting thing. Would this make Batman feel useless? I guess we will see. I enjoyed the art in this. Finch knows how to draw Gotham City and its world well. Also, who is this new Batman protege Duke Thomas? I don’t know anything about

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Batman (Volume 3) #2
Written by Tom King
Art by David Finch

I love how Duke asks Batman if he trusts these new heroes of Gotham and Gotham Girl, and he says “I don’t even trust Alfred.” That made me smile. I thought this would make Batman jealous to have super powered heroes but I should have known better – Batman is a true hero and wants what is best for Gotham City. These heroes could stop things he cannot stop and he knows that. I loved how the Gotham Man is confused when Batman dissapears when talking to Commissioner Gordon. But who are these two heroes and how do they have powers that are almost Kryptonian in nature? I do not like how skinny Finch draws Amanda Waller. She is way too thin in this. But that is my only complaint about this issue.

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Finally a Writer Who Respects DC’s Greatest Character

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Detective Comics #951
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Christian Duce

Without question this is the best series that DC is putting out right now. And I say that not just because it features Cassandra Cain but because she is now being featured heavily! Last issue she was the focus of the anniversary issue and now she is still a main player in the plot. This should be a regular thing I am used but this fan has missed her so much these last few years they took her away. It is so awesome to have her back and in a beautifully drawn well-written comic book with an amazing cast of characters. In this issue, it seems that the League of Shadows may be real and Lady Shiva (Cassandra’s mom) is part of them. Batman even admits to Batwoman he would lose if he had to face Cassandra Cain in a fight. DAMN! Tynion IV really respects her character and I respect him for it. Now Dc let’s get her in a batsuit ok?

 

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This is it…I am returning to DC after a 5 year absence. Now that DC Rebirth has brought back the original continuity without throwing the New 52…will these characters be the same as the ones I loved. Most of all, for this book, I care about Cassandra Cain. She is my favorite comic book character and in my opinion the one true Batgirl. AND she is finally a regular in a book again. Will this be the same Cassandra I know and love? I know she got reintroduced but is she really just the same character with the memories of her time as Batgirl erased by the evil Dan Didio…I mean Doctor Manhattan. Let’s find out as I explore Detective Comics Rebirth.

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Detective Comics #934
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Eddy Barrows

This was a great jumping back on point for old/new readers. I did not miss a beat. Batman discovers someone is targeting Gotham’s vigilantes and has recruited Batwoman to “train” them. (I do cringe at the idea that Cassandra needs training from Batwoman.) He finally reveals his secret identity to her and they are cousins. I always was annoyed the the Wayne-Kane connection was never explored pre-Flashpoint so I loved this moment. The first of the team we meet is Stephanie Brown former Batgirl and Robin but now back to her Spoiler idenity. The identity she should have remained. I like her, don’t get me wrong, but she should never have been allowed to take the mantle of Batgirl from Cassandra Cain.

After Steph, we see Tim Drake in a new Red Robin costume that evokes his classic Robin costume. Man it is good to see him look like that again. That was an amazing costume.

Finally, we get Cassandra and I love that her new costume evokes her original Batgirl costume but I am sorry it is not enough….she needs to have a bat emblem and be a real Batgirl again someday. As fan, we can’t just give up on that. She now calls herself Orphan. As cool as it is to have her full mask back, I still would prefer her pre-Flashpoint Black Bat identity than “Orphan.” Now besides this, Tynion IV writes her perfectly as the bad ass scary fighter she is but I just wish she could be that way in a Bat costume.

The final member of the team is Clayface which is an odd choice but okay we will see where it goes. Eddy Barrows’s art was beautiful…he has truly stepped up his game in five years and seems perfect for this book.

So ya….CASS IS BACK!

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Detective Comics #935
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Eddy Barrows

In this issue, Batwoman continues the training of the younger vigilantes. Meanwhile, Batman tells Tim he has always been Robin to him. So in this continuity was Tim never officillay Robin? If so, will he remember his time as Robin whenever the missing ten years gets restored or whatever? I sure hope so. I hope the same with the other characters too.

Cassandra is bad ass in this. I love how Steph says he just shows up and gets blood on the floor and is almost never home. We truly are getting old school Cassandra Cain back and I could not be happier…except if she was Batgirl again. That would be better.

Beautiful story and beautiful art. I feel Tynion IV truly gets these characters.

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Red Robin 22-26

red_robin_vol_1_22Red Robin #22
Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Freddie Williams II

This was another issue of the Azrael Batman crossover. It was good and for once I wasn’t bothered by Williams’s art for some reason it seemed less cartoony this time around. I don’t quite buy the idea that Tim Drake would not believe in God because he is a member of the Teen Titans he has fought Gods and knows that there is Angel that used to be in the Justice League, etc. I think Nicieza should have said he doesn’t believe in the Christian version of God or something else besides this because it doesn’t work in the DCU.

red_robin_vol_1_23Red Robin #23
Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Marcus To

I wonder if the scene where Lucius Fox means with a Hong Kong businessman named Lau is a homage to the similar scene in The Dark Knight. It sure seems like it. Anyways, this was a decent issue where Red Robin is lead into a trap and an assassin’s tournament. Tim acts like he has heard of this tournament before and I wonder if it was in this book or in his time as Robin.

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Red Robin #24
Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Marcus To

I like how Marcus To draws Tim’s Red Robin costume when he is surrounded completely with his cape, which is surprising because I am not a big fan of the costume in general. The ending of this issue actually made this interesting after all as there is an occult angle to this story line that I was not expecting. Also Tim may be forced to impregnate someone but I am sure he gets out of this next issue? Let’s see!

 

Red Robin #25red_robin_vol_1_25
Written by Fabian Nicieza

Art by Marcus To

Tim and Cassandra Cain fighting together again at last! Despite the misleading cover, Tim and Cassandra – now in her new guise as Black Bat – a rather awesome title for her I think. The only thing better would be what she truly is – Batgirl! Anyways, it was great to see the two of them working together. To me and people my age, they are Batgirl and Robin. That being said, Nicieza only briefly mentions Tim going to Hong Kong to help Cass fight Cricket. Which sounds like an awesome villain. Why can’t we see that story instead of what I assume the next issue will be. I bet he originally wanted to include it but it was cut because of the stupid New 52.

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Red Robin #26
Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Marcus To

In the final issue of this series, Tim sets up a death trap for Captain Boomerang – the man who killed his father, but saves Boomerang at the last second. Batman is disappointed in Red Robin and even though he made the right choice the issue ends on a darker note with a darker Red Robin. I question why they would go in this direction at all? It doesn’t really fit the character although I do think there is room for Tim to kill more than Cassandra Cain whose whole character was about not killing but still…it’s a bit strange.