Red Robin devises an ingenious way to throw Vicki Vale off the scent of his secret identity and solve his dilemma with Scarab and the crooked cops at the same time. But his activities might draw the attention of an old foe.
Tim Drake's just an appealing hero, the way Nicieza writes him. I like how he's clearly learned his lessons from Bruce Wayne, but he's still very much his own man, with his own approach to handling problems like Scarab and Vicki Vale's snooping. And I like the understated way a number of things are handled in this issue, like Alfred's suggesting of how to solve the "secret identity crisis," the sneaky way Tim gets a hold of Scarab's finger prints and the background clue about Anarchy watching the whole assassination stunt. Speaking of Anarchy, I hate to spoil the ending but I'm intrigued to see where the reintroduction of the Joker's son plays out, especially as he's now taking on Batman's son. That's certainly ripe ground, thematically.
Man... I know Red Robin is part of the whole shared DC universe, but the way they just call in Miss Martian to help them out of such a complicated problem is just so.... convenient a solution. I would've preferred it it if they kept these problems within the sphere of the Batman family. Also, the opening scene with Tim confronting Captain Boomerang was such a tease. I missed the last issue, unfortunately, so maybe that already featured the confrontation between the two, but I still really wanted to see more of their bitter reunion.
The Verdict - 4.5/5
I've always been of two minds about the Bat family. On the one hand, the concept of Batman having a whole team of associates always seems to run counter to his basis as a brooding loner. This title, however, demonstrates how appealing the notion of Batman's "children" struggling with how to honor his legacy can be. This is a solo title, but it's actually one of the best team books on the shelves and something I'm looking forward to reading every month.