The issue starts off with a new villain, Terminus, addressing a group of criminals who are in some way marked by Batman. He promises them revenge.
Bruce, along with Dick, Tim, Damian, and Alfred is sitting for a portrait when an argument breaks out between Tim and Damian. Damian later calls all the former Robins to meet him, where he declares a challenge to all of them, to prove himself the best Robin.
Back at the batcave, Damian confronts Tim about the events in Teen Titans Annual #1. The two fight, ending with Damian forcing Tim to admit that he considered killing Fist Point.
The issue ends with Terminus exiting from his subdermal regeneration machine, and placing a mark on a dilapidated looking missile.
Gotta love how the covers of comics never show what actually happens in the issue. Sure it’s an awesome cover, showing Batman and all Robins past and present. It’s a good cover, and complaining makes me feel like I’m showing up late for the party. “Of course the cover has nothing to do with the interior,” I hear savvier comics fans than me say. “You’re complaining about this? How droll.”
But let’s get on to the actual story, (as I suspected, the Court of Owls crossover didn’t last more than one issue…yay?). While we don’t see enough of Terminus to form any kind of opinion about what influence he’ll have on the rest of the plot, I do like the idea of getting together several criminals who were injured by Batman. I have high hopes for the rest of the story.
Where this issue stands out is in the scene between Damian and the former Robins. Even Jason is brought in, bringing hope that he might be more involved in future stories. I know they’ve been trying to distance him from Batman, but I still consider him part of the supporting cast, and imagine there are several interesting stories that could be told between him and Bruce.
Seeing their reactions to Damian’s challenge made the issue. Those were some of the goofier looking faces I’ve seen in Western comics, and the stark contrast between the normal “serious bzness” faces got more than a little chuckle out of me.
Damian facing Tim about his own past was interesting, and while I’m loving Damian more and more, I’m also a big fan of Tim. I detect hints of an agenda in the confrontation between the two, as if Damian was being elevated over Tim. Not sure how I feel about that, it depends on if it’s actually there, and how blatant it becomes later on.
Still, Damian made this one of the most entertaining issues I’ve read in the New 52. So if nothing else I have high hopes for what follows. I suspect that Damian was only targeting Tim, but I’d love to see him take on Tim and Jason. Especially Jason, we need to see more of him in the main Batman books.