Dwelling on the past
Okay so let's start this off by saying I'm a Red Robin fan BUT I never picked up the nicieza written Robin book. I'll come back to that in a minute.
Where to begin, well how about the start. Cassie Cain, I've missed her as much as anyone else but after this little (and it is little) interaction I can see the thought process. Cassie's obviously been keeping up with her heroics but not totally under the bat-banner, as she says she doesn't need it Stephanie does. Thing is during her absence from Gotham she's been chasing this new guy, Cricket, he's good. Good enough that Tim cant find anything out on him. All seeds planted for Batman Inc. which I cannot wait for. I kind of like Cassie's new look, particularly the covering of the bottom half of the face, hope she brings it into her next look rather than a full face cowl.
Anyway so aside from Cassie you've got all the usual elements that make Red Robin enjoyable, Tim's internal monologues, the little in jokes such as Connor being unhappy and Cassie's new names. You're still seeing Tim building up his network, threads from the past few issues haven't been dropped as he's getting his own oracle but you're also still seeing the things that make this book stand apart from the bat books, all along the theme has been Tim breaking out on his own and pushing people away trying to balance friendships with the mission.
The language used by Lynx was great, using the nuance of her grasp of English could have been perceived as racist but really it was used a great little joke to keep the fun in the book.
Marcus To, it's been a great decsion to retain him on the book when Yost left. It's kept the continuity there for fans and he draws Tim and his world brilliantly. It's the right balance of dark but colourful enough to fit in with the fun tone of the writing.
Okay this last bit has already been spoiled all over.... SPOILER WARNING: Click here to reveal hidden content.
And finally, a great scene of Batman & Red Robin having fun swinging, SPOILER WARNING: Click here to reveal hidden content.
Okay, I get it Tim is going down a similar road to Bruce. Being the loner, the vigilante, the mission comes first. But seriously, giving him his own Selina Kyle is just lazy. I'm all for continuity but Tim doesn't need to have the exact same experiences as Bruce to become his version of Batman. In fact he should learn from them (which he was in Yost's run) and become better for it. Think of a new path for Tim, I mean even his new base while it sort of makes sense is just too nostalgic for me. Plus wont people see him coming and going? It's not like he has caves built underneath it?
The nostalgia continues as Nicieza keeps referencing back to his run throughout the book, ever since he's come on board he's intent on turning this into Robin 1.1 the same book he was writing a few years ago with same enemies and allies. I get it, he wants to reward those who might still be around from his run. But I'm a new fan, I loved the developments brought about in the first 12 issues of Red Robin and want to see them continue. Tim is a man now and has ideas of his own to fight crime, I just don't care about Tim's old school girlfriends and whatnot. Reference them maybe once an issue then move on, not all the way through.
Anyway it's not enough to spoil my enjoyment of what is in essence a good book.
SPOILER WARNING: Click here to reveal hidden content.
So to sum up, it's no jumping on point. It is however, a reward for Tim and for all the readers to validate his actions in the past 17 issues. Good fun.