Robin 149: Assault on Precinct Nine
Writer: Adam Beechen
Artist: Freddie Williams III
This entire issue is devoted to Robin making his way through Precinct Nine to the evidence room to recover Batgirl’s costume in an attempt to clear his name. But it’s not all sneaking around as Robin quickly reveals himself causing all sorts of chaos in the department.
If Robin is such a good hero, trained by Batman, why aren’t his ninja skills better? One would think he would take the long route to avoid detection instead of going in guns a blazing (metaphorically speaking). Holding up in a room, we get a hint at what has happened during the year Batman and crew has been away. The Gotham City Police Department has created a new S.W.A.T. unit that deals exclusively with metahumans equipped with gear from S.T.A.R. Labs.
How does he get out? By the deception he should have used to get in. He dresses as a cop and slips by everyone, evidence in tow.
It is also at this time that we find a pretty blonde assassin leaving her latest hit only to be ambushed in a nearby alley. Before getting her neck snapped, the assailant gives us another clue by calling the blonde “sister”.
Back at stately Wayne Manor, Robin examines Batgirl’s cowl and finds a slip of paper. Before he can analyze it, he is interrupted by Lady Shiva. She brings news of Nyssa Al Ghul’s assassination, leaving the League of Assassins leaderless. Coupled with Cassandra’s disappearance and Robin getting framed for her murder, Lady Shiva can only believe a coup has taken place.
While all of the clues are here, it is a shame they have to be dropped into Robin’s lap by Lady Shiva. This whole section could have been removed in favor of Robin doing the math himself. We already saw Nyssa’s assassination in issue 148, and we already know Cassandra went “missing” at the end of her Batgirl run. The only reason to put Lady Shiva in this issue is to throw the reader off her mysterious hanging around in 148. Big Whoop-dee-doo, the story could have been fleshed out without these unnecessary pages.
After a brief tussle in which Shiva doesn’t break any of the Teen Titans’ bones, Robin immediately goes back to his examination of the slip of paper found in Cassandra’s cowl. The message is written in Navajo and after a few quick minutes of decoding – something foreign powers couldn’t do during all of World War II, Robin reveals his OMG moment for the issue.
IMAGE REMOVED BY DC LEGAL DEPARTMENT
Reaction – this is a so so issue. I get the feeling that after the set-up and major talking that happened in part 1, Beechen is trying to balance the story telling with lots of action. The action is pretty hit and miss, although it does remind me of early James Bond films, which does save this issue.