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Review: Red Robin #14

The best Bat-book, bar none.

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It turns out that Red Robin's got some more names on his "hit list" that don't please Robin one bit, and Damian's going to let him know how he upset it is with a good old fashioned slugfest.

The Good

Wow... Nicieza has never really let me down on a book. I'm really impressed by how deftly this title manages to balance some legitimate character drama in the sibling rivalry of these "Bat brothers" while still delivering the goods of action, humor and suspense you want out of a superhero title. Tim's "hit list" is a killer idea for a story arc, but the twist in this issue makes it all the more killer for drawing links to Batman's infamous secret files from Tower of Babel and Identity Crisis. Heroes fighting and then making nice is a comics standard, but this is one of the few times where it's actually made sense, where all the characters have legitimate grievances without any cop-outs being pulled after the fight. Damian, Tim and Dick are all acting as they should reasonably be expected to, and having the fight spill into Crime Alley in the end was a great reminder of how Bruce's shadow looms all of them. And that's all without even mentioning the great intrigue going on with Vicki Vale, the Fox sisters and the mysterious villain ( Scarab?) gunning for Tim in response. And let me say that Marcus To's art is perfectly tuned for this book - - I especially loved his double splash in the casino.

The Bad

I don't know who designed Brutale's costume, but those strips connecting his forearms to his calves just don't look right!

The Verdict - 4.5/5

Out of all the "Bat family" books I've been reading, Red Robin has consistently been the best. It's actually one of the best books I've been reading from DC lately. Nicieza hasn't missed a beat transition from Yost's run. I'm really almost sad to see Bruce Wayne coming back, because watching his successors pick up the pieces and try to make their own way has been a lot more interesting than the status quo ever was. I hope they'll continue to keep these characters in these identities for a long time.