Taking place right after Robin War #1. For some reason it has the WAR kids, Tim and Damian on the cover in Owl masks without Jason and Dick. Still an excellent cover I just wish we got all the Robins together. It would have been awesome.
To sum up an Alfred Robin recruit accidently killed a robber and a cop. This started some outrage which Noctua helped up to attempt to gain membership into the Court of Owls. She successfully passed a law to arrest anyone wearing Robin clothes. As expected Gordon is against this and Damian beat up the other kids. Damian proceeded to act like an ass to his predecessors so they called in Dick to deal with everything. Which is what the Owls wanted.
One of things that always annoyed the hell out of me was when a rookie who hasn't earned the title decides their the real deal without getting anyone's say. This was the case when Batgirl Year One had Barbara sidestep the question of what right she had to use Batmans' image to ask what right he had to fight crime. When Damian beat up Tim to take his mantle before he earned it. Either Batman or a former mantle holder have the right to deem anyone worthy of these titles. Yet here these random kids are proclaiming their Robin. Yes it's in their freaking title but it's especially grating when they have the nerve to do so in front of the actual Robins!
Thankfully this is addressed right after everyone finish their chant. Damian tells them their not and Dick says what nearly everyone has been saying since the WAR title began. These kids aren't trained and have no idea how they should react to these situations. Since he was the first Robin that means he's going to get blamed for everything and he takes responsibility for that.
That's another aspect Alfred is responsible for that drives me crazy. Of all people he should know better! He took care of all four of Bruces' sons (because at the core Robins are supposed to be his kids) and scolded Bruce when he mistreated them. Now he's a hypocrite playing favorites since he put Bruce's well-being above all of these kids. Alfred wants Bruce to have a normal life after having it revolve around the mission. Now he's trapping these kids to a deadly life without any of the guidance Bruce gave. This also tosses the boys to the side since he steals this from them and keeps them from their father figure. He's surpassed Bruce as the worst leader and betrayed the boys he saw as family.
Dick's speech is a good one, written better than most of the official Robins dialogue in part 1. He says that since the imposters didn't back down their train them. Tim fights the recruits blindfolded and we see the boys actually discussed this together beforehand. This training isn't just to make the kids better it's to learn what they can about them. Jason gets the kids to Jack the tires off the mob cars instead of taking on the mob which I admit is cute. The "humor" isn't.
Damian proceeds to beat the crap out of everyone he "trains." They know Dick is pushing them to do these little sessions and he acts like the know it all teacher. For some reason Dick is surprised Duke knows who he is despite it being revealed to the whole world? Didn't most people know Nightwing was the first Robin? Yes he has his "changing face" but you're telling me no one freaked out over that? Duke lands a punch because he's the Robin recruit that's everyone's promoting. The Robins have a leak that's giving information to Gordon. The originals pick the WAR members as the best to work with them. Dick purposely got the others arrested without telling them anything and expects Duke to explain the situation to them. It looks like Dick was being controlled by the Owls? Oookay?
Overall: This issue started off promising but quickly went down the drain as we should praise Dick Grayson for being the savior. Because only he knows how to lead, manipulate the others, lecture them on not learning enough and agrees with Duke that the originals aren't the only ones to know what it means to be Robin. Basically the three other real Robins look like overconfident amateurs compared to the great Dick Grayson. Were you trying to make me like him, King? I did now I'm getting mightily annoyed.
Good god I'm tried of this shitty writing for Jason. He takes them out when he's told not to and then thinks how their going to die pondering how he can blame Tim? Fuck off, that's not Jason Todd. Jason cares about people because he relates to them in ways Dick, Tim and even Damian can't. He doesn't want anyone to suffer like he did or like he witnessed others. He would never risk a kids' life for the hell of it. He'd certainly never joke about them dying. This is in the same line as those shitty stories that claim Jason was reckless and deserved to die. Seriously fuck off with that shit!
The same problems as last time pop up and for some reason they still don't mention Alfred even though the Robin situation is his fault. I was distracted during the betrayed part because I kept wondering if Alfred finally snapped.
I'm guessing these things Batman brings up are supposed to be things each character represents?
Investigation. Confidence. Suffering. Family. Okay Investigation works for Tim. Confidence with Jason? Not so much because he's not, I could see Bruce trying to make him confident. Suffering does fit for Damian but he already knew that so wouldn't Bruce teach him something new? Family, yep that's Dick or at least who he was. I haven't seen much of him bonding with Jason and Tim. He only sees them when he wants something or it has to do with him. Much like Bruce actually.
The ending had no build up, I mean when could that happen and why would the Court be fine with Duke being out in the open? Jason and Tim can't escape the police? Suuure.
Say What?: The Robins call him "tight ass"? Are King and Seeley projecting again? The answer is yes. It's long since stopped being funny.