This Red Robin/Batgirl crossover got off to a rocky start with Batgirl #8 having a mix of bad dialogue and horrible artwork. With that said Chris Yost has done a good job on the last two issues of Red Robin. Yost is finally writing Tim Drake and not some crazy kid. Because of this I have hope that this crossover story can turn things around. Let’s see how Red Robin #10 turns out.
Writer: Christopher Yost
Artist: Marcus To
Inker: Ray McCarthy
Colorist: Guy Major
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Things start off with one of the League of Assassins members recapping what happened on the night of Tim’s return with Tim and Stephanie saving Leslie Thompkins from an assassination attempt by the League of Assassins. (For all the details of what happened check out my review for Batgirl #8 that has a detailed synopsis of what happened.)
Ra’s thanks the assassin. The assassin asks if the other assassinations are still in the work and Ra’s says they are. Ra’s then tells some of the LoA members in the shadows to go kill Red Robin.
On the roof tops of Gotham Pru holds a gun to Batgirl’s face saying she was assigned to kill Stephanie Brown. Tim cannot believe that he can’t believe he let this happen and has flashbacks to him and Stephanie together. Batgirl just looks at Pru with determination and quickly takes down Pru before she can shoot her. (I’ll say it again, why isn’t Stephanie this competent in her own book?) Tim is impressed at what he just saw happen.
Tim looks at the gun and says that it was not loaded. Pru says she isn’t here to kill Stephanie, she is actually there to help Tim just like he helped her when Tim lead the League. Stephanie is surprised by this ant tells Tim to explain himself.
Over at Wayne Manor Vicki Vale thanks Alfred for letting her in and says she is there to see Tim. Alfred says Tim is too young for her. Vicki says that she just wants to know where he is because she has asks all of the people who knew Tim and they all have said that they have not seen him in weeks. She then again asks Alfred where Tim is.
Downtown Gotham the Bruce Wayne impersonating Hush enters a building and sees Ra’s and his assassins standing over a knocked out Katana. Ra’s tells Hush that he wants to speak to him in private.
Back to the roof tops of Gotham Stephanie tells Tim that he lost his mind with leading the League after he gave her all that crap about keeping a secret from him that Batman told her to keep secret. Tim says that he lost it and that he was in a bad place when it happened. He continues to say that is all in the past and that now he needs her help. Steph agrees with a sweet look in her eyes saying she really doesn’t know who that is. (Looks like Tim is mastering the Wayne charm that Bruce and Dick are masters of. Maybe now Tim is ready to move from Knight to Master Jedi.)
We shift scenes to Tam at Tim’s warehouse base yelling at Tim, asking if he is there. Across the street one of the LoA assassins tells Ra’s that he sees Tam and if he should kill her. HE says not to and just to follow her for the moment.
Back at the Tower Ra’s tells Hush that he wants Hush to hand over everything Bruce Wayne has and that they are not going to negotiate it as he is just going to take it.
Red Robin, Batgirl, and Pru arrive at Tim’s secret warehouse base. Tim tells Steph and Pru that they are going to have to play Ra’s game and assume that Ra’s has several targets. Tim then tells Steph to call her ricochet back and to call Oracle and arrange something but stops in mid-sentence. Steph asks what Tim wants. Tim tells her and Pru not to talk and says that he has to talk to Lucius. They suddenly hear something and a bomb goes off destroying the whole warehouse.
Luckily for the three of them Tim set up a pit trap that let them go underground before the explosion happened. Someone calls out Red Robin and the three of them turn around to see seven of the Leagues assassins ready to kill them.
Tam arrives outside of Wayne Manor and just as she rings the door bell she is approached by Vicki. She asks Tam some questions about Tim.
As she does the two of them are targeted by a sniper. End of issue.
The Good: Red Robin #10 was a much better outing than the second part to this crossover that happened in Batgirl #8. Even though there are a few nagging things that keep popping up for the most part this issue is a massive improvement over the first nine issues of the series. After a lot of awkward issues Yost has finally captured Tim’s voice on this title.
One of best things about this issue was that Yost has done away with all the flashback scenes. Outside of having Tim act completely out of character the thing that has hurt this series from the first issue has been the constant flashbacks. Yost just used flashbacks way to much in the first two arcs and they really took me out of the story in each issue. It was great that we finally got an issue that did away with the flashbacks and just gave us a good solid story with a proper structure. Hopefully we don’t see any more flashbacks in this series.
While the last couple issues have shown us that Yost has finally returned Tim’s character to normal this issue finally had Tim acting like Tim. We had the cool confident character that knows how to also have lighter moments and not some crazy guy. It is great that he is returning to his former self because Yost was really close to having Tim become just another Jason Todd character.
And I like that this battle with Ra’s is actually putting Tim on the spot and has to make quick decisions. Even though it is cool seeing Tim think things out and be several steps ahead of some of the bad guys he fights the stories are always better when Tim has to think on his feet. Though it makes him closer to being like Bruce it is better if there are things that Tim has to think on his feet to separate himself from the Batfamily. I like that this new challenge that Yost has given Tim in this crossover with Ra’s attacking everyone close to the Wayne Family as a good test for Tim and, to a lesser extent, Stephanie.
Speaking of Stephanie, Yost did a great job writing her character in this issue. Stephanie came off looking like a much more confident and skilled character in this issue than she did in her own series. Her quickly taking down of Pru was impressive and the first badass moment Stephanie has had since becoming Batgirl.
Also Yost did a good job showing that there is a lot of history between Tim and Stephanie. Similar to what Miller did in Batgirl #8 Yost did a good job showing that Stephanie still has a soft side when it comes to Tim as Tim easily convinced her he changed.
My favorite part of the issue was the confrontation between Ra’s and Hush. The scene was the first great scene where it felt like I was reading Ra’s again since Nightwing #152. Ra’s has been written like a trusting fool since the first issue of Red Robin and it was great to see a Ra’s that is finally taking the initiative and being more hands on. It will be interesting to see how Ra’s ultimatum to Hush, having him hand over everything Bruce had in his name, will affect what is going on in Batman and Streets of Gotham since Hush is being heavily used in both titles.
Marcus To provide some great artwork in this issue. After the horrible artwork we got in Batgirl #8 it was nice to have some good and consistent looking artwork. While this was a talking heads issue To did a great job with all the scenes. Hopefully he’ll be given some action scenes in the next issue.
The Bad: I have become bored of the whole Vicki Vale investigation sub-plot. At first I thought the sub-plot was interesting but now just have become annoyed with how it pops up in each issue as it feels like it kills the flow of the story.
The cliffhanger for the issue felt like a normal cliffhanger and it did not hook me for the next issue. Yost would have been better off by ending the issue with the appearance of Ra’s special assassins as that was a much better hook than seeing Tam and Vicki being targeted by a sniper gun.
Overall: Red Robin #10 was a very good read and was a big improvement over the Batgirl issue that also came out this week. This issue did a good job finally getting me interested in this crossover. While there are a couple things I worry about this crossover I am looking forward to see where Miller and Yost take the story. If you have been picking up Batgirl and/or Red Robin than this is an issue you should pick up.