Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Detective Comics #47 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

(I accidentally read this issue before I read "Grayson" #15, so you can imagine my surprise when Damian, Jason, Tim, and the Robins are all in prison.)

In this issue, we finally start getting more details on the war on the Robins.  We learn that Dick believes that the confrontation at the liquor store was a set-up.  To his mind, it's too convenient that the cop entered the store just as the untrained Robin was apprehending the suspect.  After the obligatory hero/hero confrontation, Dick shares this theory with Jim.  (Said fight happens when Jim catches Dick riffling through someone's apartment, though it's unclear to me whose apartment it is and why they're both there.)  Jim initially rejects Dick's theory, but, during their conversation, admits that his gut has been telling him that something similar.  Together, they go to find out more information on Councilwoman Noctua.

Meanwhile, in prison, a member of the Court of Owls emerges from the shadows with a squad of Talons to "handle" the Robins before they can jeopardize the Court's plans for Gotham and the "Gray Son."  In terms of the larger plot, we still don't know what the Court wants, other than Dick.  (Heh.)  At this stage, it's not clear to me what the Robins were preventing the Court from doing when it comes to their "plans" for Gotham and Dick.  It seems like it has to be more than just using them to attract Dick to Gotham.

My main problem with this issue, though, is the characterization.  In fact, one of the problems of this entire cross-over event is that it functionally ignores the events of "Batman and Robin Eternal."  Here, Jason and Tim are easily pushed to fighting with each other, even though they're partners in the other series.  In fact, throughout the New 52!, they've always been portrayed as close.  "Batman and Robin Eternal" reflects that relationship, as Jason repeatedly pressed Tim to trust him, telling him how important it was for them to be on each other's side.  Instead, in this series, Fawkes makes it seem that the two of them are rivals that can barely stand each other, a characterization that we've never seen in the New 52!  For most of the issue, I actually thought that they were just acting, part of some unspoken plan between them and Damian.  But, it doesn't seem to be the case, unfortunately, so I'm just going to have to be disappointed.  Hopefully subsequent authors will use the more standard portrayal of their relationship.

** (two of five stars)

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