Batman is back, or so Gotham thinks. And in a way he is, along with a brand new Robin. Winick and Bagley reunite to bring the Dark Knight back to the forefront with what can be considered the main Bat-book of the bunch. And the main attraction Dick Grayson, the man, the idol, the Batman....except he still has a problem with the cape. Now, lets jump in, to Batman #688!
Right of the bat...no pun intended, We join our hero being beaten to a pulp in the Batcave. Dick's taking a beating by a shadowy figure that continually berates him, and tells him he's not Batman. Dick is an imposter, he doesn't posess the things that made Batman the savior of Gotham, and that Batman is dead....and pretty soon, Dick may be as well. Turns out this this three weeks into the future, so jumping three weeks back, a.k.a. now. It's reported that Batman is back and has changed his ways of tampering with evidence before the police get a chance, and while the reason for this change is unknown (to everyone but the reader) it's getting Batman many praises, especially from the GCPD.
Now outside of giving everything away, I will mention that I'm a big fan of these talks between Dick and Alfred, no matter what comic they always give clarity that this is a different dynamic, but nonetheless something special. Also, we see Damien's training session with Dick which i thought was really well done, especially with Dick showing that him being as talkative as always and how he uses it to upset his opponents into making mistakes was a great piece of advice to show him giving Damien.
Along with appearances by Two-Face, the Penguin, and a conversation between Jim Gordon and Sergeant Pike, there's alot of depth to this issue. It was very word-driven with less action than I'm used to after reading some of the other Batman: Reborn books but that was something I enjoyed more than anything. I'm starting to tire of the jumping around in time plot device, especially as it was used so much in Red Robin, but it was used sparingly here. The artwork was a plus, and even seeing Batman smiling wasn't all that weird, considering it's Dick. Either way the story left us with a great cliffhanger and me desperately wanting to read Batman #689. My final rating for Batman #688 is a solid 8/10.
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