Writer: Sterling Gates. Pencils: Julian Lopez.
What Happened: We start with Red Robin battling some bikers in Amsterdam. As RR prepares to eliminate the last biker, he is helped by some tactile telekinesis. Assuming it was Superboy helping him out, RR turns around and finds Nightwing hovering in the air above him. Nightwing calls RR by his first name, which irritates RR, but NW reveals to RR that he is actually Chris Kent(who RR met a while back)and that he needs the assistance of RR. NW explains that his partner, Flamebird was kidnapped by the Penguin and his associate, the Kryptonite Man. Something in the Penguin's building is interfering with NW's x-ray vision, and with Penguin operating out of Gotham City, NW was hoping RR would lend a hand. RR is very reluctant to help at first, but finally relents and the two heroes head to Gotham. By this point, Penguin is holding an auction to sell Flamebird to the highest bidder, with Kryptonite Man keeping her sedated. RR winds up breaking into Penguin's base and attacks Penguin and his goons. NW soon enters the fray and dumps liquid lead on the Kryptonite Man(rendering his radiation harmless to Kryptonians)and proceeds to heat the lead up to the point where it solidifies on Kryptonite Man. RR knocks Penguin out and NW takes RR and Flamebird back to Amsterdam. Flamebird and Nightwing help RR fins some 200 year old letter he was looking for in Amsterdam before the two Kryptonians head back to Metropolis. This issue ends with the Toyman rescuing the Kryptonite Man from his lead casing and strapping him down to an operating table.
What I Thought: Well, there was some good here, along with some bad. I guess I'll start with the good. The story was solid and fast paced, and I liked the dynamic between Red Robin and Nightwing. Besides the good story, the art was also well done, so no complaints there either. No, my main complaints would have to deal with the choice of villains thus far in this mini-series. I've never hid my hatred for the Penguin. He's a short, fat guy with an umbrella fetish. What the hell does the Penguin bring to any comic book? In my opinion, absolutely nothing. But then Sterling topped the Penguin with the even more useless villain, the Toyman! Ugh, what's next, an evil talking monkey?
Score: 7 out of 10.Um, shouldn't Red Robin have at least tried to deny that Tim was his real name? Jeez, when did the Bat-family get so lax with their secret identities?