[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artists: Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreire & Adriano Lucas
In previous issues, Batman has found out that Tim Drake lives. We watched him engulfed in missile fire and utterly destroyed, or did we?
This issue opens with a sepia filled flashback to when Tim first pieces together who Batman and Nightwing are. He confronts Dick and tries to convince him to help Batman find focus again after Jason Todd’s death. It backfires though, and Nightwing disagrees which forces Tim to take up the mantle of Robin.
An unseen Mr. Oz questions Drake about why he put on the mantle, why he had to be the one to intervene.
Tim explains that it was his job to do it because he saw the big picture, he knew what had to be done.
The unseen captor goes on to ask him why he then wanted to leave the Batfamily, to which Drake replies that it was time. Tim had made a system to replace himself, perhaps all of them, to free them from their duty of crime fighting. So that Tim wouldn’t ever have to pick up with cowl himself, for he never wanted to be the Batman.
During this interrogation where Tim is simply giving the honest truth to his captor, he wasn’t simply helpless. He worked away and hacked into his prison and found a way to confront his captor. After a brief scuffle it is revealed that Tim’s captor is none other than Jor-El, father of Kal-El, Superman! Quickly after, Jor-El disappears in a green flash of light, leaving Robin all alone.
What will the young man do? How will he escape the prison when the power fades out and his computers are of no use to him? Most importantly, why did Mr. Oz save Tim in the first place?
One of the best things this issue does is build tension. The back and fourth between Oz and Drake slowly builds, and Oz presses him harder for the reason behind his choices. Tynion IV takes half of the book to allow this slow tension through the book to fester. The issue starting with hopeful memories of the past and glory, then shifting to the current tensions and hardships and finally to Drakes departure.
All of a sudden it comes to a screaming halt when Tim decides to go on the attack and hacks Oz’s system and turns the tide. The issue pays off in a fantastic full page shot of Jor-El ripping off the musty black cloak to reveal himself.
There are no negatives worth mentioning in this issue.
This issue was fantastic! For new readers it summed up nicely Tim’s past and why you should care about him. Old readers got the pay off of seeing Drake really prove that he has taken himself out of Batman’s shadow. Readers will love the final twist ending and won’t be able to wait to see how Drake escapes his prison.