Red Robin #14: Writer: Fabian Nicieza. Pencils: Marcus To.
Review: This issue opens up with Damian Wayne cracking Tim's password on the Bat-computer and learning something that absolutely infuriates him. What is it? You'll have to wait to find out! While Damian is hacking the computer, Tim is doing the Red Robin thing, and he manages to apprehend Brutale, although Brutale's accomplice, some female assassin with a knife manages to get away, thanks to a certain small, cloaked figure dropping a billboard in front of Tim. Tim heads back to the Batcave and types into the computer that he had apprehended Brutale, just as a certain cloaked figure, Damian, arrives. Damian indicates that he'd like to go out on patrol with Tim, but Tim pretty much blows him off, telling Damian that if Batman wasn't back from some Justice League business he had to deal with by the following night, Tim would take Damian with him. Tim accosts some crooked detectives he had been working with, and tells them that not only was he(Red Robin)angry with the crooked cops, but so was the Wayne Foundation(which just so happens to be headed up by Tim). The next day Tim and Damian head out on patrol, and Tim manages to find the female associate of Brutale hiding out in a hotel room. Before Tim can make a move on the woman, Damian cuts Tim's Bat-line and sends him hurtling towards the pavement. Tim manages to regain his senses and lands gracefully, but is soon attacked by an infuriated Damian, who rants about Tim bringing this fight onto himself. While Tim parries Damian's attacks, he notices the female assassin making a break for it, so he snares the woman with his grappling rope and flings her into Damian, momentarily knocking the wind out of Damian and taking the woman out all together. Tim grabs the groggy Damian by the cape and tosses him on a nearby rooftop, where Tim then proceeds to beat the hell out of the current Robin. Before he can continue the beatdown, Batman arrives on the scene and ends the fight, shaming both Robins by pointing out that they had allowed their fight to cross into Crime Alley, right in front of the movie theatre where Bruce Wayne's parents were killed. Bats takes the Robins back to the Cave, and Damian demands that Tim show everybody the secret program he had created. With the cat out of the bag, Tim reveals to Bats and Alfred that behind the screen where he was keeping tabs on the various villains in his life, he had a separate screen where he was keeping an eye on various heroes, Damian included. Damian complains about how he'd done everything that had been asked of him, and that Tim STILL not trusting him just wasn't fair. Bats agrees and sends Damian and Alfred out of the Cave so he could speak to Tim in private. Dick explains to Tim that deep down all Damian wants is acceptance and that Tim's actions, and especially how easy his password was to crack was a big mistake. In the end, Dick realized that the relationship between Tim and Damian would always be icy at best, and that there was nothing he could do to change that. This issue ends with the two crooked cops from earlier hiring Scarab to assassinate Tim Drake.
What I Thought: This was probably my favorite portrayal of Damian EVER! Instead of being shown as an unstoppable, emotionless killing machine, we FINALLY get a glimpse into Damian's head, and see that all he really craves is the acceptance and approval of his father's colleagues. Why Grant Morrison can't write Damian like that is beyond me, but hey, if you ask me Fabian is 10 times the writer Grant is, so I guess that explains that. That's right, I went there! Besides the great Damian/Tim interactions, Tim continues to check villains off of his list, with this issue ending with Tim tricking the crooked cops into hiring Scarab to kill Tim Drake, exactly as Tim hoped they would. Once again, good job done here that has me eagerly anticipating the next issue.
Score: 9 out of 10.You had to know I'd pick a scan where Damian was getting beaten up!