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Batman and Robin #9 - Robin Hears a Hoo

4

It's the "Night of the Owls" and while Batman is busy dealing with other Talons, Damian Wayne has his own mission to take on. Will he be a match for one of the deadly assassins?

Scott Snyder's "Night of the Owls" storyline is so huge it can't be contained in one series. Now we get to see others play with the Talons and the Court of Owls.

The Good

Because Peter Tomasi can be counted on to tell a great story, he doesn't overuse the idea that Batman can appear in multiple books at the same time. In BATMAN #8, Alfred put out the call to the Bat-Family to save the lives that have been targeted by the Court of Owls. Because Batman has his own issues to deal with, that means Damian is on his own, despite the title being BATMAN AND ROBIN. What that means is, we get to see Damian against a Talon.

We dont' often get to see Damian unchaperoned. It's easy to forget that he is still a child but the way he carries himself here is as you'd expect but also a little more mature. Usually, you get the impression that he's trying to prove himself to be better than the other sidekicks in the Bat-Family. Being out on his own, we're talking about a ten-year-old among adults. This is a chance for Damian to shine. It's absolutely wonderful to see Damian in the role he takes on here.

Lee Garbett handles most of the pencil duties here and, with a couple of minor exceptions, it fits in perfectly with the vibe the past issues have established. There is plenty of expression and emotion in the midst of the action which is drawn with a fluid nature.

The Bad

When Damian encounters the target he's trying to protect from the Talons, it felt like he was giving away too much information. Sure the person should know who wants them dead and why but it felt a little out of character. Damian isn't really known for his patience with those he feels are beneath him. Why tell him about the Talons and the Court of Owls when all he would care about is saving the person.

There is also a moment we get a 'history lesson' about the Talon featured in this issue. The backstory of the Talon and what motivates him is fascinating but felt intrusive in the middle of the story. It needed to be told but was unfortunate in how it had to be told.

Damian is skilled but will he be skilled enough to take on a Talon on his own?

The Verdict

We're seeing the first official crossover in the Batman books in the "New 52." Thankfully there is some cohesion between this story and BATMAN as Bruce is not able to appear here because he is more than busy in his own title. The other great thing about that is it means we get to see Damian on his own. As promised, this issue is not crucial to BATMAN and BATMAN is not crucial to this. Too many times in the past, especially with Batman crossovers, we've been forced to buy every part of the event. Here, we get to enjoy a good story with plenty of action. Lee Garbett's art do a great job standing in for Patrick Gleason's art. If this issue doesn't make you hunger for a solo Damian book, I'm not sure what will.