(NIGHT OF THE OWLS) BATMAN AND ROBIN #9

STORY: Peter J. Tomasi
ART: Lee Garbett, Andy Clarke, Ray McCarthy, and Keith Champagne

First off, I want to apologize for not writing up reviews for Batwing and Detective Comics last week. I know I said I would be covering all issues of DC’s ‘New 52’ connected to Batman’s “Night of the Owls” event, but those two issues were downright boring. I understand the desire to want an Bat Family-wide crossover to it’s fullest, but those two titles felt soooo forced, I just couldn’t write enough about them – good or bad – to justify a review.

That being said, Batman and Robin #9 is a much better (if not great) chapter in the “Night of the Owls” saga, one that sees Robin on his own in a surprising new light: commanding officer. Damien’s role in the counteroffensive against the Talons takes him outside Gotham city limits to find and protect Major General Benjamin Burrows, and it just so happens Burrows is running night drills with his troops.

Damien goes into military mode, barking orders and setting precise formations to best defend against the undead assassin. It’s a little confusing, how Batman and his allies so readily put others in the line of fire to protect others. Basically, Robin is forced to outrun the Talon by leaving foot soliders behind to slow it’s advance – a decision Damien knows will lead them to their death. I understand that Burrows is a target and that his status makes him a key player in Gotham, but it seems negligent to allow soliders to be slaughtered in a scenario they weren’t ready or trained for. Of course, this could be exactly how Peter J. Tomasi wanted to play it.

The story falls apart, somewhat, when General Burrows’ family history is injected. During the Revolutionary War, George Washington promised a large sum of land to Edwin Wilkins. When Wilkins was taken by the British, this specific Talon was called upon to murder Wilkins and his family to secure the promised land for the Court of Owls. The Talon was successful with all but the youngest Wilkins son, who somehow survived and was adopted by the Burros family, making General Burrows the last surviving descendent of Edwin Wilkins. Now, this Talon asked to come after Gen. Burrows to finally complete the mission he was given over 200 years ago.

This connection between the Talon and Burrows would make a whole lot more sense if Burrows still owned the land, or anything like that. In the flashback, the Talon even says that the Court eventually took control of the land, so why does he care so much about killing Burrows? It doesn’t make much sense and pulls down a book that was pretty damn good up to that point.

GRADE:
B-
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