Saturday, April 18, 2009

Batman: Battle for the Cowl #2(of 3)

Overall- So, did I hit the nail on the head here or what? What am I talking about you ask? Well, before I go any further, I'd better type up a quick review of this comic. We begin with Nightwing(Dick Grayson)and Damian Wayne standing face to face with one of the impostor Batmen. This Batman has already killed several people, and tells Dick that the only way to clean Gotham City up is by killing the criminals running the streets. Needless to say Dick disagrees and the two fight. During the course of the fight, the evil Batman makes several references to things he shouldn't know about, such as secret identities and stuff along those lines. Dick decides that this Batman has to be Jason Todd, and the evil Batman says nothing to dissuade Dick from that idea.

Damian tries to help, but is outclassed and winds up just getting in the way. Before Dick can gain the upper hand, the evil Batman shoots Damian in the chest, before cutting a hasty getaway. Dick lets the evil Batman escape and takes Damian back to the Batcave where Alfred can patch him up. After Alfred fixes Damian up, Alfred and Dick have a conversation in which Alfred basically tells Dick to take up the Batman mantle since he was always the closest morally to Bruce Wayne.

While this is occurring, Black Mask is organizing and pulling off a major criminal operation against Commissioner Gordon and the Gotham Police Department. Mask sends a couple of his Arkham escapees to GCPD headquarters and has them blow the building up. As Mask is attacking the GCPD on one front, he is also pitting the Penguin and Two-Face(his main criminal competition)against each other in the hope that they will wind up killing the other.

Meanwhile, Tim Drake(Robin)is dressed in one of Bruce's old Batman outfits and is hunting for the evil Batman. Tim has already deduced the fact that the evil Batman is Jason Todd, and winds up following Jason's trail to a makeshift Batcave. While Tim is searching around the evil Batcave, he is jumped by Catwoman, who mistook him as the evil Batman. After they clear up that misunderstanding(Tim is too short to be the evil Batman!)the two begin to search around the evil Batcave. The evil Batman returns and jumps Catwoman, knocking her out of the fight quickly. Tim goes after the evil Batman and the two fight for a few pages. Ultimately, it looks like Tim has the upper hand when he begins to wail away on the evil Batman with a crowbar. Unfortunately though, while Tim was beating on the evil Batman, the evil Batman managed to impale Tim with a Batarang, possibly killing him and ending this issue.

I've already stated that I don't like the idea of killing Tim off, and this issue didn't change my mind at all on that. I think Tim can be repackaged in a similar way that Dick Grayson was after he out-grew his role as Robin. The question now becomes is Tim dead? Well, he sure looked dead at the end of this comic book, but we all know that looks can be very deceiving in comics, so I'm not going to start ranting about Tim's apparent demise just yet... With Catwoman still on the scene, although she was knocked out, I tend to doubt Tim has reached the end of the road just yet, but I guess we'll find out for sure next issue.

The next issue of this mini-series really has A LOT of ground to cover. We have to have the big climatic battle between the evil Batman and Dick Grayson, there is still the matter of the escaped Arkham inmates, along with the fate of Tim Drake and Black Mask's scheming. I don't know how Tony Daniel is going to do it, but with how good the first two issues of this mini have been, I have no reason to doubt Tony's writing abilities. For a score, I'll give this issue a 9 out of 10. This was an exceptional comic, but it just wasn't quite as good as the first issue. Maybe it was Tim getting stabbed, or maybe it was the fact that Dick Grayson stood around whining instead of actually doing anything that bugged me, but this issue was missing SOMETHING...

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