Yes, I know I mentioned that I was going to get to these reviews last weekend but unexpected work and lots of other stuff kept me pretty busy. Hopefully I'll get to the second part before Monday, but thankfully I won't be working until Tuesday.
The start of Red Robin #17 finds our former Teen Wonder halfway across the world once again, visiting former Batgirl Cassandra Cain in Hong Kong where she's still doing the hero thing but isn't wearing the Bat emblem.
I still find that hilarious. Tim returns a certain Bat costume to Cassandra, explaining that the family's okay again and that Bruce has returned. She says that Stephanie needs to be Batgirl while she just needs to...be.
"...Call yourself Bat-chick, Knightbat or Black Robin...the point is - don't forget...you have family."
Though Cassandra did keep the suit, she made a statement that kinda-sorta stuck with Tim-that family isn't always a home. And speaking of homes...Tim actually purchased the theatre in Crime Alley where Batman was born so he can start a new life.
As Red Robin, Tim apparently keeps on following down the path Bruce has laid out since he now has his own 'lifelong' Catwoman to contend with; he's freed Lynx from her transport en route to the airport, presumably...
As Lynx heads off into the night, Tim knows that he'll have to keep pursuing her to maintain status quo. And only a few seconds later, Batman Prime makes his appearance post-Bruce Wayne: The Road Home as shown in my above icon. Tim ends the arc the same way he began it - heading out with a beloved member of his family to have some fun.
"Dick's done a great job with him."
"I know that. What about you and the boy?"
"Did I mention Dick has done a great job with him...?"
The next arc starts off with Red Robin in Moscow, as he's interested in cracking the mysterious supervillain conduit/communications grid known as the Unternet.
Before arriving, he made sure that the resident metahuman superhero was okay with him arriving - enter Red Star, former Teen Titan and guy who apparently has a large weight on his shoulders!
Tim and Tam Fox-a girl who's a friend but not exactly his girlfriend-soon go the following morning to meet with Viktor Mikalek, Russia's own Lex Luthor.
"Young Mr. Wayne, it is a pleasure. I met your adoptive father Bruce, two years ago - and your biological father, Jack Drake, at a mineral dig while I was in college."
(Surprised he didn't also date my mother in high school.) Gotta love inside voices.
While Tim worked to get a check for Mikalek to open a Neon Knights charter in Russia-Tim's own Batman: Incorporated gone global, discussed before Bruce's return, etc.-his hacker friend, Lonnie Machin-formerly Anarky who's comatose but still brain active-hacked into the 'enemy's systems back in Gotham. Unfortunately, Tim gets to meet yet ANOTHER potential interest as a girl busts in on the meeting and starts shooting at people-with rubber bullets!
She calls herself Promise, and while she really wasn't trying to kill anyone Red Star didn't believe so. She did get away, after having grabbed Tim-which was part of his plan, as he slipped a tracer on her-before releasing him. After following her to her hideout later on in the evening, I found myself VERY impressed with the girl as she knocked Tim off his hiding position...with a bar of SOAP!!
How badass do you have to be to actually hit someone with a bar of soap?!! And then seconds afterward, once seeing he's face-to-face with a naked girl who's grabbed a towel for obvious reasions, Tim realizes something he should've caught on YEARS ago: he's either the luckiest guy in the world or the most pathetic. I'm going with the former as he has had some good luck with girls.
Red Star intervenes once again, and Tim finds out that Mikalek is indeed involved with the Society as well as the Unternet.
"Of course he has."
"To rebuild Gotham City, didn't Wayne Enterprises once do business with Lex Luthor...?"
And while Tim ensured that Promise got away for a brief time-and made sure she kept in touch with him-he got to play a game of tag with a very pissed off Russian who can fire blasts of red-hot energy from his hands and eyes! Lonnie made his way into the Unternet while Tim got onboard Red Star's ship-and found out that he's got a lot of weapons inside.
(Add him to the list.)
Unfortunately, when Lonnie started his connection he unknowingly dragged Tim, Tam and Promise's brainwaves with him. The good news? Tim gets a brand new costume that shows that he views himself as a new Nightwing for a new generation.
Even though he's only there for one page, and was labeled as the mayor, I still hear Mark Hamill. Tim finds his missing allies while on the search inside the Unternet, gets to face some familiar faces in Deathstroke, Cheshire and Superman's enemy Metallo and realizes that even though the bad guys do control the world around them...so do the good guys.
When Tim decided to go against killing Captain Boomerang, he brought back the one place the Unternet had been missing: heroes who wanted to fight back! Lonnie, back in his Anarky guise while in said 'Net, had tracked down all of Mikalek's access points and cut them off. It could only work as long as they were there. Thankfully, Lonnie has a fused 'bicameral' mind. He could be there and in the real world at the same time. Tim needed to go back.
When he did, he discovered that Red Star's missiles were his Justice League, Justice Society and Teen Titans. So, Tim decided to veto adding a fellow hero-again-to the list and gave Red Star the benefit of the doubt. He wasn't able to find Promise, but did find Tam alive and okay.
She just wanted to go back to Gotham, after spending most of her time in the Unternet as an angry talking baby-in a Batman suit!-and pretend she was never there! Very humorous.
This would normally be where all good things end well, but...Mikalek was quite unpleased that, due to Tim and Tam's appearance, or being in his building, his access to the Unternet was blocked and he had lost much. So, he hired the best hunter in the world...Catman to take care of things; I'm kinda thrown by the name myself but not by much-which is only one piece of the puzzle that leads into next month's RR/TT crossover.
The next one will be shown in Teen Titans #91.