Red Robin vs. Catman! Teen Titans vs. Calculator! Tim vs. Damian! What more could we ask for in this issue.
RED ROBIN #20
Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Artist: Marcus To
Inker: Ray McCarthy
Colorist: Guy Major
Letterer: Sal Cipriano
Cover Artist: To, McCarthy, and Brian Buccellao
Editor: Rachel Gluckstern and Sean Ryan
Publisher: DC Comics
Previously in Red Robin: Tim, recently back from his trip to Russia, having successfully hacked the Ünternet. After hijacking control and introducing adult versions of his friends, Tim left the catatonic Anarchy in charge of protecting the place from Mikalek and the villains. As the final point, Catman of the Secret Six has been hired to take Tim and Tam out.
THE CAT GETS THE BIRD
We open with Tim explaining the last few days, as it has been going fairly well for him since getting back, only to get the alarm going off in Lonnie’s room as someone hacks his system. That someone turns out to be Catman and we get a great line from Red Robin about the few villains that he’d like to tangle with less, Doomsday and the Anti-Monitor. Catman, as it turns out, is not there to actually kill him, but restore the Ünternet back to Mikalek’s control.
Tim is barely able to keep up with Catman as they make it to the docks and scare away Catman’s ride. Blake is fed up and lists off what else he doesn’t want to see tonight “cops, then Batgilrs, Batdogs, Batmen, enough.” He pulls out a pink cell phone and plugs something into it. They go back and forth about how the previous entries were using real codes and now this one was a strait up hack when Tim realizes it’s Tam’s phone. The Calculator is now after his girl. Tim has to abandon Catman and try to get across the city to Tam before Calculator can react.
Tim reaches for help to his ex and we get a cool call out to Steph doing her Batgirl thing, but unable to help. Tim reaches the dorms (who knew Tam lived in a dorm now?) just in time to see a rocket fired at Tam’s window, fortunately she was out with her friends and no one was hurt. The rocket man gets away and we get to see Tim do what he does best, be a detective. After figuring out the rocketeer was a Calculator robot look alike Tim calls in some back up, Titan style. The Titans show up and a brief reunion occurs before everyone defers to Tim for leadership (yes even Damian) as they head to Istanbul. One exploding Robo-Calculator later and the team is surrounded by Calculator Robots in front of the city’s most popular nightclub.
A rather solid issue, with good pacing between different stints as nothing lasts more than about five pages. We see a little more of the relationship between Tim and Tam actually building as there was the mention of them on a date. Catman feels just like he does when amongst the Six, kind of aloof and frustrated about dealing with anyone. The Titans are also given a reasonable treatment with Gar tricking Tim into thinking everyone is upset before a group hug.
THE MAN KNOWS WHAT HE’S DOIN’
He does, I have absolutely zero complaints with any of the artwork. Of course, the opposite is true as well, nothing is exceptionally spectacular. Maybe I’ve just been looking at his stuff for long enough that I am used to it. But there are no complaints.
BOTTOM LINE: WORTH IT
So maybe I’m a little biased with Tim being my favorite character in the DCU, but I thoroughly enjoyed the issue, though it wasn’t the best either. My only real complaint was an odd spot while Tim and Blake are talking where I’m reasonably certain the bubbles went to the wrong character. Either way, a very solid 3.5 out of 5 stars.