“Batman: Battle For The Cowl” ended today, with the ultimate revelation of the new Batman and Robin. In case you were wondering, yes, it ended exactly how you thought it would. Dick Grayson is the new Batman, Damien Wayne is the new Robin, Tim Drake is alive somewhere with a series of cuts in his chest (and one can safely bet, a brand new Red Robin costume), and Jason Todd has fallen to a death that fails the litmus test of all comic book deaths: there is no body. Half the characters from the covers played no role in the comic whatsoever, and the sub-plot of Gotham being devastated by a new Black Mask has met no resolution, other than Dick proudly announcing that it was clearly not the work of Two-Face or The Penguin.
So, why do we care? Its definitely a temporary change, even Dan Didio has acknowledged that Bruce Wayne will be back eventually. And the upcoming stories are still by Grant Morrison, who has written one hell of a mess of a Batman story lately. Its been a less than well kept secret that Dick would take over, so there was certainly no surprise or suspense to the ending. Damien is the new Robin, despite the fact that, let’s face it, the character is an annoying brat. In short, Battle for the Cowl feels like a poorly plotted, haphazardly created thing that exists solely to give Frank Quitely more time to draw “Batman & Robin”, which debuts two weeks from now, during what I’m lovingly calling DC’s “Oh Look, We Have A New Batman, He Should Appear In Everything” Month.
The story was good for a few cheap thrills, but all in all, “Battle for the Cowl” falls short of its ultimate goal, and fails to provide anything to give me a reason to care much. Hopefully the coming months and Dick Grayson’s baptism by fire as the new Batman will provide us with something enjoyable.