Detective Comics Rebirth Vol 1 Recap: Bat Family
Cover Price: $2.99
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Eddy Barrows
Synopsis: When Batman identifies a new threat in Gotham City he recruits Batwoman to train and lead a new “Bat Family” that includes Spoiler, Red Robin, Clay Face and Orphan.
Detective Comics had an up and down run during the New 52 and has been completely changed in Rebirth. Going back to the traditional numbering is not the biggest change in the title. James Tynion decided to turn Detective into the quintessential Bat Family book. Giving a more prominent role for Batwoman in the Batverse is important not just for representation and diversity, but because she has a great back story and the New 52 Batwoman book had good reviews but lacked in sales which lead to cancellation. By giving her such an important role in such an iconic title DC is able introduce her to a whole new audience and also continue this cross title narrative of the evolution of Batman.
Creation of the Bat Family
The Bat Family has always been a big part of Batman lore but has never really been fleshed out in their own book. Tynion took Spoiler (Stephanie Brown), Red Robin (Tim Drake), Orphan (Cassandra Cain), and Clayface and brought them together to form this unique team being lead by Batwoman (Kate Kane). Batman noticed that there was some advanced tech following them around and decided to bring them together to fight whatever threat that was to come. In typical Batman manner he did no share all of what he knew with Kate which almost lead to a breakup before Bruce came clean to Kate that he was Batman. Though Kate already knew Bruce was Batman this act of trust brought her back in the loop but she wanted more agency and control if this new Bat Family is going to work.
Come to find out the threat that Batman got this team together was being run by Kate’s father a former military leader who had been studying Batman for years to replicate Batman’s tech and methods in order to run a covert government military unit that acted in America’s interest around the world using the Batman brand. Batman was then taken hostage which forced the team to come together to save Batman and stop Kate’s father.
Kate and her father go through an emotional journey from her loosing her mother as a child to now her father voiding her trust. Meanwhile Stephanie and Tim are struggling with Tim’s decision to leave the “super hero” business and pursue his dreams in science. It’s clear that Tim wants to goto this prestigious school but is not sure how to tell Bruce. But, until he does he continues to fight for the team against this new threat which leads to probably the biggest WTF moment in Rebirth so far.
At the end of the conflict Tim Drake re-codes some drones that were planned to attack and eliminate Batman to go after him alone. This lead to two fleets of drones with intent to kill coming after Tim. Somehow Tim got through the first fleet only for the second fleet to be on its way. Batwoman and Batman realized this and immediately went into panic mode because they new what was about to happen. Then in a very emotional moment, Tim calls Stephanie on the comm and basically gave her his last words. Then he was eviscerated….. apparently. I say apparently because the last panel of the book shows a mysterious figure talking to Tim in a box where he seems to be alive but we don’t know how or where he is.