This issue can almost be read as a direct follow up to the Batman: The Return issue that came between Batman and Robin and this series. The issue is split up into a bunch of different stories as we get updates on the different parts of Bruce’s army. Bruce reveals parts of his plans to different members, such as Red Robin and the other Batman, while keeping some aspects of his plan hidden.
I thought that this issue was fantastic. It was a lot of great fun all around, which I realize isn’t something most people associate with Grant Morrison, but there’s no other way to describe it. Having Bruce’s plan unfold right in front of you, even as the enemy prepares his attack, is done so well it is exciting. With as many guest appearances that take place, and the overall plot progression, this issue is definitely one to check out. Chris Burnham does an outstanding job with the art as well. His pages are filled with a fantastic energy and emotion that does an excellent job of bringing Morrison’s words to life. If you aren’t reading this series you should definitely check it out. 4.5/5
This is the start of the new arc and in some ways the start of a new direction for the Birds. The majority of the team spends the issue infiltrating a corporate office building where not everything is as it seems. Meanwhile, Huntress tracks down the Question in the hopes of persuading her to join the team. The two venture into Gotham’s underground in an attempt to shut down some dirty cops. However, as the story progresses it becomes more and more clear that the two individual stories are actually linked.
I thought that this was a strong issue. The writing was smart, humorous, and the overall plot is interesting. At times the story felt a tad choppy, but it didn’t detract too much from the overall experience. I thought the art was really nice as well and enhanced the issue as a whole. 4/5
Twelve issues later and we’ve reached the end of the series, as well as the end of the Road to Flashpoint. At the beginning of the issue, the Reverse Flash reveals himself as the dastardly villain who has been aging people to death; no surprise there, really. Meanwhile, Hot Pursuit is hellbent on capturing Bart, who he believes to be the ultimate culprit. Just as he is about to take out Bart, his technology senses the Reverse Flash and he, followed by Barry and Bart, goes speeding after him. Unfortunately for him, he doesn’t have Barry’s powers, so the Reverse Flash easily overpowers and kills him. The Reverse Flash then escapes, now able to change his age at will.
If you were looking for something that would directly tie into Flashpoint, well you’ll sorta be happy, but not quite. Other than getting the inclination that the Reverse Flash is the villain, there isn’t much of a direct connection to Flashpoint. Also, for a series finale, the overall story felt a tad rushed and just a bit off the mark. The art is just a sad story overall. I don’t particularly mind Kolins’s art, I don’t think it’s bad at all. However, it’s a complete shame that Francis Manapul couldn’t close out the series, because personally I think his art has totally overshadowed Geoff Johns the entire run. 3/5
Barry Allen awakens in a strange new world, or at least new to him. Not only is his mother still alive, he’s no longer the Flash, and the villains he once knew no longer exist. Meanwhile, Cyborg calls a meeting to assess the situation in Europe, where there’s an epic war going on. Unfortunately, Cyborg was unable to deliver his promise of Batman joining the team and his proposed army disperses into the night. Meanwhile, Barry Allen seeks out the man he believes can figure out all of his problems – Batman.
With as much hype as this story has been getting recently, I must say that I had much higher expectations than what was delivered. The story seems interesting enough, but here’s the problem. While I do enjoy a well developed, thorough story, I feel as if I’ll only be getting part of the story by not reading all of the tie-ins. If that ends up not being the case, then great. For the most part I thought that the art was really nice. The character designs looked cool as well, at least those that actually changed. The reveal at the end was interesting, but I’m still not sure how everything ties together, which I’m sure is the point. Overall though, this issue was just good. 3/5
For the last couple of issues we’ve been overwhelmed with tie-ins, so it’s nice to have Fabian Nicieza do what he does best, and that’s write a Red Robin story. This issue brings us back to the basics, with Tim using his brains to take on the world. It turns out that there might be more than one Scarab, because while the one that tried to assassinate Tim is in jail, another one is out to assassinate Lucius Fox. Meanwhile, Lynx is back, and she’s gearing up to be the Catwoman to Red Robin’s Batman.
I’m all for crossovers and whatnot, but I think sometimes a crossover is more of a distraction than anything, and with last two crossovers, I don’t necessarily see how they benefited the series. Semi-rant done with, I thought this issue was great. The story was fast paced, fun, and exciting. The scene between Dick and Tim was great; it’s always nice having them interact. I also like that Nicieza is writing a strong and confident Tim in this book, because it makes sense with the direction his character has been going in since the beginning. Marcus To, as usual, really brings it with the art. He and McCarthy have been a consistently brilliant art team and continue to bring it issue after issue. 4/5
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