After the events of Batman: RIP and Final Crisis, both penned to an excruciatingly complex point by superstar, albeit polarizing, writer, Grant Morrison, DC Comics was left with the task of discussing and explain who would take on the mantle of The Caped Crusader, and that man was none other than Dick Grayson.
Tasked with telling this story was none other than Tony Daniel on both art and writing duties. In Battle for The Cowl (the main story) Daniel shows us who was vying for the title of Batman. The three real contenders that he came to were Dick Grayson, a reluctant replacement for Bruce Wayne, Tim Drake-the at-the-time Robin, and former dead/Robin/Vigilante/very confused individual , Jason Todd.Battle for the Cowl pretty much just shows the process of the three former robins being very angry with each other and all feeling like they deserve the role of The Dark Knight.
Ultimately, the down fall of Battle for the Cowl is that it is over done, the main story did not particularly set up or clarify any of the current events of Gotham City, although the side stories, such as Azrael and Gotham Underground did push along a story for the characters involved. Which, in all honesty, is pretty strange considering that Tony Daniel is on the current run of Batman. The other downfall is that the story could have been told in one issue, and definitely did not need to go to three. These facts really tend to take you out of the story and you actually realize that what you are reading is pretty much pointless, so it begins to make you less focused on the work, and thus making it less enjoyable. Tony Daniel just does his job and leaves it at that. There are no interesting takes on any of the characters involved, and no new developments on pre-existing character traits. It's your run of the mill Batman story sans Batman.
Overall, the book itself it is not absolutely terrible, it's just that the book feels pointless. If you were to read this book on it's own, it could be fine if it didn't rely heavily on pre-existing knowledge of the events of Final Crisis and Batman: RIP. It's really unfortunate because it takes a 3-4 star book, and turns it into a 2-3 star book based solely on the current events. And compared to other trades like Hush, Long Halloween, The Black Glove, and many others, it definitely pales in comparison.
All in all, if you just ABSOLUTELY need to know every excruciating detail of how, but not why, Dick Grayson put on the cowl, pick this up, but if not, stay away and read the first trade of Batman & Robin, which is coming very soon
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