Despite not caring for the trade I've been looking forward to this issue.
I remember interviews where it was said Alfred wouldn't be pleased with being lied to, how it was spectacled that Alfred formed the WAR crew because of Dick's "death?" How does it finally come out? No idea because we never get Alfreds' reaction as he's helping Dick put on a disguise on the first page. I thought there would be something more since Dick specifically mentions Alfred and asks how he handled the funeral. He does brush the whole thing off though and it's likely because he can't get mad at a Bruce who doesn't remember what he did. Alfred says their not liars, it's okay that Dick lied to his family because Batman asked him to for a good reason. Uh yeah but the family has been in similar situations before. With Bruce using them or keeping things secrets and no one was happy about it. This is brought up by Tim later on.
Alfreds' actually using this talk to explain his own actions as he admits he's also bending things to ensure Bruce is happy. I like Bruce being a happier and nicer person I just don't like what Alfreds' doing. They make small talk before Dick asks if Bruce is happy. In a round about way he is. He gets attacked by a woman who makes another eye rolling fanservice comment. They struggle for a bit before she blackmails Dick into returning to Spyral saying she'll tell the world Bruce Wayne is Batman if he doesn't. She goes on to say they don't want Dick running off all the time something I've been wondering about with all his team ups. ...Which he still does after this book. Agent Zero is the only name she'll give him and tells him to finish up his family reunion.
I do like how Jason and Tim react to Dick returning. Jason and Dick's relationship is not defined very well especially with so many writers implying different things. Even if you think they hate each other's guts (I don't) I buy Jason being angry. He's the dead Robin and what Dick did was disrespectful even if it was for the right reasons. I do like that Jason starts to say their brothers before he catches himself and changes it to Robins. It fits his character to try to cover up his emotions and distance himself. Tim points how hypocritical it is of Dick to deceive them after what they went through in DOTF. You'll also note he doesn't try to stop Jason from hitting Dick and didn't seem to mind it happening.
Barbaras' not thrilled to see him and naturally brings up his rear. Very mature Babs. Much like the Futures End issue she's talking about one thing then he goes on about needing a rope. Yes I get it, symbolism and all that.
Damians' reunion feels off and I really think he should at least be a little upset. He doesn't like being left out of the loop. Although I will say I never liked how no one made a big deal out of Dick's death. I think Damian just thought about Dick once in his series since then? It makes this have less of an impact. They all figure out the Cluemaster code from FE and help Dick identify Agent Zero.
Much of this felt rushed and I think the story would have been better if it was a two parter. A lot was skipped over like actual reactions, Jason and Tim were squished together and it left too many unanswered questions that I doubt BaRE will address properly. Much less in character. It was nice to see these characters actually acting like a family for once. Much better than 1-4 although not as good as the FE one shot.
Questions Asked?: Does Dick really need help dressing up with make up and fake hair when they had a face changing mask? Snyder had it invented when Dick was Batman.
Why didn't Alfred or Dick bother to explain the situation with Bruce? It makes them both look like assholes because they were just telling off Dick for pretending to be dead. Now they won't tell anyone else Bruce is alive?!
Jason got quieted by Tim before he could mention the code yet Tim feels the need to explain it as their following the information they were given? Sorry but that's bad writing.
Say What?: Dick tells Damian not to kill. Uh I thought the whole point of their partnership was building up trust and showing Damian a better way. And Damian complaining? His new series is all about him trying to redeem himself!