Detective Comics 934-950

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!

 

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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.

My Guess Is Gilda

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Batman #707
Written by Tony Daniel
Art by Daniel

 

The whole mess with the mask of the beholder ends here…it wasn’t my favorite story but it wasn’t bad either. I liked that it set up Peacock as a possible Dick Grayson love interest and the ending of this issue was just awesome. Daniel’s art has improved tremendously since Battle for the Cowl and it shows here too. So who is the mysterious woman at the end of this issue with the two-face coin? I am not sure but I have a feeling it’s Gilda Dent!

Family Time

Batman And Robin 20

Batman and Robin #20
Written by Peter Tomasi
Art by Patrick Gleason

 

Okay Tomasi already did the whole “Bat-family watches a movie together” thing when he was writing Nightwing and I thought it was corny then – doing it again here made it cornier. Maybe I am just pissed that he didn’t include Cassandra I don’t know but it’s just not what I want to see in Batman comic. The rest of the book was pretty good as a guy dressed like an Angel falls to his death and Batman and Robin tried to figure out why. Man-Bat shows up and everything. Not a bad start to Tomasi’s run on the book, but not really spectacular either.

Girl Sidekicks

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Batman #706
Written by Tony Daniel
Art by Daniel

 

There seems to be a theme of girl sidekicks running through this book as both Riddler’s Daughter and Catgirl show up. I am looking forward to seeing more of Enigma as her backstory has never been really explained but Riddler does act like she may be his actual daughter in this. Though you would think the Riddler would know better then to mess with Batman’s suit? As always Daniel continues to utilize Gotham City to its fullest and I am loving his run so far.

The Post-Return Gotham

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Batman #704
Written by Tony Daniel
Art by Daniel

 

Tony Daniel returns to this book and I am so excited about that as I loved his run prior. Despite writing and drawing the awful Battle for the Cowl, Daniel blew me away on his run on this book as he really brought Gotham to life and took advantage of playing with the great atmosphere that is Gotham City. This time around is no different as we are shown scene from Wayne Tower to Devil’s Square to Crime Alley. I liked seeing Catgirl again too and I actually like her costume a lot more now – I wonder if Daniel tweaked it I am not sure but it works better now. Selina is right, Bruce is being a hypocrite for not wanting Catgirl around but at the same time he always is right? He acted like that with the Spoiler. Great start to the Post-Return of Bruce Wayne Gotham City. Welcome back to writing duties Mr. Daniel!

Going Global

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Red Robin #16
Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Marcus To

 

Nicieza is such a fantastic writer – he really understands the character of Tim Drake and his history. I loved how Brentwood Academy is mentioned in this issue – Tim’s school from the Dixon era of his book. So many writers come on to book and dismiss anything that came before but not Nicieza. I can’t wait till next issue where we are promised Cassandra Cain! And I wonder where Tim’s new home will be – he says Gotham will still be his base but  he is going global? hmm. How cool would it be if Red Robin became the protector of Vanity – Aztek’s city.

Tim Is Looking For Cassandra!

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Red Robin #13
Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Marcus To

 

Oh my God! It was just a little wording on his computer – but there it was – Tim is looking for Cass!!!!! Somebody gives a shit about Bruce’s adoptive daughter and my favorite member of the bat family! Finally! I hope this wasn’t a throw away thing. On Tim’s computer it said Cassandra – Hong Kong? Could this be connected the undercover cop posing as Lynx? Please tell me this isn’t throw away, it can’t be! I trust Nicieza to see this through. Anyways, this issue began Nicieza’s run and I have to say I already like it better then when Nicieza was writing Robin – Tim was at a different place then and I am excited to see what he does with Red Robin now that he is tracking down criminals. It makes sense that would be his niche as Tim was always the detective. Great start!

The Missing Daughter Saga Continues

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Red Robin #12
Written by Christopher Yost
Art by Marcus To

 

Okay if Ra’s took the time to track down people like fucking Julie Madison, then why the fuck would he not go after Cassandra Cain – Bruce’s adopted daughter daughter and the former Batgirl! Is it because DC’s editors are asshats?! I think so. But anyways, this was a great way to end Yost’s run on the title and bring Tim full circle. This began as the story of Tim going in a direction too dark for the character but Yost has brought him back to Gotham and back to his old self. Hell they even made the costume more his. Yost’s run was great. I am certainly glad To is sticking around but I will miss Christopher Yost on this book.

The Missing Daughter

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Red Robin #11
Written by Christopher Yost
Art by Marcus To

 

So Ra’s Al Ghul and his League of Assassins are going after every member of the Bat family…except for Cassandra Cain!!! Seriously pissed off after DC apparently lied to Cass fans in their DC Nation column and what’s his face at Wonder Con said there are no plans for Cass any time soon. Why does the Bat Family not care where she is? What the hell is going on here? Why is there no mention that Bruce’s adopted daughter is missing? I am going to fucking scream! AHHHHH! But anyways this was a pretty awesome issue.

Superman Batman 69 and 70

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Superman/Batman #69
Written by Joe Casey
Art by Ardian Sayaf

Sayaf’s art is breathtaking – DC needs to put him on something huge soon! Casey’s story is intriguing as well as we learn the main villain is a Durlan hmm. Good stuff here. I loved seeing the Watchtower on the moon again! That brings me back.

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Superman/Batman #70
Written by Joe Casey
Art by Ardian Sayaf and Jay Fabok

This was another good issue as the battle against the Durlan is fought on two fronts. I loved Batman in this – really showed how kick ass he is taking out the Hooded guy with one kick and getting all suited up to go into space and take on an alien one-on-one. Oh Bruce I missed you.

Red Robin 9 and 10

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Red Robin #9
Written by Christopher Yost
Art by Marcus To

 

The end of this issue is the beginning of Batgirl #8. They weren’t the same scene at all though! What the hell is wrong with the editors at DC Comics. If you are going to do a crossover shouldn’t this all be coordinated? Anyways Tim returning to Gotham is really awesome, loved about every panel of this issue. To draws Gotham fantastically.

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Red Robin #10
Written by Christopher Yost
Art by Marcus To

 

Former lovers Tim and Steph continue their team-up in their new personas in this issue and I am still annoyed that Tim has not asked what happened to Cassandra! Whatever the art was good and the mystery with Ra’s, Hush, and Vicki Vale is really interesting. I am still loving Tam Fox as a character. Good stuff.

Family History

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Batman and Robin #10
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Andy Clarke

 

The start of this new arc was probably the most intiguing thing about this series yet. Bruce left clues to his where about within Wayne Manor – it makes perfect sense. Except for one problem…. the original Wayne Manor was destoryed during Cataclysm! Unless they reconstructed it exactly as it was, I am not sure if I remember that or not. I will have to look that up. I don’t know that I buy that Dick Grayson – who grew up in this house – wouldn’t know about the existence of a secret passageway and Alfred didn’t either but I am willing to let that go because it is a cool mystery and I am interested in the Wayne Family history now and I definitely wasn’t before.

Where The Hell Is She?!

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Batgirl (Volume 3) #8
Written by Bryan Q. Miller
Art by Talent Caldwell

 

I miss Garbett’s art I think his absence really hurt this issue. It was a sweet story where Tim and Steph finally recouncil sort of but at the same time Steph chooses not to take him back, proving that she is an independent woman now. And because you know I am going to bring it up, they did mention Cassandra in this issue. In one panel and all Tim says is Cassandra? He doesn’t even fucking ask Stephanie where Cassandra Cain is or why she is no longer Batgirl! This pissed me off. Remember that DC Nation where Didio said there were big plans for Cass in 2010, where the hell is she?!

Tam Fox To The Rescue

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Red Robin #7
Written by Christopher Yost
Art by Marcus To

Somehow I doubt that Ra’s al Ghul is dead – I bet you that wasn’t the real Ra’s. Anyways, this is good stuff and I am really liking Tam Fox – I hope Yost plans to keep her in Red Robin’s supporting cast. She is a neat character. I loved the conversation between Lucious and Alfred – I wonder if Lucious knows more about the Wayne Family then he lets on. Is this going in the direction of the Batman movies where Lucious knows that Bruce is/was Batman? I am not sure but I am interested to see where this is all going.

The Return of Vicki Vale

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Red Robin #6
Written by Christopher Yost
Art by Marco To

I didn’t expect Hush (who is still posing as Bruce Wayne) to become involved in this series but I did like the scenes between him and Vicki Vale. I have had minimal exposure to the character of Vicki Vale. She was already gone from Bruce’s life when I started reading comics so I know her most from Kim Basinger’s portrayal in 1989’s Batman. I always thought she was interesting though and I hope Yost explore her past relationship with Bruce further. Tim’s fight with the Council of Spiders is interesting and I like how Yost is adding more to the rich mythos that are the league of Assassins. We really are learning how powerful of an organization this is. I see that this takes place after Blackest Night or at least after Blackest Night: Batman. I like that they clarified that. I also highly doubt that Tam Fox is going to get killed.

Batman and Robin 4 – 5

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Batman and Robin #4
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Phillip Tan

First I have to comment on the elephant in the room – the new artist. I wasn’t the biggest fan of Quitely but his work was breathtaking – and I really miss it. Tan’s not a horrible artist but a lot of his storytelling is a bit off and too dark. It is hard to figure out what is going on sometime. That being said – I am intrigued by both the Red Hood (Is it Jason?) and the Flamingo. Morrison is great at creating characters and the Red Hood’s new look is so comic booky it’s perfect.

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Batman and Robin #5
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Phillip Tan

This was a fun ride! This was definitely the best issue of this book since the first issue. I love Morrison’s characterization of Jason Todd – it took four years but we actually get to see the reason why he was brought back to life – so he could be in stories like this. The Red Hood as the next gen Batman is a great idea and I like how Jason is even aware that that he is trying to do. Like he said it is when the ipod took out the walkman.  Morrison even remembers that Jason’s hair is not naturally black! Which is something that has annoyed me. Forget Under the Hood and COuntdown – this is the best Jason has been since returning to life. I have a feeling he is actually dying again because of the zits and the grey streak – perhaps he was only temporarily returned to life. I hope that I am right because it would be great for one last story to feature him before his death and he can go back to being Batman’s biggest regret. The art is still not great – but not as confusing as last issue. Flamingo is freaking scary as hell!  This was an exciting issue of Batman and Robin.