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Everyone’s a Target

May 14, 2010

      Tim Drake’s final confrontation with the League of Assassins continues in Red Robin #11, which starts with Oracle having returned to the Batcave.  Batgirl’s cycle thing returns, and the power gets cut.  Then outside, a sniper shoots at Vicki Vale, but Tam Fox spots the targeting laser and saves her.  Elsewhere, Red Robin, Batgirl, and Prudence fight the Seven Men of Death, those seven top assassins working for Ra’s al Ghul.  The fight goes decently, but slowly, the three of them tire, and things start to go badly.  Then Batgirl’s cycle thing comes back and knocks into one of the assassins.  They escape and take that assassin to get information.  As Tam and Vicki flee towards Wayne Manor, said assassin tells Robin and Pru all the other targets, which include basically everyone important to Bruce Wayne and Tim.  Batman and Robin arrive, and Robin recognizes Pru.  But Red Robin stops him from beating her up and convinces Batman to just trust him.  Hush is led to Bruce Wayne’s lawyers to sign everything over to Ra’s, and to get Vicki off her back, Tam says that the reason she was following Tim around was that they’re engaged.  Unfortunately, Batgirl hears that as she takes out the assassins sent after Vicki.  The other assassins get into position to take out their targets, and Ra’s menacingly talks to a mysterious woman about how the next move is up to Tim.

     You know, you would expect this great showdown between Tim and his new archnemesis, Ra’s al Ghul, to seem a lot more dangerous than this.  But especially after the Council of Spiders arc, the League of Assassins just seems… toothless.  The Seven Men of Death all look like losers who went to a supervillain bargain costume sale rather than lethal murderers, and basically everyone sent after all of the targets are just nobodies, faceless red shirts.  I mean, do we actually expect anyone to die at the hands of random ninjas?  No, no we don’t.  As such, there’s no sense of tension whatsoever.  You know all this bad stuff is about to go down, but there’s no worrying because it’s obvious that Tim and everyone else will make it out of this absolutely fine.  Plus, Tam Fox is still just a random new love interest for Tim, and that whole “love triangle” with Batgirl is totally uninteresting as a result.  Now, this issue is still constructed decently.  Prudence is also still a fun character.  And the scene when Tim finally convinces Batman to just trust him was absolutely superb because it reestablishes Tim as a part of the Bat family after having been gone for so long.  Marcus To’s pencils are also still fine, if not particularly exciting.  His Batman is a lot leaner than how other characters draw him, to the point that the main difference between Dick and Tim is height.  I like Dick being skinnier because he’s an acrobat, but he should be more toned than Tim.  Oh yes, and Damian’s mask changes color to black in one panel.  But overall, I’m just not excited about this story anymore.  In fact, the only reason I’m really still going to read this book is because Fabian Nicieza will be taking over.  Chris Yost has proven to be mediocre issue after issue, and this one just highlights the difference between him and better Batman writers.

Plot: 6.3      Art: 7.8      Dialogue: 8.5      Overall: 6.9

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